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MIDDLE EAST ISSUE 28 JUNE 2014

SHOPPED - CHEFS IN THE SOUK | TERMINAL MEALS | MAG MANIA | ACROSS CANADA | NEPAL NIBBLES


Did you know‌ Competing side-by-side with their European counterparts, American cheese makers consistently win top accolades at international competitions. The United States won 72 medals at the World Cheese Awards (London-2013) and 181 medals at World Championship Cheese Contest (Madison, WI-2014).

Enhance your culinary creations‌ with cheese from the United States U.S. Soft Farmers Cheese and Fire-Roasted Leeks Ingredients:

Procedure:

10 leeks, white part only

Grill leeks until outer layer is charred. Gather leeks together tightly in aluminum foil, and keep warm for 30 minutes or until tender. Peel leeks and discard burnt layers. Prepare vinaigrette, mixing the honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Cover the leeks with vinaigrette, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Mash the U.S. farmers cheese with mint, cumin and cinnamon until homogeneous (if necessary add a little cream). Place cheese mixture in piping bag and refrigerate. To serve, pipe the cheese mixture around the leeks and garnish with cherry tomatoes, dill and mesclun.

Honey, to taste 100 ml balsamic vinegar 50 ml extra virgin olive oil 150 g soft, U.S. farmers cheese 3 mint leaves, julienned Cumin powder, to taste Cinnamon powder, to taste Heavy whipping cream, if needed Cherry tomatoes, dill and mesclun leaves, as garnish

U.S. cheese is already available in your market, check today with your local importer/distributor or contact USDEC for a list of local suppliers: # $!)*.!#(+*!&'&.%#$%-%!,!(#&!*$."'&! 



 The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a free resource to help you ďŹ nd additional information on U.S. cheese applications and distribution channels. We are a non-proďŹ t, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders.


Contents

08

16

28

44

UP FRONT

FEATURES

CHEFS

LEISURE

02

14

THE EGGS FACTOR What does Cladys Magagna , Executive Chef at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, have in his fridge?

24

41

BOOKSHELF A round-up of some great new food and culinary magazines.

44

16

MARKET FOCUS Is it time for fine dining at airports? After all, the food may be grim in flight.

TRAVEL Nepal - go for the mountains, stay for the food?

48

THE LAST WORD How soon before we see this trend here: high end NYC restaurant Eleven Madison Park Googles every diner with a reservation in order to customise their experience, searching for clues about home towns, birthdays and jobs, then trying to match staff to diners.

04

06

EDITORIAL Which camp are you in? Those for whom the Michelin star system still represents the best guide to quality or those for whom the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is better? EDITORIAL BOARD Our industry colleagues who help guide The Pro Chef ME. OUT AND ABOUT The final of the Taste New Zealand competition, Jumeirah chefs under pressure in the fish market and a preview of Aperitif à la française.

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20

COUNTRY FOCUS Taste-filled, natural products from the wilds of Canada offer chefs a chance to play with the flavour palate.

28

36

PIMP MY PLATE Dannet D’Souza, Chef de Cuisine at Jumeirah Creekside’s Blue Flame, presents his take on Arroz de tamboril com gambas. FACE TO FACE In the hot seat this issue are uber Chef Wolfgang Puck and Christian de Nadai, Head Chef of Don Alfonso 1890. RECIPE CORNER Great recipes from Certo at Radisson Blu Dubai Media City and Frankie’s in Dubai Marina.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

1


UP FRONT / editors letter

Who’s the best? The industry is lining up interestingly into two camps: those for whom the Michelin star system still represents the best guide to quality and those for whom the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is a much more useful tool in their culinary armoury. At present, things seem to be swinging more in favour of World’s Best, partly because it is truly global in scope and Michelin is still not present in some many territories, partly because the restaurant’s favoured by the regional bands of critics tend to be flashy and exciting. Leave aside the fact that you’ll struggle to get a reservation at Noma in under nine months, just reading its menu and gazing at on-line photos of its dishes make the more introspective - dare we say at times even dull and monochrome - world of Michelin seem outdated. But how useful is World’s Best? Let’s face it, unless your travel plans for the year include Tokyo, London, Copenhagen, Cape Town, Lima and Modena, you’ll barely scratch the surface of the highest ranking restaurants before you’ll have to start making new plans in response to thre 2015 list. On the other hand, a mini break in Paris armed with the Michelin Guide will see a number of top tables crossed off your wish list in short order. However, where World’s Best does score is perhaps in its infuence. Not getting a table at Noma is likely, but eating at a small outlet where a young chef is inspired by the creativity of René Redzepi is becoming increasingly easier and easier by far than finding an equivalent table inspired by Paul Bocuse at a similar price point. So $300 for a meal at Noma or $60 for dinner at NYC’s Contra, run by an ex-Noma chef? What is ultimately important are the conflicting demands placed on chefs by the two guides. Michelin inspectors are primarily concerned with consistency and keeping up standards; World’s Best contributors, thanks to the voting

CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER DOMINIC DE SOUSA CEO NADEEM HOOD COO GINA O’HARA ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER DAVE REEDER dave@cpidubai.com M: +971 50 450 6745 GROUP DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL PAUL GODFREY GROUP MANAGING EDITOR MELANIE MINGAS melanie.mingas@cpimediagroup.com M: +971 56 758 7834 EDITOR DAVE REEDER ASSISTANT EDITOR SOPHIE MCCARRICK sophie.mccarrick@cpimediagroup.com D: +971 4 4409150 SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER, HOSPITALITY DIVISION CHRIS HOWLETT

structure, much more interested in culinary hot spots. An international culinary conference in Lima? Expect a good number of Peruvian restaurants on next year’s list.

PHOTOGRAPHER, HOSPITALITY DIVISION ANAS CHERUR JAY COLINA GROUP DIRECTOR OF SALES CAROL OWEN DIRECTOR OF SALES, HOSPITALITY DIVISION ANKIT SHUKLA ankit.shukla@cpimediagroup.com M: +971 55 257 2807 PRODUCTION MANAGER, HOSPITALITY DIVISION VA DEVAPRAKASH WEB DEVELOPER, HOSPITALITY DIVISION LOUIE ALMA DISTRIBUTION MANAGER ROCHELLE ALMEIDA SUBSCRIPTIONS www.cpievents.net/mag/magazine.php PRINTED BY Printwell Printing Press LLC, Dubai, UAE PUBLISHED BY

Head Office, PO Box 13700, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 A publication licensed by IMPZ

© Copyright 2014 CPI, All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.


UP FRONT / editorial board

Meet the board The Pro Chef Middle East is keen to serve its readership by addressing those areas of key interest, To help that task, we have invited a number of respected and experienced members of the F&B world to form an editorial board to help guide us into the future.

BOBBY KRISHNA TM PRINCIPAL FOOD STUDIES AND SURVEYS OFFICER FOOD CONTROL DEPARTMENT DUBAI MUNICIPALITY Indian-born Bobby Krishna brings a real passion to his job enforcing food hygiene and safety regulations to the F&B sector in Dubai.

MARC GICQUEL Regional Director of Food & Beverage, Arabian Peninsula Hilton Worldwide Born and educated in France, Marc Gicguel has wide experience of different parts of the F&B sector, from Disneyland Resort Paris to Jumeirah Restaurants and Nestle Professional before joining Hilton Worldwide.

CHRISTIAN GRADNITZER Corporate Director Culinary Jumeirah Group Austrian-born Christian Gradnitzer moved a couple of years back from kitchens to management and is now a key element in Jumeirah RnB’s plan to establish Jumeirah Group as a leading operator of successful restaurants and bars globally.

MICHAEL KITTS Director of Culinary Arts and Executive Chef The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management UK chef Michael Kitts’ career has combined distinguished work in kitchens, global competition success and a major focus on mentoring younger chefs, all of which make his currenty job an ideal fit.

UWE MICHEEL Director of Kitchens, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek President, Emirates Culinary Guild German chef Uwe Micheel is a highly visible member of the regional F&B scene with two decades of experience in the Gulf and a key role in driving the success of UAE-based chefs at culinary competitions worldwide.

MARK PATTEN Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage Atlantis, The Palm Dubai In place at Atlantis since pre-opening in 2007, Australian native Mark Patten has had a highly successful and celebrated career across the world. He now oversees more than 400 chefs and numerous outlets at the resort.

SAMANTHA WOOD FooDiva A distinguished ex-Hilton PR executive, British-Cypriot Samantha Wood now combines food journalism, hospitality consulting and the highly acclaimed FooDiva food blog.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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UP FRONT / out and about

Taste New Zealand - the winner! After an afternoon with ten chefs engaged in a frenzied and exciting cook-off, the Taste New Zealand 2014 competition reached its climax as ten experienced chefs awaited the judges' verdict. At a themed evening party in the gounds of Park Hyatt, Dubai, the winner was revealed: Prabakaran Manickam, Area Head Chef, Food Fund International, who will be travelling to New Zealand as part of his prize.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

Under the watchful eye of Michael Clinton, Executive Chef of Park Hyatt Dubai, ten locally based chefs came together to try and win the Taste New Zealand 2014 culinary cook-off in Traiteur's open kitchen. The ten had been chosen through a careful screening process: chefs earlier in the year had been asked to submit a recipe on-line using typical New Zealand ingredients and a panel of judges narrowed this down to the final ten. The finalists were: t David Dahlhaus, Sous Chef, Pierchic t Emily Herbert, Executive Chef, Ultra Brasserie, Dubai t Etienne Karner, Executive Sous Chef, Park Hyatt Dubai t Sakeer Hussain, Junior Sous Chef, Pax Italian Restaurant, Dusit Thani Dubai t Jackson Chandranathan, Commis II Chef, Rhodes 44, St Regis Abu Dhabi t Johannes Hansen, Chef de Partie, JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, Dubai t Kiran Shetty, Executive Pastry Chef - Middle East, Magnolia Bakery, Dubai t Mohd Rene Bin Johari, Sous Chef, The Rib Room, Jumeirah Emirates Towers t Muhammed Raees, Junior Sous Chef, St Regis Saadiyat Island

t Prabakaran Manickam, Area Head Chef, Food Fund International The chefs were divided into two groups and then given a pantry list of New Zealand ingredients available to them plus an orientation of of both the New Zealand and the basic pantry. They had a short period to devise their recipe before one hour cooking and then presentation to the judges. The judging panel had been carefully selected as a mix of top chefs, food and beverage and media industry leaders, diplomats and honorary guests. The panel consisted of author Jessie Kirkness Parker, Robin Padgett (Emirates’ Senior VP Aircraft Catering), Chef Reif Othman, Samantha ‘FooDiva’ Wood, New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Dubai, Steve Jones and MMI Sommelier Julien Pagliuchi. Judges were unanimous in their admiration for all the entrants but did feel that some could have been more adventurous. Chef Clinton said: “It’s always a balance between adapting a dish you’re comfortable with and being experimental, but you don’t win a competition like this being safe.” In the end, the winner was Prabakaran Manickam, with his Pan seared Firstlight venison rack with pistachio and wild herb crust. According to Steve Jones, "This is a demanding competition that culminated in a high-stress cookoff, where all chefs took some risks, with many

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out and about / UP FRONT

PAN SEARED FIRSTLIGHT VENISON RACK WITH PISTACHIO AND WILD HERB CRUST, BEETROOT PUREE, FRUIT COCKTAIL, ROASTED VEGETABLE GATEAU WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA, VEAL AND RED WINE JUS INGREDIENTS 500g venison rack 50g pistachio and herb crust 30ml olive oil 20g Dijon mustard 2g salt 1g black pepper METHOD Remove all the bones (leave one bone in the end), fat and sinew from the rack. Brush the meat with oil, salt and black pepper and sear all sides in a hot pan, then remove from the pan and brush with Dijon mustard and roll it in the crust. Finish in the oven for two minutes for medium rare. Rest for two minutes before slicing.

THE NEW ZEALAND PRODUCE SUPPORTERS The competition and awards evening was supported by MMI and Emirates and featured a wide range of New Zealand F&B products. The suppliers for the cook-off were Alliance, Angel Bay, Anchor, ANZCO Five Star Beef, Barker's, Blue River, Firstlight, Greenmount Foods, Killinchy Gold, Lee Fish, Manuka Health, Omega Seafood, Phoenix Organics, Piper, Silver Fern Farms, Steinlager, Tegel, Ti Tonics, Whittaker's and Wild Honey.

using new and unfamiliar products. I congratulate all of them for being open to the challenge, and for helping to make this competition such as success. Chef Prabakaran's dish impressed the judges in a number of ways, but particularly its texture and flavour.” And the prize? A leisure and industry trip for two to New Zealand - return flights, accommodation and meals for up to two weeks, together with meeting a range of New Zealand F&B producers including beef and lamb farms, dairy farms, specialty food producers and wineries, as well as sampling cuisine prepared by some of the country’s best chefs.

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PISTACHIO AND HERB CRUST INGREDIENTS 20g pistachio, chopped 20g white breadcrumbs 10g parsley 3g thyme 3g rosemary 3g mint leaves zest from one orange 1g salt 0.5g fresh black pepper METHOD Blend all ingredients until the mixture turns into a green coloured crust. FRUIT COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS 20g red capsicum, roasted 20g rasberry 30g strawberry 30g kiwi fruit 50g green apple 5ml olive oil 2ml vinegar METHOD Cut the fruits into a brunoise (0.5cm dice). Add all the fruit and vegetables together in a mixing bowl, then drizzle the olive oil and vinegar, so that the fruits bind together. BEETROOT PUREE INGREDIENTS 100g beetroot, peeled 2g salt 1g pepper 10ml vinegar

500ml water 20ml olive oil METHOD Cut the beetroot into a small cubes. Place in a small pot and add the rest of the ingredients Bring to the boil and cook until is softened, then blend and pass through a small sieve. VEAL AND RED WINE JUS INGREDIENTS 100ml veal stock venison trimmings 1g rosemary 50ml red wine 1g salt METHOD Sauté the venison trimming and rosemary, then add the red wine and reduce it by half. Add the veal stock, bring to the boil and simmer till you achieve the right consistency. ROASTED VEGETABLE GATEAU INGREDIENTS 30g sweet potato, sliced 30g beetroot, sliced 30g baby potatoes, sliced 20g kiwi, sliced 2g salt 1g black pepper 30ml olive oil 2g thyme METHOD Pre-heat the oven to 180C Peel and slice the vegetables into round. Place the sliced vegetables onto a baking pan. Add the olive oil, chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and arrange them as a gateau with the kiwi fruit slices.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

7


UP FRONT / out and about

Taste New Zealand - the winner! After an afternoon with ten chefs engaged in a frenzied and exciting cook-off, the Taste New Zealand 2014 competition reached its climax as ten experienced chefs awaited the judges' verdict. At a themed evening party in the gounds of Park Hyatt, Dubai, the winner was revealed: Prabakaran Manickam, Area Head Chef, Food Fund International, who will be travelling to New Zealand as part of his prize.

6

The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

Under the watchful eye of Michael Clinton, Executive Chef of Park Hyatt Dubai, ten locally based chefs came together to try and win the Taste New Zealand 2014 culinary cook-off in Traiteur's open kitchen. The ten had been chosen through a careful screening process: chefs earlier in the year had been asked to submit a recipe on-line using typical New Zealand ingredients and a panel of judges narrowed this down to the final ten. The finalists were: t David Dahlhaus, Sous Chef, Pierchic t Emily Herbert, Executive Chef, Ultra Brasserie, Dubai t Etienne Karner, Executive Sous Chef, Park Hyatt Dubai t Sakeer Hussain, Junior Sous Chef, Pax Italian Restaurant, Dusit Thani Dubai t Jackson Chandranathan, Commis II Chef, Rhodes 44, St Regis Abu Dhabi t Johannes Hansen, Chef de Partie, JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, Dubai t Kiran Shetty, Executive Pastry Chef - Middle East, Magnolia Bakery, Dubai t Mohd Rene Bin Johari, Sous Chef, The Rib Room, Jumeirah Emirates Towers t Muhammed Raees, Junior Sous Chef, St Regis Saadiyat Island

t Prabakaran Manickam, Area Head Chef, Food Fund International The chefs were divided into two groups and then given a pantry list of New Zealand ingredients available to them plus an orientation of of both the New Zealand and the basic pantry. They had a short period to devise their recipe before one hour cooking and then presentation to the judges. The judging panel had been carefully selected as a mix of top chefs, food and beverage and media industry leaders, diplomats and honorary guests. The panel consisted of author Jessie Kirkness Parker, Robin Padgett (Emirates’ Senior VP Aircraft Catering), Chef Reif Othman, Samantha ‘FooDiva’ Wood, New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Dubai, Steve Jones and MMI Sommelier Julien Pagliuchi. Judges were unanimous in their admiration for all the entrants but did feel that some could have been more adventurous. Chef Clinton said: “It’s always a balance between adapting a dish you’re comfortable with and being experimental, but you don’t win a competition like this being safe.” In the end, the winner was Prabakaran Manickam, with his Pan seared Firstlight venison rack with pistachio and wild herb crust. According to Steve Jones, "This is a demanding competition that culminated in a high-stress cookoff, where all chefs took some risks, with many

www.cpimediagroup.com


out and about / UP FRONT

PAN SEARED FIRSTLIGHT VENISON RACK WITH PISTACHIO AND WILD HERB CRUST, BEETROOT PUREE, FRUIT COCKTAIL, ROASTED VEGETABLE GATEAU WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA, VEAL AND RED WINE JUS INGREDIENTS 500g venison rack 50g pistachio and herb crust 30ml olive oil 20g Dijon mustard 2g salt 1g black pepper METHOD Remove all the bones (leave one bone in the end), fat and sinew from the rack. Brush the meat with oil, salt and black pepper and sear all sides in a hot pan, then remove from the pan and brush with Dijon mustard and roll it in the crust. Finish in the oven for two minutes for medium rare. Rest for two minutes before slicing.

THE NEW ZEALAND PRODUCE SUPPORTERS The competition and awards evening was supported by MMI and Emirates and featured a wide range of New Zealand F&B products. The suppliers for the cook-off were Alliance, Angel Bay, Anchor, ANZCO Five Star Beef, Barker's, Blue River, Firstlight, Greenmount Foods, Killinchy Gold, Lee Fish, Manuka Health, Omega Seafood, Phoenix Organics, Piper, Silver Fern Farms, Steinlager, Tegel, Ti Tonics, Whittaker's and Wild Honey.

using new and unfamiliar products. I congratulate all of them for being open to the challenge, and for helping to make this competition such as success. Chef Prabakaran's dish impressed the judges in a number of ways, but particularly its texture and flavour.” And the prize? A leisure and industry trip for two to New Zealand - return flights, accommodation and meals for up to two weeks, together with meeting a range of New Zealand F&B producers including beef and lamb farms, dairy farms, specialty food producers and wineries, as well as sampling cuisine prepared by some of the country’s best chefs.

www.cpimediagroup.com

PISTACHIO AND HERB CRUST INGREDIENTS 20g pistachio, chopped 20g white breadcrumbs 10g parsley 3g thyme 3g rosemary 3g mint leaves zest from one orange 1g salt 0.5g fresh black pepper METHOD Blend all ingredients until the mixture turns into a green coloured crust. FRUIT COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS 20g red capsicum, roasted 20g rasberry 30g strawberry 30g kiwi fruit 50g green apple 5ml olive oil 2ml vinegar METHOD Cut the fruits into a brunoise (0.5cm dice). Add all the fruit and vegetables together in a mixing bowl, then drizzle the olive oil and vinegar, so that the fruits bind together. BEETROOT PUREE INGREDIENTS 100g beetroot, peeled 2g salt 1g pepper 10ml vinegar

500ml water 20ml olive oil METHOD Cut the beetroot into a small cubes. Place in a small pot and add the rest of the ingredients Bring to the boil and cook until is softened, then blend and pass through a small sieve. VEAL AND RED WINE JUS INGREDIENTS 100ml veal stock venison trimmings 1g rosemary 50ml red wine 1g salt METHOD Sauté the venison trimming and rosemary, then add the red wine and reduce it by half. Add the veal stock, bring to the boil and simmer till you achieve the right consistency. ROASTED VEGETABLE GATEAU INGREDIENTS 30g sweet potato, sliced 30g beetroot, sliced 30g baby potatoes, sliced 20g kiwi, sliced 2g salt 1g black pepper 30ml olive oil 2g thyme METHOD Pre-heat the oven to 180C Peel and slice the vegetables into round. Place the sliced vegetables onto a baking pan. Add the olive oil, chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and arrange them as a gateau with the kiwi fruit slices.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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UP FRONT / out and about

Chris Kinsley

Giovanni D'Alitta

Juan Gonzales

David Dahlhaus

Renald Epie

Anand Ramakrishnan

Off to market You would expect that chefs would be fascinated by produce and would scour the local market in search of inspiration. Sadly, this is not often the case - perhaps through limited time off, perhaps because of a belief that local produce is not of very good quality. Together with the Jumeirah Group, we start a series of infrequent challenges to chefs: go and shop locally then come back for a prize-winning cook-off!

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

It’s 6.45am and six chefs are gathered at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management being given a pep talk by Christan Gradnitzer, Jumeirah’s Corporate Director Culinary. His message was simple and direct: go and have fun but use the opportunity to see what’s available locally. “One of our initiatives this year will be to source more local ingredients, helping to support local farmers and fisherme," he explained. It may add a dirham or two to our costs but we can’t continue just looking to Europe in our sourcing.” A quick outline of the day by organiser Chef Chris Lester of Caprice Holdings and a tour of the kitchen by Chef Michael Kitts, the Academy’s Director of Culinary Arts, then it’s all aboard the van en route for an early start at the Deira fish market. The purpose of the day was simple: six chefs were given Dhs 300 each plus a guide to sustainable fish and had to produce two plates of a starter and a main using produce sourced from the fish market, the adjoining vegetable market and the spice souk. Shopping time was one hour in the main market with a further half hour in the souk. After 30 minutes of menu planning, cooking got underway.

The chefs were: t Renald Epie, Chef de Cuisine, Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab t Anand Ramakrishnan, Sous Chef, Imperium, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray t Giovanni D'Alitta, Sous Chef, Alta Badia, Jumeirah Emirates Towers t David Dahlhaus, Sous Chef, Pierchic, Al Qasr Hotel t Juan Gonzales, Chef de Cuisine, Villa Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel t Chris Kinsley, Junior Sous Chef, The Ivy And how was the experience, given that half the chefs had never been to the markets or souk? “I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to participate, it has been an interesting and different experience, which took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to try some new things,” said Chef Epie. “I arrived at the market with a few ideas in my head of what I would make however, upon arriving, the extensive selection of produce inspired me to create different dishes, which I think actually made it more difficult for me because I had to think on my toes. I loved the experience of going to the market and seeing the wide range of produce, it has given me many ideas for future recipes.” Chef Dahlhaus agrees. “My favourite part about the day was going to the markets, particularly the

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out and about / UP FRONT

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June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

9


UP FRONT / out and about

Anand Ramakrishnan

David Dahlhaus

Juan Gonzales

spice market as we don't generally get to go there on a day to day basis. It was great to see what interesting things are available here and get ideas for ingredients to try out in the future that I've not used before.” As does Chef D’Alitta: “The day was an amazing experience, I've really enjoyed it. The whole challenge has been really exciting and I'm grateful for the opportunity to take part. I saw things at the market like artichokes and asparagus, which I think we should be using more of in our restaurant.” According to the day’s organiser, Chef Lester: “It was a real learning experience. What was interesting was the amount of produce available - far more than when we’d done our pre-event dry run. I think some of the boys went in with preconceived ideas about what to cook but, afterwards, I feel they all got a great grasp of the range of fish and vegetables and spices so close to hand. Were some of them a bit ambitious with their dishes? Perhaps, but I’m sure they’ve all learned something and have ideas to take back to their restaurants.” As dishes began to emerge from the kitchen, the panel of judges began the difficult task of balancing taste, technical ability, visual appeal, use of sustainable produce and kitchen discipline and hygiene. With Chef Lester overseeing the

kitchen work, the panel was led by Chef Kitts, with Christian Gradnitzer, Gert Kopera (Jumeirah Group Senior VP for RnB), Chef Gary Rhodes and The Pro Chef ME Editor Dave Reeder. After sampling all the dishes and complimenting the chefs on their skills, the overall winner was decided as Chef Ramakrishnan, whose techniques, organisation and time management were the key deciders. As he said after the contest, “In preparation for

the competition I visited the market beforehand, to find the inspiration for my dishes, I love the selection that they have available and some of the items they have for sale at the market are quite unique, such as the different types of potato, like the long potato which you can find in India. I'd like to incorporate things like that more into our menus in the future.” Second runner up was Chef Gonzales and runner up was Chef Dahlhaus. The prizes were presented by Chef Gary Rhodes with Chef Ramakrishnan winning four night’s stay in Spain. The next event in the series is being planned for after the Summer. The winning recipe will appear in the next issue of The Pro Chef ME.

“I only made one real mistake. I should have bought two lobsters but at least I saved Dhs 100!” - Chef Adnan Ramakrishnan.

10

The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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UP FRONT / out and about

Š Daniela Jeremijevic

WATCH OUT FOR THESE t.BSJF"OUPJOFUUF5FBNBEFPGGSFTIIBOE QJDLFEBQQMFTBOESPTFTGSPNUIF,JOHhT ,JUDIFO(BSEFOPG7FSTBJMMFT t5IF.BJMMFTFMFDUJPOPGBSPNBUJDNVTUBSET t#BEPJUOBUVSBMMZTQBSLJOHXBUFS t5IFOFX&WJBOCPUUMFFNQIBTJTJOHJUT EJTUJODUQVSFOBUVSF t1BZTBO#SFUPODSFQFTDFMFCSBUJOHSFHJPOBM DVMJOBSZIFSJUBHF t3FHJMBJUJTPOFPGPOMZBGFXGBUGSFFNJMLT BWBJMBCMFJOUIFNBSLFU t7BMSIPOBTOFXDIPDPMBUF #BIJCF-BDUĂŠF

A taste of France It’s a concept that just gets better every year! Apèritif à la française is a showcase for French food and beverage companies and brands in all sectors, open to chefs, F&B directors and the trade. This evening of tasting and networking is organised by Sopexa with support from the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

Apèritif Ă  la française is being held in Dubai for the tenth consecutive year on June 9th at The Westin. Under the patronage of HE Michel Miraillet, the French Ambassador to the UAE, it’s organised by SOPEXA to promote French gastronomy and art de vivre in the UAE. "We are delighted to host Apèritif Ă  la française for the 10th consecutive year in Dubai. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the public and private sectors, brands and trade organisations to showcase the best of France’s food and beverage industry‚" says Edwina Salvatori, Marketing Manager for SOPEXA Middle East. According to Yassine Rami, MD of SOPEXA Middle East, "France is one of the major players in supplying high quality food and beverage products to the UAE - a country where France has increased its overall food exports by 18% in 2013 versus 2012. We conďŹ dently expect French brands to carry on their development by expanding their market shares and beneďŹ ting from the very positive growth trend in the years to come." Organised as an evening of networking, product sampling and tasting, Apèritif Ă  la française in Dubai connects partner brands with on-trade professionals, importers and retailers brought together for the event with the objective of boosting brand exposure among key market

France is one of the major players in supplying high quality food and beverage products to the UAE.â€? - Yassine Rami, MD, SOPEXA Middle East players and taking full advantage of commercial opportunities in the Emirates. And, since the French are very engaged with the aesthetics of their food, expect an artistic and large display of dairy products, breads, fruits, chocolates, biscuits, seafood, meat, ďŹ ne groceries, syrups as well as a wide selection of beverages including tea, bottled water, syrups, lemonades and more in very authentic French atmosphere. Aperitif Ă  la française is a world experience which will be held in Copenhagen, Hong-Kong, Milan, Montreal, New-York, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Dusseldorf, Paris and Dubai. This Autumn the ďŹ rst consumer edition will offer the UAE population the best French brands have to offer. For further information: www.aperitif2014dubai.sopexame.com

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UP FRONT / the eggs factor

Italian passion Executive Chef at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Cladys Magagna is a busy man, with seven restaurants, a large banqueting operation and over 100 staff to oversee. So what is lurking in his fridge at home to refresh him after service?

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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the eggs factor / UP FRONT

B

orn in Piedmont, Chef Cladys Magagna still relishes the food of his native region, his eyes glazing over as we talk of truffles. Aged 20, he enrolled into culinary school and then worked in Botticella in northern Italy. From there, he ventured abroad to Vienna. “We lived near a lake so there was always lots of fish,” he recalls. “My mother worked part-time so spent hours in the kitchen and I used to love watching her and then cooking came naturally to me. We had our own vegetable garden, grew our own herbs, produced our own EVOO, got chickens and rabbits from my grandfather.” After Vienna, he had the chance to move to New York City as there was a great buzz about the city

that he wanted to be a part of. His career took a sideways shift as manager and teacher at the Italian Culinary Institute, as well as ovewrseeing Italian Cooking & Living and The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana. However, he never forgot his roots. “A good Italian chef is really about regional cuisine and good authentic food. The problem with taking Italian regional cuisine into the fine dining arena is that people expect more ingredients to upgrade the food. But it doesn’t always need truffles or whatever - just quality, simplicity and presentation. I’m still an Italian - simple food with EVOO and sea salt! I believe that food lovers like to find a restaurant with good food, great ingredients and personal service. It’s that simple.”

EVOO The queen of the kitchen is extra virgin olive oil, but never keep it in the fridge! With its six thousand years of history, I can almost cry if I try an amazing extra virgin olive oil! Make sure you keep it away from the heat and always store it in a dark place. Pour it everywhere - it's that simple! EVOO was the reason I became a chef!

In my fridge

a perfect trio with first three items are a - Anchovies - the ta sauce as well as pas e nic y ver a ke which you can do for appetisers. Ma at gre e y’r the s tasting salad, plu n anchovies. d quality of Italia sure to buy a goo - Capers. . ine’! When I - Kalamata olives ‘any illness medic - Garlic - this is my , flu, stomach pain and fever for gh am sick with a cou cloves before I go three to six garlic instance, I swallow ch better - the only mu l fee I y da t to sleep and the nex will sleep in the other room! wife thing is that my - Lemon. - Eggs. - Milk. a - Yoghurt. o, the chefs placed I worked in Mexic es - Tomatoes - when y burned themselv the en wh in sk ir tomato slice on the than any cream ter bet ch mu rks and it honestly wo om tomatoes at rmally buy heirlo e on the planet! I no t for a salad or a nic fec per d an eet sw Waitrose - really tomato sauce. - Fresh parsley. - Carrots. - Potatoes. - White onion. be. - Chicken stock cu my fridge but iano - the king of - Parmigiano Regg Grana Padano, which is also h wit buying already don’t confuse it I consider it a crime good, but less rich. . ful aw it's d grated Parmesan make a risotto an e day I used this to ce then it's has - Lychee juice - on , so sin ece rpi ste ma a be it turned out to food shopping. become part of my - Turkey breast. - Avocado.

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June 2014 Mayy /2014 20 The 14 4 Pro / The T Th he he Chef Pro Pro o Middle Chef C ef Ch ef Middle Mid M East i dle id d East dl East

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FEATURES / market focus

With airline food so universally poor, unless you’re sitting in First Class, an increasing number of international airports are not looking at celebrity and high proďŹ le chefs to provide excellent food airside by mid-June, for example, Heathrow will have three from Ramsay, Blumenthal and a quartet of female chefs. What are the prospects in the region?

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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market focus / FEATURES

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hat is it about flying at 30,000 feet that makes food so inedible and tasteless? Put at its simplest, at high altitudes our taste buds just don’t work properly. That’s why recent research has shown that the best in-flight drink to go for, assuming you drink, is a Bloody Mary - the unami in the tomatoes is strong enough to overcome the environmental issues. Of course, airlines do employ celebrity chefs to try to make in-flight food more palatable: Qatar Airways with Vineet Bhatian, Virgin with Luke Mangan, Singapore Airlines with Carlo Cracco, Air France with Joel Robuchon and British Airways with Heston Blumenthal, but all too often the chefs’ focus is on the front of the plane and Economy passengers still suffer. Take Emirates, for example: its in-flight cuisine has been highly praised but, whilst First Class passengers dine on lobster tail, wild Iranian caviar and glazed duck breast, back in Economy it’s still seasonal salad and chicken. The other major problems, apart from taste, are logistics and costs. Basically a flight is trying to do 450 covers with no on-board cooking, unreliable and inconsistent on-board reheating plus a number of variables of meal types. So it’s lowest common denominator time, especially as the risk of foodborne illness could be so damaging to the airline. And costs? One airline realised that if it removed olives from salads, then it would save $3m a year so don’t expect little touches of luxury. This is why, increasingly, passengers are opting to take their own food on board. Meal service on flights out of Hong Kong can consist of little more than jugs of boiling water to fill up the pots of noodles chosen by passengers. And it’s also the reason that so many internal flights in the US have now descended to another circle of hell, with large amounts of fatty fast food odours competing with excess passenger sizes to make your flight scarcely bearable. But there is a solution - one that is gaining

Blumenthal and Palmer-Watts

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WHERE ELSE CAN YOU EAT SUPREMELY WELL AT AIRPORTS? Geneva International Airport Altitude is run by Chefs Gilles Dupont and Thomas Byrne, whose joint restaurants include the Michelin-starred Dupont & Byrne. Expect classic French food with a three course meal including dishes like Brittany sole meunière style or beef carpaccio for $75. Toronto Pearson International Airport Opening next year is Asian Kitchen by Susur Lee offering bistro-style food showing off the chef’s French and Chinese influences. Already in place is Chef Massimo Capra’s Boccone Trattoria, which guarantees service within ten minutes and a completed meal within 30.

The Gorgeous Kitchen team traction worldwide and one that Heathrow will lead this month. It’s the celebrity airside restaurant. The news is timely because Heston Blumenthal is about to open The Perfectionists’ Café in Terminal 2, with a potential annual footfall of 20 million passengers. Final details of the menu are still being worked out with Executive Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, but it is widely reported as being inspired by Blumenthal’s In Search of Perfection TV series and will feature nostalgic favourites. "We want to deliver a broad spectrum of easy to enjoy, familiar dishes from fish and chips to pizza, with some truly British eccentricity thrown in for good measure,” Blumenthal explains. The Perfectionists’ Café joins Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, airside in Terminal 5 since 2008. It opened at a cost of £2.5m and early reports focused on security issues such as the restriction on the use of gas for cooking and the need for extra vigilance with cutlery. Starters include a pea, leek and goat cheese tart, while mains include steamed sea bass with lemongrass and white asparagus. At launch, Ramsay compared its style to a cross between The Ivy, his own Boxwood Cafe and The Wolseley. In an interesting move, the restaurant also supplies takeaway cool boxes designed to be taken on flights to eat instead of airline food. There are up to four choices for each of three courses, including a tiger prawn and watercress salad or roast beef with truffle with a green bean salad. And next up is The Gorgeous Kitchen, also Terminal 2. This is a concept developed by four local chefs - Gee Charman (former chef at Kensington Palace and right-hand woman of Gordon Ramsay), Sophie Michell (executive chef of Pont St, Jo Pratt (TV chef and book author) and Caroline Mi Li Artiss (one of the first chefs to be

San Francisco International Airport TV chef and restaurateur Cat Cora’s Kitchen deliver typical California style dishes using organic, seasonal ingredients, with small plates such as salt roasted beets at under $15. Costa del Sol Airport, Malaga, Dani Garcia DeliBar Modern tapas with Garcia’s twists such as cherry gazpacho and his famous oxtail burger. Sit at the bar or grab dishes for your flight. Hong Kong International Airport, Hung’s Delicacies His main oultet is starred but this serves the same marinated meats. Prices up to $20 a plate for main attraction of slices of marinated goose. Los Angeles International Airport, ink. sack Sandwich bar by Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio delivers tiny crusty baguettes crammed with cold fried chicken or Spanish cured meats at under $10 a snack. El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Porta Gaig Owned by one of Barcelona’s top chefs, Carles Gaig, runs the city’s Michelin-starred Gaig. Here he offers classic tapas or modern Catalan dishes like slow-braised beef cheeks. LaGuardia Airport, New York, Prime Tavern Chef Michael Lomonaco of NYC steakhouse Porterhouse offers typical diner favourites such as lobster rolls or prime cuts of dryaged steak and hearty burgers.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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FEATURES / market focus

discovered on YouTube. Specialising in beautiful global cuisine made utilising British-grown produce, the dishes are designed to suit every type of guest. Think Sweetcorn and coriander fritters served with sweet chilli cream cheese and king prawns or Maple and Bourbon glazed pork belly with Waldorf salad and chorizo toad-in-the-hole. Key to the expected success is an express menu delivering a spectacular speed of service that will allow travellers to enjoy a meal within 15 minutes. In addition, Heathrow is to offer more healthy eating options following a comprehensive review of F&B by John Torode and Gregg Wallace, in which they ate their way around the UK's hub airport in 80 plates and then set Heathrow a sixmonth challenge to improve the airport dining experience. So, for example, healthy eating symbols in restaurant directories and brochures will help customers pick the healthiest options in each terminal. Other healthier outlets such as YO! Sushi and Carluccios will join the mix. In all this,

It’s also the reason that so many internal flights in the US have now descended to another circle of hell, with large amounts of fatty fast food odours competing with excess passenger sizes to make your flight scarcely bearable. the airport is building on the success it had in 2012 and 2011 when it was awarded Best Airport Food and Beverage and World's Best Airport Food at the Food and Beverage awards for its diverse food offering. According to Ben Crowley, Head of F&B at the airport,”We've been recognised on a global level but for us this is not enough. We want to continue to innovate to be the best in our league for airport dining.” In Dubai’s quest to become a leading global F&B centre, can it be long before the dining options at our airports aren’t dramatically upgraded. Granted

we see a wide variety of nationalities passing through and a vast majority of economy travellers, but isn’t the same true of the Emirate and that supports numerous five-star dining options. Levels of investment would be high, of course, but we can’t help but feel that outlets like Qbara or La Petite Maison or Zuma or Rivington Grill would make a killing across the various concourses. An informal sampling of food enthusiasts reveal a large number ready to check in extra early for their next flight for even something as simple as a decent seafood platter.

Lounge snack - really?

Dishes at Altitude

Top Air at Stuttgart Airport

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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FEATURES / country focus

Pepper pot beef stew

A taste of Canada Proudly standing as the second largest country in the world, it’s no secret that with Canada’s mix of ethnic backgrounds, restaurant-heavy culinary industry and vast landscape, it can be quite challenging to pinpoint what exactly Canadian cuisine is all about. With a heavy focus on dairy products and processed grain, certain cooked vegetables and farm-grown beef and chicken tending to dominate a meal, we wonder what popularity the nation has developed in the ever-expanding F&B industry of the Middle East. Talking to Canadian professionals, we learn there is quite a selection of products being used in this region. THE CANADIAN CHEF e ask Canadian Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Eric Meloche, for his views on the Canadian market in the Middle East. How much demand do you believe there is in the Middle East, for Canadian produce? Well, from what I’ve seen in the market the three main products being used here in the UAE are Canadian maple syrup, east coast lobster and Canadian beef.

look at it even on a global scale this product is really high up there in terms of quality. Here at the hotel we are just changing our syrups over to a beautiful maple syrup from Quebec, because I find many of the market alternatives here are actually corn syrup-based, rather than maple. In terms of products in demand, I would say the above mentioned are most popular. Alberta beef is a fantastic product although it has not gained a lot of popularity in the market, although the veal from Quebec is a premium product that is appearing on menus more often now.

Is there anything specific that you think is most in demand here, from Canada? I’d say there is definitely a high demand for Canadian maple syrup in the Middle East. If you

Which Canadian product holds the most potential in this market? Montreal smoked meat is a great product - it’s a type of deli meat that’s made by curing beef brisket

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

Mi'kmaq tribe

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country focus / FEATURES

Cattle Rockies

PRODUCE A-PLENTY Canada has been viewed for a long time as a commodity supplying country - wheat, barley, oil seeds and pulses) - there is more and more interest and knowledge about Canadian quality value added products such as snack bars, cereals, processed meat, maple syrup, high end bottled water, jams and jellies. Canada offers high end meat, beef and lamb that are much in demand with many chefs in the UAE are using Canadian meat in their menus. Demand is increasing. Canada also is a supplier of high quality seafood like scallops, salmon, mussels, crabs and sable fish. Gize water

with spices and it makes a really good sandwich. Our smoked fish is also fantastic. We use Canadian smoked salmon in some of our food outlets. Do you insist on using any Canadian produce within your kitchen? I would not say I insist on using Canadian product, however, if I have two premium products to choose from and one is Canadian, my patriotism may come through. In terms of Canadian product in the hotel, we work closely with a fellow Canadian by the name of Bahir Keldany who owns Al Fumo, an artisan smokehouse who supplies us with Montreal

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smoked meat that we feature in two of our restaurants. Bahir also produces amazing smoked fish and applies the techniques he learned from the Mi’kmaq tribe on the East Coast of Canada. THE CANADIAN SUPPLIERS Catering to the Middle East region, F&B suppliers Robert Serapiglia, director, market development and innovations at Canada Beef and Babak Alikaram, export manager of Gize Canadian Mineral Water, share their opinions. What are the current market trends that

you’re both observing? Robert Serapiglia: Demand trends in various markets in the Middle East vary from country to country. With the growth of the expatriate workforce, the rise in nationals from the Middle East being educated in the west, the expansion in tourism, hosting of global events and a rapidly growing population, the demand for grain finished, well-marbled Canadian beef and milkfed, grain finished veal for the premium sector is on the rise. Middle meats from the rib and loin primal areas are always in high demand in the premium market sector. As Canadian beef gains in

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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FEATURES / country focus

ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THINGS UNIQUELY CANADIAN?

popularity, we have seen an increase in the variety of cuts that are being utilised in the Middle East, to enhance menus. Also, non-traditional cutting strategies are being used to satisfy the medallion concept that consumers prefer. In markets like Saudi Arabia, where beef from the USA is banned, the timing is ideal to develop Canadian branded programmes that offer premium grain finished, well-marbled, tender and juicy beef products. What products are most in demand from the Canadian market? Serapiglia: Canada consumes approximately half of the beef it produces which leaves that other half available for export market opportunities. Since there are limitations on volumes, Canada Beef focuses its market development activities to premium markets on the global scale. In the Middle East the products in most demand come

from the loin, rib and hip sections of the animal. In 2013 tenderloin saw an increase of 7%, insides increased 23%, rib-eye rose 12% and striploin down slightly to 10%. Total grain fed beef rose to 40% dominated at retail by insides, followed by peeled knuckles. Babak Alikaram: We are delighted by the feedback we are receiving in the Middle East as luxury is booming and coming from this region in particular. Gize epitomises luxury and purity – two things which are valued in the Middle East. It is our goal to establish Gize as a non-alcoholic counterpart to beverages such as champagne, fine wines etc. That is why we not only offer Gize in its classic form with and without carbonation, but also in three flavours. Gize is the ideal product for all places that are exclusive such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, clubs, bars or lounges, not to mention first class caterers, again all of which are high in supply in this region. We also meet high demand in the private sector, especially for weddings. How does the market differ in the Middle East to Canada? Serapiglia: Halal ritual harvest is mandatory for countries in the Middle East, which comes at a higher cost. Domestic markets have limited share of wallet in these categories where export markets are willing to pay a premium for grain finished, well-marbled beef. What are your future expectations for the Canadian market in this region? Serapiglia: Specific niche regions within MENA,

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

Poutine: French fries smothered with gravy and lumps and white cheese curd – not the healthiest of dishes, but delicious! Butter tart: A flaky pastry shell filled with a rich, sugary mixture of buttery baked cream and raisins. Beaver tail: Don’t worry, it contains no actual beaver. Instead, a hearty chunk of deepfried dough, usually covered in sugar and cinnamon. All things maple: The edible national symbol of Canada. The country is home to all sorts of maple-flavoured cookies, sweats and desserts. Rye bread: Rye is a grain that tends to grow well in cold temperatures, making it a natural Canadian crop. 'Canadian-style' rye bread tends to be fairly light and fluffy. Montreal smoked beef sandwich: thick, peppery slices of spiced beef cold cuts served on equally thick rye bread. Tourtiere: A savoury pie made with ground beef and spices. Game meat: Abundant in Canada, game meat such as reindeer, boar, venison, caribou and rabbit, can be found in butchers, restaurants and homes across Canada.

like Saudi Arabia and UAE, will drive the demand for premium beef and veal products to sustain the growing wealthy population, both indigenous and expatriate, as well as supplying the premium demands of the tourism industries. As the demand for halal products continues to grow along with the population and the economy, Canada is in a strong position to satisfy niche demands from the premium retail, food service and quick service restaurant sectors. Alikaram: Canadian products enjoy a high status in the Middle East. So we are expecting to receive further interesting business opportunities. The source in spa springs boasts a very long tradition. It is one of the oldest sources in North America and was revered by the Mi’kmaq people as a fountain of youth. Gize is a top-tier water and is the only mineral water in the world that is refined using a special gold-filtering process, which we believe there is a growing market for in the Middle East.

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The gold-filtered mineral water from Canada is the epitome of luxury and pleasure in their purest form. As a non-alcoholic counterpart to beverages such as champagne, fine wines, aperitifs and cocktails, Gize is the ideal drink for people interested in luxury who like to celebrate life’s special moments without alcohol. This luxury water is available as Still and Sparkling, as well as in four sophisticated flavours. Only in the finest hotels, restaurants & bars. Order via MAN Investments · Tel. +971-4259 9995 · www.minvestments.com Gize – The Luxury Drink · www.gize.com


CHEFS / pimp my plate

“I’m familiar with Portuguese cuisine because of my ancestors, I had not heard of this particular dish before so coming up with a modern take challenged me slightly.”

Sabor de Portugal! Challenged with taking the traditional Portuguese dish ‘arroz de tamboril com gambas’, or monkfish rice with prawns as we know it, Dannet D’Souza, Chef de Cuisine at Jumeirah Creekside’s Blue Flame, presents his take on the dish using all the same ingredients to create a most technically inspired dish!

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lthough he grew up in Bangalore, Chef de Cuisine Dannet D’Souza’s roots lie in Goa so he is no stranger to Portugal’s cuisine. Tasked with reinventing the typical seafood dish arroz de tamboril com gambas and accompanied by Blue Flame’s Junior Sous Chef Mohammed Sufyan, he reconstructed the dish using the same ingredients to create a completely new take on the original, stew-like recipe. Equipped with ingredients from the recipe best known for its flavourful collaboration of spices, herbs and

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

seafood, Chef Dannet explained that: “I’ll be reinventing this dish using a very modern approach and, unlike the original, my dish will not be heavy or a stew. I hope to create many different textures and flavours using the provided ingredients.” So, how did chef Dannet feel about taking on this challenge? “If I’m honest, although I’m familiar with Portuguese cuisine because of my ancestors, I had not heard of this particular dish before so coming up with a modern take challenged me slightly. However, I found the ingredients very simple and the seafood elements are something

I’m very familiar with from my childhood in India, it almost reminded me of Spanish paella.” Was it successful enough to make it onto the menu at Blue Flame? “Our menu is a combination of very modern surf and turf from all over the world, with a big focus on drawing out new textures of combinations from the everyday ingredients. I’d have to check with our Executive Chef, but I’m sure this dish is something we could add to our menu as it has been fully re-adapted to suit what we do here. I’ll explore textures from liquid to crisp!”

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pimp my plate / CHEFS

ARROX DE TAMBORIL COM GAMBAS, BLUE FLAME STYLE SERVES 4 MONKFISH TAIL Ingredients 240g monkfish tail 20ml olive oil 10g butter 3ml lemon juice salt and pepper METHOD ∙ Fillet monkfish tail, clean all the fat and skin, then roll each fillet tight in cling film and cut to 240g portions. Vacuum pack the portions on high with 10ml olive oil then cook in a water bath at 59.5C for ten minutes, then remove and cool in ice water. Once cold, cut into four portions of 60g, season and pan fry in a hot non-stick pan till golden on both sides. Finish with butter and lemon juice, then drain on a paper towel. thin and mix with sliced shallots, chopped roasted garlic and coriander leaves. Season and mix with olive oil.

MONKFISH CHEEK INGREDIENTS 4 monkfish cheeks 5g butter 3ml lemon juice 10ml olive oil salt and pepper METHOD ∙ Clean the monkfish cheeks of any sinew and fat, season and pan fry in a hot non-stick pan till golden and cooked through. Finish with butter and lemon juice, then remove and drain on a paper towel.

RED PEPPER SALSA INGREDIENTS 1 red pepper 10g shallot 2 garlic cloves, garlic 3g coriander leaves 5ml olive oil salt and pepper METHOD ∙ Deep fry red pepper in oil until the skin blisters, then cool in ice water and remove the skin and seeds. Slice

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10g tomato 5ml saffron water 5ml olive oil 50ml monkfish stock 10ml white wine salt and pepper METHOD

∙ Blend the shrimps with seasoning into a fine paste then store in chiller.

∙ Sauté the chopped shallots and garlic in olive oil till PAPRIKA OIL POWDER INGREDIENTS 20ml olive oil 2g paprika powder 6g tapioca maltodextrin salt METHOD ∙ Mix the olive oil and paprika in a small pot then heat for two minutes on a low flame. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature, then strain. Mix the oil with maltodextrin and salt. Keep air tight without any moisture.

SHRIMP AND RICE DUMPLING INGREDIENTS 125g shrimps salt and pepper 125g long grain rice, cooked 5g shallots 1g garlic 1g coriander

translucent. Add tomato and cook for one more minute. Deglaze with white wine, saffron water and stock. Bring to a boil and add the rice and season, then cook on a low flame till most of the liquid has reduced. Season, add the coriander and cool. ∙ For the dumlings, portion the rice into four balls of 15g and two of 8g. Spread the shrimp paste on the palm of your hand, using a little oil so the shrimp does not stick. Put the rice in the centre of the paste and slowly close the paste around the rice. Roll carefully to form a clean round shape, then chill for one hour. Steam in a dim sum basket for six minutes. Use one 15g portion and half an 8g portion for each dish.

CRISPY RICE INGREDIENTS 20g long grain rice, cooked salt oil for frying METHOD ∙ Dehydrate the rice at 54C for two hours. Deep fry

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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CHEFS / pimp my plate

in oil for ten seconds at 180C till crispy, then strain on a paper towel and season.

∙ Blend all ingredients except the methyl for ten minutes till smooth and strain then, using a hand blender, mix in the methyl. ∙ Using a small scoop, slowly let the mixture sit in hot ∙ water till the hot mousse is formed. Remove from the water, drain and drizzle with olive oil.

500ml water 10 egg whites salt METHOD

∙ Roast the shrimp shells and monkish bones in an oven at 180C for five minutes.

∙ Sauté the diced onions and garlic till translucent in a SHRIMP CRACKER INGREDIENTS 25g shrimps 25g tapioca flour salt and pepper METHOD ∙ Blend the shrimps with tapioca flour and seasoning till a smooth paste. Roll in a cling film and steam for one hour in a dim sum basket then freeze overnight. ∙ Slice in a slicing machine on level one thickness. Dry the slices in a dehydrator at 60C for three hours then deep fry in oil at 170C till fluffy and crispy. Season.

SHRIMP GLAZE INGREDIENTS 250ml shrimp stock 10ml cream salt

heavy bottom pan. Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes, then add the diced tomato. Add the peppercorns and bay leaves and deglaze with white wine. Followed by the shells and bones and then the stocks. Let it simmer on a low heat till reduced by half the season and strain carefully through a chinois and muslin cloth. Clarify using egg whites, strain again and check seasoning.

METHOD ∙ Reduce the shrimp stock on a low flame till almost a glaze. Add the cream and cook for three minutes continuously mixing with a spatula so the glaze does not stick. Taste and season. CORIANDER SALSA VERDE INGREDIENTS 100g coriander leaves 20ml olive oil 2g coriander powder salt

GAZPACHO MOUSSE INGREDIENTS 280g tomato, deseeded 70g red pepper, skinned and deseeded 50g white onion 25ml extra virgin olive oil 10g white balsamic 2g garlic, roasted 2ml lemon juice 6g methyl salt and pepper METHOD

SHRIMP AND MONKFISH FUMET INGREDIENTS 1 white onion 5 garlic cloves 2 tomatoes 5g tomato paste 4 black peppercorns 2 bay leaves 50ml white wine 10 shrimp shells 1 monkfish bone and head 500ml shrimp stock 750ml monkfish stock

METHOD ∙ Blanch the coriander leaves in boiling salted water for ten seconds and immediately shock in ice water. Squeeze out all the water as much as possible. Blend the leaves with the olive oil. Season and add the coriander powder.

ARROZ DE TAMBORIL COM GAMBAS INGREDIENTS 450g diced monkfish 10 medium sized shrimps 200g long grain rice 1 onion chopped 3 garlic cloves chopped 2tsp olive oil 1 ripe tomato chopped 1 pepper chopped 1 bay leaf 100ml white wine 1tsp paprika 1 fish bouillon cube salt and pepper

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

parsley and coriander METHOD ∙ Simmer the olive oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, chopped pepper, paprika and chopped tomatoes on medium heat for two to three minutes. ∙ ∙ Then add the bay leaf, fish bouillon cube, a bit of chopped parsley or coriander, a pinch of salt and pepper and the white wine. Add monkfish and prawns to the saucepan and bring it to a boil, then add the rice and 3/4 cup water and leave to boil for ten minutes, or until the rice is done ∙ When ready, pour it in a large bowl and cover with parsley or coriander.

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CHEFS / face to face

“II think on ne of the big ggestt chang ges to the foo od scene has bee en changes in work hab bits, though that’s as true of Europe as the US. In Fran nce, forr example, people no lo onger go home for lu unch but instead grab a sandw wich. People don’tt know how to cook an ny more e.”

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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face to face / CHEFS

With a food empire that spans much more than 20 fine dining restaurants, you’d think chef/restauranteur and Wolfgang Puck might think about slowing down a bit as he approaches 65. No, he says, as more books, catering contracts, casual restaurants, licensed products and more continue to flow from the man whose bold style helped redefine the fine dining scene in the US. In town for the countdown to his first Middle East venture, he explains why he’s still excited by the business.

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olfgang Puck didn’t have an easy start in the small Austrian town of Sankt Veit an der Glan. His father abandoned his mother before he was born, later remarrying. He disliked his stepfather and left home as soon as he could, working almost five years in a kitchen before realising that this was the job he wanted for life. He moved to Indianapolis in 1973 then to Los Angeles two years later where he began his meteoric rise, his easy familiarity with celebrities and his pivotal position in turning Californian cuisine into a national favourite. Puck learned cooking from his mother, who sometimes worked as a pastry chef. Aged 14 and encouraged by his mother, he took an apprenticeship under Raymond Thuilier at L’Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence, then worked later at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and at Maxim’s Paris. Aged 24, he joined the team at La Tour in Indianapolis and, two years later, moved to Los Angeles to become chef and part owner at Ma Maison. His first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen, in 1981 based on his Ma Maison recipes, led to him opening Spago on the Sunset Strip a year later, replaced by Spago Beverly Hills in 1997 - widely recognised as one of America’s top 40 restaurants and now holding two Michelin stars Since then, he has created an empire: over 20 fine dining restaurants, 40 restaurants in the US premium catering services sector, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, kitchen and food merchandise, cookbooks and canned foods. And, finally, he’s entered the Middle East market with CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Address Downtown. In a restaurant in the last stages of fit-out, he found time to sit with us amongst the drilling and painting! Why so late to the Middle East? Are we late? I don’t think so. I was here about eight years ago as a guest of a member of the Abu

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Well, produce of course. I’m here just at the wrong time but on my next visit, I’m going out to the farms and to Oman. I’ll make a trip back just for that. Across the region, I think there is great potential - I remember being very excited by the fish market in Bahrain. But it’s very different from the produce scene in California, isn’t it? You know, there are similar challenges everywhere. Look at Scandinavia and the whole shift to foraging - amazing food but there are no fresh vegetables in winter. Just like when I was growing up in Austria, my family had a cellar and stored food. Now we’re all so used to being able to get anything at any time. What got you into this business in the first place? To be honest, it gave me an opportunity to get away from my stepfather. We did not have a good relationship.

Dhabi royal family to look at possibilities in the capital but the market wasn’t ready. I remember we stayed at Jumeirah Beach in a villa and the chef, an Indian, served quite ‘international’ food. I asked if he’d cook something from his home for me and that was excellent but really then the best place to eat was Buddha Bar. Now I think the time is right and we’ll do what we always do whiuch is do things better than anyone else. Now we expect lots of others to follow us here.

Yet you still use his name. Had you never thought to change it? No, that was not something I ever really thought about. I’m not sure why. Anyway, I left home and I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do. I was 18 or 19, working at the 3-star L’Oustau de Baumanière under Raymond Thuilier. One day, I just realised that he was the kind of person I wanted to become. He had energy and passion especially for produce and, most importantly, he was determined to be better every day. He was also a painter, something I’d be if I hadn’t become a chef.

We have had a good selection of other leading chefs here, of course... Yes, but I do believe that we change a market. Look at CUT in Singapore - we got all the details right and now it’s the number one restaurant for meat in Asia. Same in London - CUT is still the best.

What’s your chief characteristic, would you say? Most of us have to be reactive in life, leaving it to the youngsters to take the risks. However, for me, I still like to take risks as we did with Spago.

What are the particular challenges here?

The secret of success?

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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CHEFS / face to face

It’s all about repetition. In this business it’s hard work and talent that work together to make success, but the more hard work the better. The more you’re able to replicate quality the better. Opening a new restaurant like this is like putting on a play with all the excitement, but we have to deliver service after service. It’s also important to have original ideas - I think, back in 1982, that we were about the ďŹ rst at Spago to have an open kitchen. I think my pizza with goat’s cheese was a game changer and so on. Of the various brands and options, why did you decide on CUT for Dubai? It’s perhaps the easiest concept to roll out to multiple locations - meat and ďŹ sh kept simple but delivered with perfect execution. I’m a great fan of simplicity - young chefs tend to add to much, to overcomplicate. Give me a simple grill. It’s food that you can eat often, maybe several times a week. As food gets more and more complicated, you want to eat it less often. At the end of the day, you need to ask: is this food for the customer or the critic? I believe that customers are our greatest critics. So customers are always right? What’s your take on the whole fad for social media, online reviews, Instagram and so on? Everybody now in some sense is a food critic - it’s a crazy thing but customers want it. As a young chef, I didn’t need the media; now, I’m on Twitter. But for me, personally, I’d rather read a newspaper! Although CUT has ďŹ sh options, it has a serious meat focus. Where are you sourcing from? At present, Japan and Australia. I want to bring in some Austrian meat too - after all, it’s good enough for Robuchon in Paris! What keeps you interested and excited by what you do? The fact there’s always something new, I think. For instance, this new outlet - I’ll probably be here six times in the ďŹ rst year and then reduce that. The thing to remember is that I’m not alone - I have a great team and they develop all the time. I do what I love to do but I realise I can’t keep up the pace. Now I’m 64, I need to reorder my life a little so, instead of making speciďŹ c trips, now I’ll combine them so maybe LA to London to Dubai to Singapore and then back to LA. A round trip twice a year would let me spend more time with my family, which is important to me. I’m not going to keep travelling constantly. What will take its place? I’m working now on setting up an experimental kitchen in LA, using lots of new technology, which will allow us to discover the absolute best way to cook anything. People ask is this is like the elBulli research lab but it’s not really - don’t get me wrong, I love Ferran’s work and expertise but I couldn’t say which single dish of his I’d want to eat.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

PUCK’S FINE DINING RESTAURANTS t4QBHP#FWFSMZ)JMMT -PT"OHFMFT t4QBHP -BT7FHBT t4QBHP.BVJ t4QBHP#FBWFS$SFFL t$IJOPJTPO.BJO 4BOUB.POJDB t1PTUSJP 4BO'SBODJTDP t1PTUSJP -BT7FHBT t5SBUUPSJBEFM-VQP -BT7FHBT t$65-POEPO t$65#FWFSMZ)JMMT t$65-BT7FHBT t$65.BSJOB#BZ4BOET 4JOHBQPSF t'JWF4JYUZ %BMMBT t5IF4PVSDF 8BTIJOHUPO %$ t8PMGHBOH1VDL#( -PT"OHFMFT t8PMGHBOH1VDL 8BMU%JTOFZ8PSME t8PMGHBOH1VDL4UFBL .(.(SBOE%FUSPJU t8PMGHBOH1VDL"NFSJDBO(SJMMF #PSHBUB )PUFM$BTJOP "UMBOUJD$JUZ t4QSJOHT1SFTFSWF$BGðª -BT7FHBT t81CZ8PMGHBOH1VDL 5IF3JU[$BSMUPO -PT"OHFMFT t8PMGHBOH1VDL1J[[FSJB $VDJOB -BT7FHBT t+BJCZ8PMGHBOH1VDL -B+PMMB $BMJGPSOJB  And now... $65%VCBJ 5IF"EESFTT%PXOUPXO

What we’re doing instead, for example, is to take salmon and work out that the best way, the most consistent way to get quality is to cook it and then ďŹ nish it on the grill. So you’re getting back to what you love, the cooking? Yes, nowadays you can’t be a chef without also being a businessman. If you haven’t got good numbers, then you’re out of business. What I do now is a more complicated life than the one I

used to have, but I still love simple pleasures like going to a ďŹ sh market or a farm. I have one rule, though - I go home every day at 5pm and cook for my children. That I really enjoy. Food for me is more enjoyable than being in the ofďŹ ce, but the ďŹ nancial side is part of the deal and, frankly, I don’t hate it so much that I won’t do it. Are you like most chefs, dreaming one day of a simple place on the beach, grilling ďŹ sh and cooking barefoot? Not exactly. I’d like a small restaurant that would only be for my friends. Invitation only. What would you have done if you hadn’t been a chef? An artist. Art is something I love even though I don’t really do it. I think it’s important that when you do something, you do it well. When you ďŹ rst moved to America after working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, were you surprised by the state of the food? Oh yes. I think the US has changed more in the last 30 years than anywhere else. When I arrived you couldn’t even get fresh basil. Napa Valley then had less than 40 vineyards - now there are more than 300. Nobody made fresh cheeses. People used to drink cocktails throughout a meal. And now has American food as a whole gone too far down the unhealthy route to be saved? Well, the good news is that many people are now paying more attention to what they eat and their nutrition but the reality remains that good ingredients are expensive. Sugar is the easiest paciďŹ er but I do believe we’re getting slowly better but real change will be down to the home cook. I think one of the biggest changes to the food scene has been changes in work habits, though that’s as true of Europe as the US. In France, for example, people no longer go home for lunch but instead grab a sandwich. People don’t know how to cook any more.

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CHEFS / face to face

A family affair

Heading the newly opened Don Alfonso restaurant located in Shangri La Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, we chat to Head Chef Christian de Nadai about his recent arrival to Dubai and his plans to differentiate his Italian, from others.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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face to face / CHEFS

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ith an interest in cooking dating back to his traditional Italian upbringing, Chef Christian comes to Dubai from the two-Michelin-star restaurant Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata, Italy. Perfecting his approach to simple, artistic and traditional-style Italian dishes, under founder and owner of the restaurant, Chef Don Alfonso, Christian reveals that guests at Don Alfonso can expect nothing less than a warm welcome, home-style cooking, in a fine-dining environment. Following in his mentor’s footsteps, Christian has high hopes of maintaining the brand’s reputation for quality, serving up Mediterranean flavours straight from the family’s recipe book. What inspired you to become a chef? Well, I am from Treviso in Italy, where my father is an ironsmith and runs a family business. Naturally when I left school, it was expected I would become part of that, however I knew that field was not for me. Feeling inspired by the art of mixology and the prospects of working in the culinary industry, I enrolled in the hotel and catering school A Beltrame in Veneto, and this is where I discovered my passion for cooking. To conclude my training at the school, I was sent to the Don Alfonso restaurant for one month of work experience and was integrated to the culinary team there. After two weeks, I was offered the opportunity to stay on with the company after my month of training, which I accepted and haven’t looking back since. I don’t know where to past ten years have gone! Your thoughts so far on Dubai?

I moved to Dubai in November 2013 from our Marrakech restaurant, and so far think it’s a great place. Despite the obvious positives such as the growing economy, this place is all about quality and consistency, which is great when it comes to the culinary industry and I’m excited to introduce Don Alfonso into this market. Moving forward here I think my challenge is going to be bring the true authenticity of what Don Alfonso represents in Italy, which is a quality family-grown brand. There are many Italian restaurants around, what differentiates you from the rest? Don Alfonso was born a family restaurant 40 years ago, everything about it has been developed around Chef Alfonso and his family concept. The first impression our guests should get when they enter our restaurant is that they feel welcomed and at home, while still maintaining high quality, fine dining standards.Chef Alfonso and family decided to bring the restaurant to Dubai because of its reputation for quality, and quality is what we want to deliver. All products we use are also easily accessible and can be imported here. Tell me more about Don Alfonso and what you’re trying to create here. This is the fifth Don Alfonso restaurant, the others are located in Macau and Marrakech, plus another two in Italy. Here in Dubai, like in all our restaurants we want to achieve constant delivery of quality, authentic Italian food. Our approach is to focus on guest satisfaction and to help them understand that we represent 40 years of history in our food. Many people do not know that even

a simple Italian dish such as spaghetti with tomato sauce has taken a lot of research and testing to make it perfect, sourcing and using the best ingredients. Although we are very traditional, creativity in our kitchens is also encouraged. I hope to create an atmosphere that is not too formal, where our guests can feel free to make requests if they wish. At the end of the day, what is a restaurant without its guests? Food in Italy and restaurants there is one of the main parts of our life, hospitality is a huge thing and we take pride it that. It’s part of our culture. We want to keep this feel in our restaurant. What inspires your creativity in the kitchen? On our menu we have several signature dishes that are used in all Don Alfonso restaurants, however there is also space for me to experiment and try new things. I’m experimenting with local produce from the UAE and trying to incorporate them in the menu. We are only five restaurants so there is a very strong family feeling across our outlets and our chefs, we all communicate about their menus so that we offer consistency. I’m inspired by the simple things. Quality, simply Italian food is what I believe is the best, things such as high-standard olive oil and quality cheese, these things alone are simply perfect without over complicating the formula. Personally, I believe food becomes ruined when it is played around with and mixed too much. Simplicity is what I want. What is authentic Italian to you? What’s the secret behind true Italian cuisine? Authentic Italian food for me, is all about the

PAN SEARED KINGFISH WITH CITRUS ZEST, BABY CARROTS, FRESH GREEN PEAS AND GRILLED AVOCADO INGREDIENTS: 1.5kg kingfish fillet 50g salt 50g brown sugar 2pcs oranges 1 lemon 15 mint leaves ½ tsp of Sichuan pepper corns 140g green peas 200g baby carrots 300g carrots 1 avocado fresh basil METHOD: ∙ With a clean fillet of kingfish, cut to size until nice and thin, then leave the marinade in a mixture of salt and brown sugar for 30 minutes. ∙ After 30 minutes, wash the fillet and refrigerate. ∙ Using a zester, grate the skin of lemon and orange, then mix the zest with fresh mint leaves and Sichuan pepper corns. ∙ Roll up the marinated fish with lemon zest and pan

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fry in olive oil for no more than one minute, until all sides are seared. Cool. ∙ Prepare a fresh juice with the big carrots and cook the baby carrots in that juice. Keep them crunchy. ∙ Blanch green peas in salty boiling water and peel them. ∙ Cut the avocado into big chunks and grill one side.

∙ To plate, spread a small amount of reduced carrot juice, then place grilled avocado and green peas around the plate. Cut five slices of marinated kingfish and place onto the place. ∙ Whip up the remaining carrot juice with some olive oil to obtain a soft foam. ∙ Garnish with basil and carrot foam.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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CHEFS / face to face

ingredients and where they are sourced. In Italy it’s easy to have an authentic meal because locally grown products are in great supply and suit our cuisine perfectly, things such as the cheese, vegetables, wine, etc. is all great. The difference is made when restaurants venture outside of Italy and how they get their ingredients. Ours for instance mainly comes from Italy, including the Don Alfonso branded olive oil, the pasta and cheese. We do also try to incorporate some of the local fresh produce, without altering the flavours. What really infuriates me is when I visit other countries around the world and see eateries such as Mama Mia or Pizza World, whatever they are labelled as. Many duplicated outlets that are out there are simply rip off versions of true Italian and it upsets to me to think people go to these places and accept that just by adding a little parmesan cheese or mozzarella, they think this is Italian, and it is not. Italian food has been adopted and adapted around the world – what’s the key to keeping authenticity? You must have seen some bad adaptations on your travels? Yes, I have. But at the end of the day, these adaptations are just outlets with a name outside that is associated to Italy in some way. There are some many out there now that they have almost created another cuisine sector like ‘ItalianAmerican’. I really don’t like when I get requests for dishes such a spaghetti Alfredo or something like that, because this is not what we have in Italy, this is an American adaptation. It should be fettuccine, but people are so accustomed to seeing the wrong dishes around they believe it is authentic.

What do you think of Italian cuisine in Dubai, any favourites? Well, I’ve not been here long enough to try too many of them, but I’ve visited Roberto’s and that was a very nice experience, I really appreciated the food served there. When I’m off and relaxing, to be honest I’m a very big pizza lover and can’t go a week without it, so I’m slowly but surely working my way through all of the pizza outlets here in search of a winner. Is Italian cuisine evolving? What does the future hold? Over the last 20 years Italian cuisine has really evolved and changed because it’s gained a lot of exposure. Will it evolve further, I believe so. However, it’s important that we remain traditional too. We have signature dishes that the world knows us for, and if it’s liked, why change it? There is room for improvements in some areas, which for a chef is great for experimentation. We are surrounded by a lot of great Italian’s here in Dubai such as Roberto’s, BiCE, Alta Badia. I hope we can all learn from each other and represent our cuisine proudly. Is there a chef you look up to? I honestly have to say Don Alfonso, he has influenced my career completely from the beginning. My first encounter with him was in the kitchen just as I came out of culinary school and trained under me. He has changed my life, not only job-wise but also personally and the attitude I have about life. He has always been supportive and I’ve never felt alone during my career with him. We are not born to work, we are born to live and to have

both things together is a blessing, once you live to work, your life will reflect badly because of this. But Don Alfonso is always uplifting, there is always colour in the kitchen and a lot of moral support He’s a great motivator. I remember actually during one of my first days with Don Alfonso, before I had met him, I was in the kitchen plating a dessert as I saw him enter. Under pressure and nervous, my hands got very shaky and the ice cream just plopped onto the plate and looked terrible. I was completely embarresed, but he just smiled and said “not to worry, I’m sure the next one will be better.” He has a very calming personality and he helps you learn in a very calming manner. Directive but in a very soft way. Any advice to other chefs? It’s all about the passion. Being in the kitchen it’s a very strong environment and it can test a person sometimes, serving people is a difficult thing because they always want to be served correctly, so you’re always facing expectation. There will be times where you’re unable to satisfy everyone, and it will be the passion that gets you through moments like these. Allow people to influence you, have an open mind and be influenced by things going on around. Any further expansion plans? All of our attention at the moment is focused on Don Alfonso Dubai. For all the family to move here it was a big opportunity for our restaurant to grow and develop as a brand. Who knows what the future will bring, but I’m sure it will be big things for our family kitchen.

HOMEMADE POTATO GNOCCHI WITH SMOKED SCAMORZA CHEESE AND CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE INGREDIENTS: 1kg potatoes 250g flour 00 3g salt 350g cherry tomatoes 100g tomato paste 60g smoked scamorza 20g parmesan cheese 10g fresh basil olive oil 2 garlic bulbs METHOD: ∙ Wash potatoes and wrap in tin foil, then bake for 40 minutes at 160C. ∙ Once cooked, remove skin and mash with a food processor to get a potato puree. ∙ When still warm, mix the potato puree with flour and salt, then mix gently to get a nice dough. ∙ Divide the gnocchi into small portions and roll to get balls around 1cm long. ∙ Place gnocchi dough into boiling salty water until

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

cooked then drain in an ice bath.

∙ Cut cherry tomatoes in half and warm up olive oil in a large pan with the whole garlic. Then pan fry the tomatoes for a few minutes before adding the tomato paste. Add salt and chopped basil. ∙ Cut the scamorza cheese into small cubes.

∙ Add the gnocchi again to boiling water until heated, then add to the tomato sauce.

∙ Off the heat, add scamorza cheese and grated parmesan cheese.

∙ Plate and finish with drizzled olive oil and fresh basil leaves.

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CHEFS / recipe corner

A touch of Italian Chef Alessandro Esposito is Certo's new Italian Chef, at Radisson Blu Dubai Media City. Born in Anzio, he worked in Rome at the Sheraton before a shift to London with Starwood, time in North America and a return to London to work for Gordon Ramsay. His passion is Italian cuisine, harking back to the fish dishes he learned from his mother.

ZUCCHINI FLOWERS STUFFED WITH FRESH COW RICOTTA AND TAGGIASCA OLIVE TAPENADE, WITH TOMATO, BASIL, PESTO, ALMONDS AND MINT INGREDIENTS 3 zucchini flowers 50g ricotta

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

20g taggiasca olives 15ml olive oil 5g garlic 70g cherry tomatoes 10g basil 60g Italian ciabatta 70g fresh tomatoes 10g fresh basil 10ml olive oil 50g fresh mint 30g almonds

5g garlic 30ml olive oil 40g parmesan METHOD ∙ Make a paste of the olives and then mix with the ricotta. Stuff this in the zucchini flowers. Flavour with olive oil, salt and black pepper then cook in the oven for five minutes. ∙ Prepare the tomato sauce by mixing

olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Add some salt and finish it with fresh chopped basil. ∙ Toast slices of ciabatta bread with chopped tomatoes, basil, olive oil and salt on top ∙ Prepare the pesto by combining fresh mint leaves, almonds, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and salt in the mixer. Blend it until it becomes smooth.

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recipe corner / CHEFS

CHLOROPHYLL CHARD HANDMADE GIANT RAVIOLI FILLED WITH SEA BASS AND WHITE CABBAGE SAUCE WITH PAN FRIED JULIENNED CALAMARI INGREDIENTS 1 egg 100g flour 20g chard puree 5g salt 70g sea bass 40g white cabbage 20g ricotta cheese 5g salt 5g white pepper 80g calamari, julienned 50g cherry tomato 15g olive oil 5g garlic 30ml white wine 50g fish stock 20g chopped fresh parsley 5g salt METHOD ∙ Prepare the fresh pasta by mixing

egg, flour and the chard puree and keep in the fridge for half an hour. Cook the sea bass in the oven then cool it down afterwards. Mix it with steamed white cabbage and ricotta cheese and make the ravioli.

∙ Prepare the sauce by sautéing garlic and julienned calamari then cook for a while. Then flambé with white wine and add the cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley and fish stock, season with salt to taste.

∙ Continue to cook until you get the desired consistency of the sauce. Boil the ravioli in hot water until cooked then incorporate it with the calamari sauce.

LEMON CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO SERVED WITH LOBSTER AROMATISED WITH MEDITERRANEAN HERBS INGREDIENTS: 80g carnaroli rice 300g fresh local lobster 10ml white wine 40g cauliflower puree 15g lemon juice 5g thyme 5g rosemary 80g fish stock 80g vegetable stock METHOD ∙ Sauté the onions then add the rice until toasted. Add a little bit of white wine and continue to cook while adding the vegetable and fish stock. Add the cauliflower purée and finish by adding the lemon juice. Bake the lobster marinated with herbs in the oven and arrange it on top of the rice.

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June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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recipe corner / CHEFS

CHLOROPHYLL CHARD HANDMADE GIANT RAVIOLI FILLED WITH SEA BASS AND WHITE CABBAGE SAUCE WITH PAN FRIED JULIENNED CALAMARI INGREDIENTS 1 egg 100g flour 20g chard puree 5g salt 70g sea bass 40g white cabbage 20g ricotta cheese 5g salt 5g white pepper 80g calamari, julienned 50g cherry tomato 15g olive oil 5g garlic 30ml white wine 50g fish stock 20g chopped fresh parsley 5g salt METHOD ∙ Prepare the fresh pasta by mixing

egg, flour and the chard puree and keep in the fridge for half an hour. Cook the sea bass in the oven then cool it down afterwards. Mix it with steamed white cabbage and ricotta cheese and make the ravioli.

∙ Prepare the sauce by sautéing garlic and julienned calamari then cook for a while. Then flambé with white wine and add the cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley and fish stock, season with salt to taste.

∙ Continue to cook until you get the desired consistency of the sauce. Boil the ravioli in hot water until cooked then incorporate it with the calamari sauce.

LEMON CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO SERVED WITH LOBSTER AROMATISED WITH MEDITERRANEAN HERBS INGREDIENTS: 80g carnaroli rice 300g fresh local lobster 10ml white wine 40g cauliflower puree 15g lemon juice 5g thyme 5g rosemary 80g fish stock 80g vegetable stock METHOD ∙ Sauté the onions then add the rice until toasted. Add a little bit of white wine and continue to cook while adding the vegetable and fish stock. Add the cauliflower purée and finish by adding the lemon juice. Bake the lobster marinated with herbs in the oven and arrange it on top of the rice.

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June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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CHEFS / recipe corner

La cucina d'Italia Born near Rome, Fabio Nompleggio worked in a number of renowned restaurants including San Lorenzo and Acetaia before moving to Dubai to work at Armani Ristorante. Since 2013, he has been Executive Head Chef at Frankie’s Italian Bar & Grill. Here he offers typically fresh takes on some Italian classics.

SEA BASS WITH ZUCCHINI PESTO, POTATO AND BOTTARGA INGREDIENTS: 200g sea bass 50g new potatoes 100g zucchini

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

10ml olive oil 3g basil 5g bottarga 20g peanuts 1g purple shiso

METHOD: ∙ Cook the potato in salted water. Cut the zucchini in long strips, then blanch and refresh in iced water. ∙ Blanch the green part of the zucchini and make pesto with peanuts, garlic and basil. Blend while hot with olive oil and salt.

∙ Sear sea bass skin side down and finish in oven with fresh herbs.

∙ To plate, place a line of the pesto, plate potato on top and season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Decorate with zucchini battonets and finish with olive oil, shiso and basil leaves.

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recipe corner / CHEFS

EGGPLANT RAVIOLI WITH TOMATO SAUCE INGREDIENTS: 130g flour 90g semolina 90g eggs 12.5ml water 30g cherry tomato 30g eggplant 3g basil 50g ricotta 25g parmesan 5g salt 10ml olive oil

METHOD: ∙ Make the pasta dough with the flour, semolina, eggs, water, salt and olive oil. ∙ Mix eggplant and ricotta for the filling. ∙ Cut the pasta in ravioli shapes and fill. ∙ Saute the cherry tomatoes then add some eggplant. Season. ∙ Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water then add them to the tomato mix and saute for a minute. ∙ Plate up and garnish with grated parmesan, basil and olive oil.

MILANESE VEAL MEDALLION, ORANGE SAUCE, MUSTARD AND FRESH HERBS INGREDIENTS: 100g veal loin 35g orange puree 1 egg 25g flour 2g xantana 10g mixed seasonal herbs 25g panko bread crumbs METHOD: ∙ Clean the veal loin, removing excess fat, then wrap in clingfilm and put in

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vacuum pack with olive oil, thyme. Cook for 15 minutes at 57C and then cool in ice water. Once cool, dry and portion into 30g medallions. Using flour, eggs and bread crumbs, coat the medallions. ∙ Reheat the orange puree for 30 to 60 seconds, then blend for two minutes with the xantana. Allow to cool. ∙ Heat oil to 165C, deep fry the medallions very briefly so they remain piunk inside. ∙ Put orange sauce on plate, add veal loin, season and garnish with justard seeds and fresh orange, finishing with olive oil and herbs.

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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bookcase / LEISURE

Catching up on reading As well as standard consumer magazines about food and cookery, the global boom is small print run, dedicated magazines about food continues. After a recent hunt around London’s bookshops and speciality magazine shops, Dave Reeder returned with a haul of goodies.

3 ETOILES Launched in 2004, this quarterly in French looks only at the high reaches of the gastronomy world - the 3 Michelin star restaurants and their chefs/patrons. And the limited global number of such establishments proves to be a creative spur rather than a hindrance: each restaurant gets plenty of space for a complete overview, the relevant chef is comprehensively discussed and - a real bonus! - sample menu of each is included - printed in the style of the original, rather than as run of paper. A typical issue for Jan/March of this year celebrates Paul Bocuse’s incredible half century at the height of the French gastronomy tree. Great production values but some may find its relentless focus on French chefs a little overpowering, especially as the content is in French as well. However, it's inspiring. €12 www.3etoilesmagazine.fr

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FOOL A cutting edge magazine on modern gastronomy and food culture, this is a magazine I never thought would survive, despite enjoying it very much indeed. Delivered (in English) by a Scandinavian husband and write/photographer and editor team, it began by rather recklessly focusing on their contacts from previous jobs and it seemed as if they would soon run out of favours. However, the latest ‘Italian’ issue is well up to the mark, with a typically quirky cover feature on current hot chef Massimo Bottura and that’s just the beginning. 160 pages of well-written, beautifully-designed and photography take you into the heart of today’s high end food culture, whether Michelin starred or artisan foraging. A must read - I love it! $15 www.fool.se

LUCKY PEACH I realise that ‘quarterly’ is a bit of a stuck record in this overview of interesting food mags, but David Chang’s irreverent, eclectic melange is well worth waiting for. Each issue takes a single theme and then plays variants around it in words, images and recipes. This is a magazine for food fanatics, whether cutting edge NYC chefs or armchair travellers, but it’s also edge of the seat stuff, desperately cutting edge. The fact that it’s stocked by Spinney’s makes the experience of reading it in Dubai all the more bizarre. Needless to say, I have it on subscription. But get in quick - now just three years old, issue one already commands $200 on Amazon! I think it’s unmissable for anyone excited by food, whether on the preparing or eating end of the spectrum. I think you will too. $8.95 lky.ph

June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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LEISURE / bookcase

FRICOTE An edgy, urban French monthly, ideal for those who miss Le Fooding. It’s odd: on the one hand, the French take gastronomy very seriously indeed; on the other, they’re not afraid to be playful and irreverent aound food, as long as there’s no compromise on quality. And this magazine captures that spirit nicely, becoming almost the voice for the ex-fine dining younger chefs who open quirky bistros in unfashionable corners of Paris of food artisans who dedicate themselves to running the best shop for tinned sardines. Ever. And the good news for many? It’s not all in French! €5.00 www.fricote.fr

FOUR Another new one for me, this has the simplest concept imaginable - one so simple, in fact, that as an editor I kicked myself for never considering it! Each issue builds on the theme of FOUR: four chefs, four restaurants and four recipes. This allows the magazine to devote considerable space to each chef and the food photography is second to none. However, the editorial is a little lazy: the latest issue’s focus on Jason Atherton, for example, details his growing empire but doesn’t mention the upcoming Dubai restaurant. Overall? Inspirational rather than essential. £5 www.four-magazine.com

ASIA EATER A new one to me, this quarterly looks at Asian food and food culture through features, essays, photo series, guest contributions, interviews and recipes. Issue 2 goes on tour with Gordon Ramsay for the filming of ‘Gordon’s Great Escape’, chats to Alvin (The Demon Chef) Leung and travels to the border between India and Bangladesh where hundreds are killed every year for smuggling cows into Bangladesh. Plus a focus on Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, Guy Savoy and Jamie Oliver as they set up businesses in Singapore. Plus insects and a great recipe section with dishes from Wolfgasng Puck and others - not related. $7.50 or $10 digital www.asia-eater.com

MOOD A new one for me, the quarterly MOOD combines food and music in a design-heavy package. It aims to look at the two subjects in a cohesive and unique way, with a keen eye to design and high quality writing. MOOD draws on writers and photographers around the world. The latest issue (3) looks at the people behind Belgian beer, gig posters, Chinese food and more. It also celebrates food and music based travel with features on Northern Spain, bowling across America and a magical music festival. Probably not on my regular list in future, MOOD is still a great example of personal vision and dedication to quality. $16 0r $6.50 digital www.moodmusicfood.com

CEREAL Yet another quarterly, Cereal is a real treat. Straddling as it does the line between literary journal, photography portfolio and food forum, this is a magazine that transcends the boundaries and each issue will be a pleasurable to read in two or five years’ time as now. Billed as a ‘travel and lifestyle’ publication, there is much here to interest and inspire chefs. The latest issue (number five) looks at four destinations - Helsinki, Charleston, Paris and the Isles of Scilly - approaching each from multiple directions, verbal and visual. This is a very classy read and one magazine that Iook forward to with eagerness. £8.50 www.readcereal.com

PUT A EGG ON IT There’s no reason why I should look forward to this quaterly irreverent digest art and literary magazine out of NYC. It’s printed on green paper as a collection of pieces on food, cooking and the communal joys of eating with friends and family from a small collective of friends. What relevance to me ? Yet the combination of essays, photo essays, illustrations, practical cooking tips and recipes is irresistible. It’s like the best shared food blog, but in print! The latest issue looks at kids’ food drawings, Times Square street photography, lumpia making in Brooklyn, plus fasting, Luxembourg and Dunkin’ Donuts. Eclectic. $5.00 www.putaeggonit.com

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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LEISURE / travel

Not normally thought of as a food destination, the distinctive cuisine of Nepal comes as a pleasant surprise to many drawn to the country for either its spectacular scenery or Buddhist heritage. Similar in many ways to North Indian dishes, Nepalese cuisine is different enough to intrigue and delight.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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travel / LEISURE

N

epal’s cultural and geographic diversity delivers a variety of cuisines based on ethnicity and soil//climate. However, dal, bhat and tarkari is ubiquitous and this dish of lentil soup, boiled grain (usually rice) and vegetable curry is a standard in any restaurant. It would be wrong though to see Nepalese food as just a variant of Indian cuisine. Instead, it has been inuenced by other Asian cultures including China and Thailand. The momo, for instance, is basically a Tibetan dumpling with Nepali spicing and increasing tourism has brought with it waves of ice cream and pizzas. The latest craze is ramen noodles as a quick snack. Khas/Pahari cuisine gives us dal, bhat and tarkari but the cuisine is heavily dependant on grains of different sorts - unleavened at wheat bread (roti or chapati), porridge-like dhido or ato made from maize, buckwheat, barley or millet. Vegetables are focused on spinach or greens (sag), fermented and dried greens (gundruk or sinki), daikon radish, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cauliower, cabbage, pumpkin and others. Fruit from the hills include mandarin oranges, kafďŹ r limes, lemons, Asian pears, bayberry and mangoes. Yogurt and curried meat or ďŹ sh are served as side dishes to vegetables and rice, when available. Castes and religious groups shun many meats but chicken and ďŹ sh are acceptable to most. Himalayan cuisine is eaten by culturally Tibetan and closely related ethnic groups in the Himalayas. Buckwheat, barley and millet are often processed into noodles or tsampa which is our ground from toasted grain. Butter tea is made by mixing butter or ghee and salt into strong tea. This tea preparation is commonly mixed with tsampa our to make a kind of fast food especially eaten while traveling. Potatoes are another important staple crop and food. Substantial amounts of rice are imported from the lowlands. The meat of yak and possibly yak-cow hybrids may be used, as well as their milk. Meat is often prepared as momo.

DISHES TO LOOK FOR t%BM CIBUBOEUBSLBSJMFOUJMT SJDFBOE DVSSJFEWFHFUBCMF t$IBUBNBSJSJDFnPVSnBUCSFBEXJUI UPQQJOHTTVDIBTNJODFENFBU t(VOESVLTPVQPGESJFEBOEGFSNFOUFE HSFFOWFHFUBCMFTMFBWFT t.PNPEVNQMJOHTmMMFEXJUINJODFENFBU TFSWFETUFBNFEPSGSJFE t4FMEPOPHIUMJLFTIBQFEEFTTFSUTOBDL NBEFGSPNSJDFnPVS t4VLVUJTQJDZESJFENFBUSPBTUFEPWFSB DIBSDPBMmSF t"MPPUBNBCBNCPPTIPPUBOEQPUBUP t4BHTQJOBDIBOENVTUBSEHSFFOT t"DIBSTPVS TQJDZPSTXFFUQJDLMF t4JLBSOJDVSENJYFEXJUIESJFEGSVJUT

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June 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East

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LEISURE / travel

Thakali cuisine is transitional between Himalayan and lowland cuisines. It’s less vegetarian than Pahari cuisine - meat is sliced into thin slices and dried on thin poles near the cooking ďŹ re and blood sausage is also prepared and dried. This dried meat is added to vegetable curries or sauteed in ghee and dipped into a mixture of red chili powder, Sichuan pepper, salt and local herbs. Since most Thakali people were engaged in trade, they could import vegetables, fruits and eggs from lower regions. A large variety of vegetables were consumed daily, some - especially daikon radish and beetroot - dried and often prepared with mutton. Apples were introduced following the arrival of foreign horticulturists. Newars are an urbanised ethnic group originally from the Kathmandu Valley and their cuisine makes wide use of buffalo meat. For vegetarians, meat or dried ďŹ sh can be replaced by fried tofu or cottage cheese. The cuisine has a wide range of fermented preparations, whereas Pahari cuisine has few beyond aachar condiments. Food in Outer Terai tends to mirror cuisines of adjacent parts of India and Terai diets can be more varied because of greater variety of crops grown locally plus cash crops imported from cooler microclimates in nearby hill regions as well as from different parts of India.

EATING NEPALESE IN DUBAI "DDPSEJOHUP"SWB"INFE GPVOEFSPG UIF*-JWFJOB'SZJOH1BOCMPH BVUIFOUJD /FQBMFTFNPNPTBSFCVSTUJOHXJUInBWPVS BUUIF,BUINBOEV)JHIMBOE3FTUBVSBOU /PUPSJPVTMZIBSEUPmOE JUTPOUIFTFDPOE nPPSPGBEJMBQJEBUFECVJMEJOHPQQPTJUFUIF "TUPSJBIPUFMJO.FFOB#B[BBS$BMM GPSEFUBJMT

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

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LEISURE / last word

Service at a new level How soon before we see this trend here: high end NYC restaurant Eleven Madison Park Googles every diner with a reservation in order to customise their experience. They search for clues about home towns, birthdays and jobs, then trying to match service staff who have things in common.

E

leven Madison Park has been ranked among the best restaurants in New York. Its latest innovation is digital stalking of customers in order to personalise service as much as possible, thereby partly justifying the $200+ food charges per person. Maitre d’ Justin Roller apparently spends hours on Google every day to find out as much as he can: birthdays, wedding anniversaries, employment histories and hometowns and employment to try to get a sense of how they can make their night special. If it’s an anniversary, he’ll try to find out which one. If he spots a particular food or drink favourites, via on-line photo postings or Facebook links - he can personalise the meal, often via the amuse bouches served as part of the standard tasting menu. Of course, this isn’t a new thing, although the level of intensity shown by Eleven Madison Park in researching and then catering for customers is quite exceptional. In 2010, when the subject first surfaced, diners and chefs alike were either surprised, amused or horrified. Alarm and indifference were the most common responses and a CNN poll even showed 4% of respondents hoping

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The Pro Chef Middle East / June 2014

that they’d be Googled for special treatent. Roller justifies his behaviour as trying to help make a customer feel special and at home. “If I find out a guest is from Montana and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together,” he explained. High-end establishments in Chicago like Alinea, Next, Moto and iNG all admit to the same practice. Of course, it’s pretty common practice for good restaurants to take notes on customers - their preferences or allergies, say. In New York, many of these notes become acronyms like FOM (Friend of the Manager) or WW (Wine Whale). Restaurant managers claim it’s all in the name of superior service, but what is the impact on customers? Do you think it makes them feel more comfortable? Or concerned? After all, privacy is a critically important debate at present, with many people worried about the effect on their lives of ‘joined-up’ information. Is this restaurant trend a breach of personal information and an unwelcome invasion of privacy? Or is it the price that customers will have to accept in exchange for a personalised service they will experience as a result?

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The Pro Chef Middle East - June Issue, 2014