Chefs enjoy catch & cook expedition

Chefs enjoy catch & cook expedition

ABU DHABI — International masterchefs Shinichiro Takagi of Japan and Ernst Knam of Germany were made to fish for their lunch at Emirates Palace.


Silvia Radan

Published: Sat 16 Feb 2013, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:58 AM

The duo are part of the ongoing Gourmet Abu Dhabi culinary festival taking place across 20 of some of the capital’s best restaurants, from February 5 to 20.

During the festival, Takagi is cooking at Park Rotana, while Knam is doing deserts at Hyatt Capital Gate, but oganiser Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) enlisted both of them to take part in Emirates Palace’s Catch and Cook experience. The culinary duo — self-confessed angling novices — rose shortly after sunrise last Sunday (10.02) to board the ‘Majesty 88’ Gulf Craft super-yacht at the Emirates Palace Marina.

“It was a beautiful experience and the lovely blue sea reminded me of Sardinia,” said Knam.

“The red snapper we caught were tricky to pull in — especially as mine was bigger than Shinichiro’s,” Knam gloated.

With his six pound and four ounce catch weighing in slightly less than the six pound and 10 ounce snapper fished by Knam, Tagaki, whose elegant and delicate cuisine traditionally includes seasonal fish dishes, was defiant.

“My fish may have been a little smaller but I still really enjoyed cruising on such a calm, beautiful sea. The yacht was amazing; it had more bedrooms than my house,” said Takagi.

“Next time I come to Abu Dhabi I want to bring my whole family for a vacation. Maybe my brother will come too. He goes fishing almost every week and loves travelling overseas for sport fishing. He will be very jealous when I tell him about my Abu Dhabi adventure,” added the executive chef and owner of Zeniya restaurant in Japan’s Kanazawa city.

Back ashore, Tagaki was taken to a Japanese tea house within Emirates Palace, much to his surprise.

“I was not expecting to see this — an old-style teahouse is difficult to find in Japan now. I would love to come back and prepare the kaiseki tea ceremony here,” he said.

Welcoming the masterchefs back to his hotel, where the catch of the day was promptly grilled and served, Alexander Schneider, the Emirates Palace manager, said the Catch and Cook gourmet expedition has all the potential of becoming a major tourist draw.

“We rolled out the scheme in December and already more than 60 people have experienced this true Arabian Gulf adventure,” said Schneider. “I can happily report that no one has come back to shore empty-handed. The emirate’s fish bite every time.”—

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