Chefs highlight Dubai's more 'creative, intense' F&B scene
Leading Middle East chefs and restaurateurs are exploring the changing face of the region's dining scene ahead of their joint participation in a dedicated food and beverage forum at the 17th annual Hotel Show Dubai.
The region's leading hospitality event, taking place over three days at the Dubai World Trade Centre this month, is opening up its Vision Conference on September 19 to expert-led discussions exploring trends amongst the region's diners.
The speakers include: Chef Colin Clague, Executive Chef & Managing Partner, Ruya Restaurant, Grosvenor House, previously Chef de Cuisine at the Burj Al Arab and Executive Chef of the popular Zuma and Qbara restaurants in Dubai; Kuwaiti Chef Ahmed Al Bader, renowned for his influence on the country's F&B scene through his work with the Epicure Group and Group Six; and Chef Darren Velvick, Head Chef & Patron of The Croft, who spent more than a decade working alongside Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing and won 'Middle East Chef of the Year 2015'.
Al Bader, in the keynote speech, said: "On the one hand, breaking trends in cities like London and New York are about introducing something new and getting the critics on your side. Here, in the Middle East, trendsetting is more like wildfire. The Arab world is a very social media savvy place, therefore our identity is constantly being portrayed at breakneck speed and people are very keen to adopt. Yes, we uphold our traditions, but trendsetting here can happen overnight."
"I'm predicting Dubai will get more intense and creative with food in the coming years," added Chef John Martho Buenaventura, Culinary Director at Cuisinero Uno. "As 2020 approaches, a lot of new restaurants are set to open with a wider range of cuisines, imported brands and Dubai-born concepts; especially with the entrepreneurial Emirati community being very active and tapping into really cool concepts. The Dubai market is starting to really open up into trying new, complex and fun culinary combinations."
Dubai's casual dining revolution - favouring authentic street foods cooked quickly and served in a relaxed atmosphere - is set to be a running theme through the series of expert-led discussions.
Alex Teodoresco, the man behind some of Dubai's most popular events celebrating street culture - including Street Nights Dubai and Truckers DXB - will be speaking at the conference, whilst hosting a feature on the show floor.
He commented: "In the past three years there have been a few events and concepts that were all about empowering the local communities and young entrepreneurs. Those, in turn have fueled a grass root movement that is creating and expanding the demand for street food concepts."
Stephen Meredith, Executive Assistant Manager at the Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay Dubai, is revealing preparations for the launch of its new outlet 'The Backyard' where authentic Asian street food will be served from a food truck.