Top chefs applaud Dubai

Eight of the world's top chefs arrived in Dubai last month for the Festival of Taste, a six-day food event hosted by the Jumeirah Group

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By  Laura Barnes Published  June 1, 2006

The first Festival of Taste to be held in Dubai by the Jumeirah Group proved a huge success for the hotel company. Showcasing the talents of eight top international chefs, including Michel Roux, Gary Rhodes and Jean-Christophe Novelli, the event — held last month — saw famous chefs stationed across the group’s outlets. Based in a number of restaurants, including Pisces, Souk Madinat Jumeirah; Vus Restaurant, Emirates Towers and Villa Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the visiting chefs took over the kitchens for four nights. The opening event held at the Grand Ballroom, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, saw each chef with their own live cooking station, giving the chance for members of the public to try their cuisine, as well as the chance to talk to both the visiting chefs and Jumeirah’s own brigade. Making a big impression with visitors at the opening event was Gary Rhodes, who created a duck-based dish with beer jus. “I supplied my recipe to the chefs at Al Qasr a couple of months ago. One of the ingredients was a bitter made from a small brewery based in Faversham, Kent, which I use to make an onion flavoured gravy,” said Gary Rhodes to Caterer Middle East. “I was absolutely amazed when I found out there was no problem sourcing the beer and getting it sent over here. I came to Dubai several years ago before the Madinat had been built and was amazed by the amount of produce that was available then, but this was unbelievable,” he added. Although this isn’t the first time Rhodes has worked with the Jumeirah Group, he was amazed by the kitchens, which he said are as good, if not better, than kitchens in the UK. With powerful air conditioning to handle the summer climate, and a well stocked kitchen, Rhodes was also delighted with the team working with him. “I came over to Dubai with nothing but my menu under my arm, but the Napa team were incredible. It was completely new for them but they did a great job. Each chef was given a certain task to do with one man solely dedicated to cooking the artichokes. This way the food was the best it could be, and diners could leave here happy,” Rhodes added.

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