Celeb chefs in town, and the latest foodie news and rumours
We go local with Silvena Rowe, read up on Greg Mahlouf and suffer some gelato-induced brain freeze.
Go green, go organic, go local, we constantly urge you. So, while it is arguably difficult for any restaurant in the UAE to be entirely locally sufficient when sourcing its ingredients, when someone makes a point of trying, it is thoroughly exciting. The first ever month-long Dubai Food Festival sees the launch of a new initiative encouraging the use of local produce. At the Dubai Food Carnival, celebrity chef and Time Out Dubai’s Young Chef competition judge Silvena Rowe will be teaming up with UAE-based Greenheart Organic Farms to host Silvena’s Souq, selling organic, UAE-grown fresh produce. But Silvena won’t just be selling local, she’ll be serving local too, with the launch of Carnival Rowe. At this pop-up restaurant in The H Hotel, Silvena plans to serve a menu in which a staggering 98 percent of the ingredients used are entirely organic, and also sourced in the UAE. Silvena’s not throwing the remaining two percent away either, since we happen to known Dubai’s truffle man Massimo Vidoni is among the foreign suppliers in that number.
The three-course lunch and dinner menu focuses on Emirati and Arabic cooking, with recipes such as sous-vide vegetables with truffle-infused sabayon and truffle za’atar crumble.
In other celebrity food news, Dubai-based chef and author Greg Mahlouf has been announced as part of the line-up for the impending Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Discussing his latest book, Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food, chef Greg will be hosting a literary lunch on Friday March 7 at Terra Firma, as well as a discussion session later that day on Dubai’s restaurant culture. On Saturday March 8, Greg will also join ‘The Foodie Panel’ along will authors such as Prue Leith, (restauranteur and founder of Leiths Cooking School in London).
In cooler news, the Gelato World Tour hits Dubai this weekend. Taking place from Thursday February 13-15 in Burj Park, the event sees 16 gelato artisans from the Middle East competing against each other for the title of ‘World’s Best Gelato’.
Meanwhile in DIFC, Time Out Dubai’s best Chinese restaurant 2013, Royal China, is launching a new promotion dubbed ‘duck and bubbles’. The new menu, now available on Thursdays, offers guests a choice of two duck dishes, Peking duck or crispy aromatic duck (both served with traditional pancakes) paired with two glass of bubbly and a cup of flowering Chinese tea for Dhs388 per person.
More bubbly news comes from innovative Spanish restaurant El Sur and the new ‘Living La Noche’ Wednesday night promotion, which will serve a glass of premium bubbly for Dhs75, or a bottle for Dhs450.