It’s the festive season, so let’s start on a suitably dizzying high for food nerds. The molecular master and chef-auteur behind Time Out Dubai’s 2013 restaurant of the year Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire has just announced plans to launch an additional and entirely new concept in Dubai. Overseen by Reflets’ head chef Olivier Biles, Choix Patisserie & Restaurant Par Pierre Gagnaire will be Gagnaire’s first ever standalone patisserie venue, not just in Dubai, but in the world. Also located in InterContinental Dubai Festival City, inside the hotel’s lobby, the new venture is currently planned to open in the first quarter of 2014. The selection of sweet treats will include recipes using camel milk, an afternoon menu, as well as bread, freshly made on site.
More afternoon tea news with French flair comes from Eugenie Les Gourmandises in Souk Al Bahar. The Parisian patisserie has just launched the new ‘empress’ afternoon tea menu. In addition to savoury items, the menu features choux pastry, macaroons and tea from premium French brand Marriage Frères.
As if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, there is also a new chocolatier on the Dubai horizon.
One of few long-standing English chocolate makers, Prestat (by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen) first opened in London in 1902. That means that royal approval for a chocolate shop must have been one of Queen Victoria’s very last acts since she died later the same year; we like her style, a lot. The English company was launched by French chocolate maker Antoine Dufour, apparently credited as the creator of the chocolate truffle in 1895. Subsequent to Queen Victoria, fans of the brand have included Roald Dahl, a man who liked them enough to write a book about them – no, not that book, but they feature in Dahl’s novel My Uncle Oswald. Prestat has now opened in Galeries Lafayette in The Dubai Mall. Truffle recipes include sea salt caramel with dark chocolate and banoffee truffles, made with banana, caramel and white chocolate.
That’s your Francophile appetite’s satisfied, so let’s move onto Italy. Also in The Dubai Mall is the new Italian shopping, dining and food producing mega concept Eataly. The store offers a multitude of sections where you can buy ingredients or sit in and dine with a vast range of Italian food available, including fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and burrata and fresh pasta made in-house at the store.
Also new from Italy is Sapori di BiCE (a new venture from BiCE), with a casual dining, trattoria-style concept, opening in Citywalk Mall in early January. The sharing plate menu will offer a mix of local and Italian ingredients. A wood-fire pizza oven, rotisserie counter and gluten free bread will also be available.
Until next week, bon appétit!