FIRST LOOK: MasterChef, the TV Experience

Check out the brand-new restaurant in Dubai Marina

FIRST LOOK: MasterChef, the TV Experience
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If you’re a fan of popular global TV series MasterChef, you’ll be at the edge of your seats ahead of the opening of the very first MasterChef restaurant – right here in Dubai.

Setting up shop in the new Millennium Place Marina in Dubai Marina, MasterChef, the TV Experience will be throwing open its doors on Tuesday April 30. And Time Out Dubai’s been for a sneak peek ahead of the restaurant’s official launch.

MasterChef was created in the UK in 1990 by Franc Roddam and has since had more than 60 local adaptions broadcast in more than 200 countries. The brand-new restaurant in Dubai Marina will deliver diners the recipes and dishes of contestants and champions from various global shows of the reality TV show.

The kitchen will be headed by Venezuelan-born chef Maria Vaamonde-Beggs, who has previously worked at Catch Dubai and Morimoto.

And the most exciting part of the new launch? Diners will be able to pick their meal from a “mystery box”. The wooden box will contain up to nine ingredients – and you can choose which ones you want to go into your bespoke box. Then sit back, relax and within 35 to 45 minutes you’ll have a personalised dish arrive at your table thanks to the skills of the chefs.

They’ll use whatever you want from the selected ingredients (but you’ll get guidance if they think it will be less-than-tasty) and you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a one-of-a-kind dish.

Mystery Box ingredients will be updated and rotated weekly, based on seasonal availability – and diners who select the menu item will also receive a hand-written recipe of the dish to take home. Prices are yet to be revealed.

“Being able to take the Mystery Box recipe home is the final step in the process of enabling that emotional connection for fans of the MasterChef TV show. Guests can bring their passion for the programme to the restaurant, indulge in a meta experience of dining in a venue inspired by the show, live the Mystery Box process for themselves, and then take that recipe home to try in their own kitchens,” said Vaamonde-Beggs.

Sound a bit too off piste and rather stick to the menu? There will be a changing list of dishes starring creations from famous chefs from the show.

We can reveal that dishes on the launch menu include MasterChef UK’s 2008 winner James Nathan’s truffle and pea soup with Parmesan galette, and a deconstructed Eton mess, Malaysian-born 2014 UK MasterChef winner Ping Coombes’ delicate mushroom laksa with quail egg and a fruit tart of apples and berries with an activated charcoal crust will also be on the menu.

MasterChef UK 2017 winner Saliha Mahmood has dishes including a French-inspired quail dish with sweet figs, layered with a honey and cardamom glaze, served with a bulgur wheat salad and whipped walnut relish.

Meanwhile MasterChef USA champion Shaun O’Neale is offering up a duck leg confit taco, as well as fried chicken waffles.

The restaurant itself will be able to host 100 guests, along with seating 60 more on its terrace. And if you’re a fan of the show you’ll be happy to hear the interiors are inspired by the show, with industrial fittings and an open kitchen.

The restaurant is set in different areas – a casual section, tables with cloths for a formal experience and a kitchen bar area where you can pull a stool and watch the chefs at work.

“Our entire objective has been to keep the entire experience focused on the food our culinary stars will create, while offering a casual and comfortable de-formalised dining atmosphere without excess trappings,” said Vice-President of F&B at The First Group Duncan Fraser-Smith, the team behind the restaurant, who also run BARBARY Deli + Cocktail.

“It will establish an emotional connection, through food, and nurture a passion for cooking at all levels of expertise across all ages and cultures, which is vital in a cosmopolitan hub such as Dubai.”

And this Wednesday (April 17) ahead of the restaurant’s official openin,g a trio of stars - MasterChef USA winner (2016) Shaun O’Neale, MasterChef UK champion (2015) Simon Wood and the youngest-ever MasterChef India winner (2015) Nikita Gandhi - will appear alongside Margarita Vaamonde-Beggs at an exclusive preview for the public from 5.30pm until 6.30pm, so head along if you’re a fan.

We can’t wait to see what the chefs come up with.
Opening April 30, Millennium Place Marina, Dubai Marina. www.masterchefdxb.com (04 550 8111).

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