Dubai chefs' top 2012 eats

From ceviche to quinoa, chefs predict this year's trends

Acai berries
Acai berries

Ryan Hattingh
International operations director, Gaucho
‘We expect ceviche – a raw seafood dish originating from Central and South America – to be a significant trend, garnering a similar following to sushi. For this dish, seafood is marinated in citrus juices and is usually accompanied by side dishes such as potato or avocado. Ceviche has featured on the Gaucho menu for the past 10 years, and we have expanded our ceviche offerings in recent years due to its increasing popularity with guests. With more ceviche restaurants opening around the world, we hope Gaucho Dubai can help this culinary trend grow in the city.’
Gaucho, DIFC (04 422 7898)

Hugh Styles
Executive sous chef, The Fairmont Dubai
‘First, there will be a refinement in ethnic cuisine this year, with the boundaries being pushed – especially with Indian cuisine and non-traditional staples such as lobster tikka masala. I also think that there will be a resurgence of the “less is more” mentality, rather than an onslaught of choice that you find currently on the restaurant scene in Dubai. Sous vide cooking [a method of cooking in sealed bags] is something that will really take off – especially in banqueting and serving mass covers. It’s an efficient method that leaves little wastage in terms of liquid and flavour, and keeps the integrity of meat and steak intact. Finally, “super berries” will continue to thrive – from the acai berry from the Brazilian rainforest to the macqui from Chile.’
The Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 5555)

Manish Law
Executive chef, Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers
‘It’s high time that sensible shines over sensationalist. For me, the drive in 2012 will be to go back to basics, concentrate on ensuring that all food items, dishes and cuisines are prepared without compromising on cooking recipes, methodology and traditions. I believe that the basics of cooking have been obscured by the modernity [of fusion and molecular gastronomy]. I also believe tapas will take over from sushi, and oriental mezze and grill will finally announce its arrival. Casual dining will take over from fine dining, brunches will become “slunches” – lunch and supper combinations – and slow-cooked foods such as stews and pot roasts will lead the way. The stir fry will still be very much en vogue, but we’ll see rich sauces being replaced by lightly masked flavours.’
Sheraton Dubai Creek, Deira (04 228 1111)

Norberto Palacios
Executive chef, Asado, The Palace
‘Peruvian cuisine is growing all around the world and I believe it will keep growing this year. I would love to see a Peruvian restaurant open in Dubai next year, because I worked in Lima in Peru for a while. The city has lovely Latin American food, with influences from China and Japan – Peru has the biggest Chinese and Japanese community in Latin America. Also, I’m glad to see quinoa – “the cereal of gods” for the Incas – featuring more and more in Dubai. This coming year, more people will discover amaranth, a cereal from Los Andes, where quinoa is grown. Not only is amaranth very tasty, it’s healthy, and vegetarians will tell you that this and quinoa are the perfect substitute for meat. Next year I’ll be introducing amaranth and other ingredients from Los Andes to the menu, such as purple potatoes, asparagus and dry sweetcorn. I just can’t wait!’
Asado, The Palace, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7888)

Ron Pietruszka
Executive chef, The Ritz-Carlton DIFC
‘In the coming year, we’ll probably see the continuing popularity of small plates or Spanish-style tapas dining. We’re doing “Thaipas Night” at our Thai restaurant, Blue Rain, a concept that has been well received, though I’ve noticed that Spanish tapas haven’t taken off here in the Middle East as in other parts of the world. Yet I believe we will start to see more of them here. Also, sustainable seafood is a growing trend and I think “sustainable anything” will start trending in a very similar way to organic food. As far as ingredients are concerned, we can get a wide variety in Dubai already, so I think we’ll see more mixed international flavours on our menus. We see Thai restaurants using different proteins such as salmon, lamb and Wagyu beef; we already see Arabic food featuring Western touches such as beetroot with labneh and tabbouleh with quinoa. I personally would like to see more use of quinoa, which is an excellent source of protein and fibre. It’s often mistaken for a grain, but is actually a seed and is cooked in a similar way to rice.’
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC (04 372 2222)

Stefan Borchardt
Executive chef, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach
‘I see German and South American food becoming more important, because chefs from these regions are putting so much into selecting and cultivating the right ingredients nowadays. Also, less complex cuisine, featuring no more than three or four items served on the same plate, will definitely become more popular during the coming year, with hot food served hot and cold food served cold. Personally, I will be utilising a larger variety of drinkable vinegars – either directly in dishes or as an accompaniment. As far as natural ingredients go, I see there being more focus on freshly caught fish, dried fruits, herbs and organic items.’
Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, JBR (04 449 8888)

Salvatore Silvestrino
Executive chef, Mövenpick Hotel Deira
‘I’ve been reading up a lot on New World cuisines, and what fascinated me the most was the new-found evergreens and shrubs from Scandinavia. These wonderful new-found flavours and aromas will provide chefs with new challenges and inspiration, and guests will be able to savour something totally new and hitherto unavailable. One restaurant that has already interpreted these new-found flavours on its menu is GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago. Hopefully this trend will be picked up in Dubai.’
Mövenpick Hotel Deira (04 444 0111)

Scott Price
Executive chef, Table 9
‘I think the sun has almost set on the molecular gastronomy age, but some of the techniques have grown roots into classic cookery and will become part of it. Chefs must learn to implement these new techniques only if it improves their guests’ experience, not just because they can. The style of cookery is definitely going back to basics, with simple, unfussy, natural cooking, using the best and freshest produce, incorporating modern techniques. In the UK, this approach is being pioneered by chef Brett Graham at The Ledbury []; I ate there and the whole experience was phenomenal from start to finish. I also managed to get to Simon Rogan’s L’enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria []; this place epitomises the modern local restaurant. And Jason Atherton at Pollen Street Social []; I’ll be there on my next stop in London.’
Table 9, Hilton Dubai Deira Creek (04 227 1111)

Out with the old…

…and in with the new: your go-to guide for fashionable dining in 2012

      In                 Out
Casual dining     Fine dining

Ceviche            Sashimi

Cookies            Macaroons

Classical            Molecular
cookery            gastronomy

Latin American  Asian

Scandinavian     French

Sensible           Sensationalist

Slunch             Brunch

Tapas              Sushi

Dubai’s popular Italian joint is getting a “cheesy facelift”

Don't miss last remaining places in 5,000-strong ambassador team

Entering couldn’t be easier…

Sponsored: Tickets to the five-day festival of music and culture are now on sale

FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai launches exclusive new club

A kid accidentally calls in the universe’s deadliest hunter, the world’s clumsiest spy is out to save the world again and Blake Lively has a ‘simple’ favour to ask


Follow us