If you’re planning to eat in this week, rather than dine out, we’ve found the perfect place to help you get those cooking skills up to scratch before you’re let loose in the kitchen. Recently opened in JLT, ‘culinary arts school’ Scafa offers an ongoing programme of cookery classes for all levels. Beginners and enthusiasts can take courses to brush up on the basics, while dinner party pros can learn skills such as flower arranging to give their hosting an extra edge.
If that’s not enough to persuade you to don your apron, you could eat the fruits of someone else’s labours at the in-school bistro. It’s called ‘Scafé’ – top marks for ingenuity.
Aside from wordplay, something else we’re fond of here is symmetry. Pakistani food start-up Moti Roti has recently opened a pop-up takeaway stand in the Aswaaq supermarket in Knowledge Village. We’re amused to hear that founder Tahir is now serving rotis to former colleagues, exactly a year to the day that he was made redundant from offices in the very same building. Swings and roundabouts, no?
We’re also pleased to hear that the list of exhibitors for the upcoming International Fine Food Festival (which kicks off on Tuesday October 30) continues to grow. One of the latest additions is Italian Dairy Products, a UAE-based producer that makes cheeses in the Italian tradition (predominantly mozzarella, burrata and ricotta) using only milk from the emirates. As a coup for the local food scene, the company now sells its products at Carrefour supermarket in Mall of the Emirates.
While we’re used to welcoming restaurant brands from abroad, we aren’t so familiar with sending our own off into the big wide world. Following news that Dubai-based Japanese venue Okku is to open a restaurant in London, several casual dining venues from the region seem to be following suit. Middle Eastern brand Just Falafel is set to open in London in November, and UAE-based pan-Asian canteen Noodle House aims to launch in Istanbul in Turkey.
Back in Dubai, we popped along to the Caterer Middle East Chefs and Ingredients Forum last week (October 9) for the latest gossip in the local restaurant scene. Speakers included Mark Patten of Atlantis, who mentioned that the iconic hotel had eight casual restaurant concepts and one ‘premier’ concept in the pipeline, though at the time of going to press Atlantis couldn’t confirm anything. Watch this space for details.
All in all, it looks like a new dawn for home-grown eating in Dubai. Until next week, bon appétit!