The Dubai Food Festival 2015 will play host to more than 20 acclaimed chefs, whether they be international Michelin superstars or the next generation of home-grown talent in Dubai. We shine the spotlight on some of the biggest names taking part.
One of the first chefs to receive a Michelin star for Indian food (along with Vineet Bhatia in the same year), Atul Kochhar is famous for his London restaurant Benares. In Dubai, this top chef also has an impressive presence, with restaurant Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar.
This British chef has become something of a home-grown celebrity, thanks to his impressive reimagining of the region’s ancient culinary traditions on the menu of award-winning Dubai restaurant Qbara.
Now based in Dubai, and behind the stove at modern Arabic restaurant Clé in DIFC, Greg Malouf has an impressive international career and multiple cookbooks under his belt. The Lebanese-Australian chef has made a name for himself with a modernised view of Middle Eastern food, opening (among others) the award-winning MoMo restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. His brand-new cookbook New Feast: Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian is out now.
One of a very few chefs in the world to hold a coveted three Michelin stars, Heinz Beck is originally German, but he has made Italy his home, and its food his preferred artistic medium. In Dubai, Beck is taking over with Social by Heinz Beck launched last year, and Taste of Italy (his first-ever casual dining venture) due to launch at Galleria Mall in February.
No stranger to Dubai – having overseen Gordon Ramsey’s Verre long before it became what is now Table 9 – this British chef has had an illustrious kitchen career, working for some of the biggest names in the business including Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey and Pierre Koffmann. In addition to his first appearance at Dubai Food Festival, Jason Atherton will also be opening his first-ever restaurant in Dubai, Marina Social, due to launch this year.
Palestinian chef Manal Al-Alem is considered to be one of the region’s most prominent chefs, with more than 15 years of experience. Check out Manal’s regular online shows on her website www.manalonline.com, which specialise in easy to follow and detailed guidelines for preparing the region’s favourite dishes.
Arguably India’s answer to Gordon Ramsey, this Indian chef is a veritable superstar and regular TV personality in his native country (including as a judge on MasterChef India). Add to that list of TV appearances a list of restaurants across the world (including several in Dubai) and chef Sanjeev is one of the most famous names in Indian food.
Since relocating from London to Dubai, chef Silvena Rowe has restyled herself as a champion of the region’s local produce and food heritage. The result? This year Dubai sees its first attempt at modern Arabic dining, with a cutting modern Emirati edge, at chef Rowe’s brand-new fine dining venture just opened on the Boulevard, Omnia by Silvena. Chef Silvena is also on the Time Out Dubai Young Chef of the Year judging panel.
Winner of Time Out Dubai’s Young Chef of the Year 2014, Suraj represents the next generation of the emirate’s top chefs. Currently chef de partie at Flow Kitchen, Fairmont The Palm, chef Suraj has been working with the chain of hotels in the UAE for six years. Perhaps unsurprisingly – since Suraj is originally from coast-rich Goa in India – his cooking speciality is seafood.
We like to think of chef Tom as Dubai’s kitchen guerrilla, best known to us for crazy pop-ups and secret dinners when working in collaboration with events company Lime&Tonic. This is the chef who opened a Beiruti restaurant in a shipping container, because, well, why not? Expect something edgy and exciting from the Czech chef at this year’s festival.
Saudi Arabian chef Yousef Khumayes is a regular presenter on Arabic TV cooking shows, as well as the owner of Jeddah’s celebrated fine dining restaurant Garnish. You’ll find Yousef on popular shows such as MBC4’s Dr. Chef and OSN Ya Hala’s Saudi Chefs.
Chef Uwe is like the Godfather of Dubai’s culinary scene, responsible for carefully nurturing its progress and growth over more than a decade of working in the emirate. As well as being Time Out Dubai’s first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution award and on the Time Out Dubai Young Chef judging panel, chef Uwe is president of the Emirates Culinary Guild.