Celebrity chefs dock into Dubai
Over the next couple of weeks Dubai will welcome 33 celebrity guest chefs, of which 19 have restaurants with Michelin stars around the world. Now that’s no mean feat for our small fine dining out population, but a testament perhaps to the emirate’s rising status in the global restaurant scene, as we await a happy outcome in the World Expo 2020 bid announcement at the end of next month. So with that top of mind, here’s a round-up of the celeb chefs about to grace our shores with dinner experiences.
- London-based acclaimed chef Jeff Galvin, the younger of the two chef brothers renowned for their classic French cuisine with a twist, is the first in a series of guest chefs Jumeirah Beach Hotel is flying in for week-long dinner events and cooking classes. Expect dishes like lasagna of crab, white truffle and artichoke risotto, slow-cooked Pyrenees lamb shoulder, tagine of Bresse pigeon, plus desserts of prune and Armagnac parfait and apple tarte tatin. I can still relish the latter from dinner a few years ago at his Bistro de Luxe restaurant in Marylebone, one of seven he owns across the UK with older brother Chris. It’s his fourth visit to Dubai so he does dine out quite a bit…take a guess at his favourite restaurant here. Hint, it’s a FooDiva fave too ;). Villa Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel every evening until 30 October, 7-11pm. Five course set menu AED525 or with wine pairing AED850. T; +971 4 4068999, E; JBHBoxoffice@jumeirah.com
Chef Stefan Karlsson whose Fond restaurant in Sweden’s Goteburg has one Michelin star returns to cook a five-course menu at Jebel Ali Golf Resort. From what I recall tasting this time last year, his cuisine quite cleverly marries Swedish tradition with a simple, modern flair. White Orchid, Palm Tree Court, Jebel Ali Golf Resort on 31 October. Six course set menu AED360. Plus a free-to-watch cooking battle (and plenty of canapés to try) with the hotel’s South African Exec Chef Nicolas Smalberger on 30 October at 5pm in the Palm Tree Court’s amphitheatre. T; +971 4 8145604, E; email@example.com
The French humble gent of a chef, Pierre Gagnaire who has 12 restaurants around the world including two with three Michelin stars each in France, returns to his restaurant in Dubai, Reflets at Intercontinental for his bi-annual visit, where he’ll be cooking from the new a la carte menu showing off some seasonal white truffle dishes, whilst also launching the new terrace – all part of the restaurant’s fifth anniversary. Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. 30 October – 5 November. A la carte menu. T; +971 4 7011127, E; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Travelling chef for hire, American-Japanese Jeff Ramsey (note the surname with an e unlike his famous chef namesake Gordon Ramsay) will be cooking up a theatrical dinner experience with 25 molecular-inspired tapas dishes at Dubai newbie hotel Oberoi’s Far-Eastern restaurant Umai. Click here for my preview of some of the dishes. Umai, The Oberoi Dubai, 1-8 November. 25 molecular tapas dishes for AED350. T; +971 4 4441444, E; email@example.com
- International development chef for Michelin-starred Hakkasan and its sister restaurants, Ho Chee Boon, along with executive pastry chef, Graham Hornigold are touring their three Gulf restaurants serving up a series of seven-course wine and sake paired dinners. Expect dishes like seared live scallops with Chinese chives and dried shallot sauce, stir-fried Australian lobster, wok-fried Waygu beef with Osmanthus sauce, lemongrass cream, plus vanilla-roasted pineapple with coconut crisp. Hakkasan Dubai, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, 6-8 November. Plus Hakkasan Abu Dhabi 29-31 October and Hakkasan Doha, 2-4 November. Seven-course menu paired with wines AED788. T; +971 4 3848484. E; firstname.lastname@example.org
And last but not least, for the first time ever, a global showcase for Italian cooking, the Italian World Cuisine Summit chooses Dubai to host its annual gathering of 25 Italian guest chefs of which 15 represent restaurants with a total of 25 Michelin stars. Previously hosted in Hong Kong, the five-day programme includes cooking master classes, free access to food fairs with an acrobatic pizza world champion and three competitions – in addition to a series of dinners at some of Dubai’s Italian restaurants – Alta Badia, Bice, Bice Mare, Bussola, Casa Mia, Cavalli Club, Certo, L’Olivo, Positano, Roberto’s, Rococo and Sicilia. To highlight a couple of restaurants that have released their menus, the four-course dinner at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah’s Bice restaurant under the helm of visiting chef Claudio Sadler from his two-Michelin star restaurant Sadler in Milan, is priced at AED485 from 7-10 November. Meanwhile, Roberto’s, one of the event organisers, serves up a three-course menu from 6-9 November at AED480 designed by chef Gaetano Trovato whose restaurant in Siena, Arnolfo also sports two Michelin stars – in addition to a gala dinner on 10 November for AED690. Expect white truffle to feature heavily on all menus. The Italian World Cuisine Summit, 6-10 November at Italian restaurants in Dubai. Click here for the full schedule of dinners and events but do check directly with participating restaurants as they finalise their menus.
A couple of last minute additions:
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa hosts an evening of cocktails and canapés on 30 October 8pm-midnight to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his restaurant at Atlantis The Palm. The event sees a silent charity auction of 600 grams of white truffle worth AED15,000, Chef Nobu’s very own chef jacket with his autograph, as well as a private dinner for four prepared by Nobu Executive Chef Herve Courtot. Proceeds will benefit the Matsuhisa Foundation which supports the Ashinaga Fund, a non-profit educational foundation. AED 595. Top tip – take a peek into his ‘secret’ herb garden.
And Marco Pierre White returns to Dubai from 11-16 November spending the majority of time at his seafood restaurant Wheeler’s at DIFC where the menu will be a la carte. You’ll also find him at his latest opening, Marco Pierre White Grill at the Conrad on Sheikh Zayed on 14 November for a pre-Christmas festive dinner – a five course menu for AED375 or AED625 with wine pairing.
So have I whetted your appetite? Who tickles your taste buds?