Peek into the UAE’s next culinary festival with a competition – presented by Gourmet Abu Dhabi

Gourmet Abu DhabiIf you love gourmet food and fine dining, well let’s be honest you wouldn’t be reading this post otherwise, then the capital’s annual 16-day culinary festival is just around the corner. Gourmet Abu Dhabi now its sixth year runs from the 4th to the 19th February, and what sets this food event apart, is it’s not just in one location, but 20 top-end restaurants will vie for your taste buds.

Chef Massimo Bottura - Photo Credit Paolo Terzi

Chef Massimo Bottura

From cooking demos, themed lunches and opera dinners, right through to vineyard chateaux experiences and even gourmet golf, the visiting celeb chef cast this year has topped 18, including a trio from three, three-Michelin star restaurants around the world:

  • Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana in Italy – also no 3 in the World’s Best Restaurants ranking.
  • Christophe Muller, L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges in France – a restaurant founded by the master of chefs, Paul Bocuse.
  • Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood in California’s Napa Valley.

    Chef Christopher Kostow

    Chef Christopher Kostow

The festival culminates with industry awards for Abu Dhabi-based restaurants, chefs and front-of-house professionals.

So what do we have to give away to FooDiva Friends across the UAE? Well two prizes are up for grabs:

  1. Invites for two people for two full-day Culinary Creation events hosted by 11 visiting master chefs including Massimo and Christopher on 7th and 8th February at Westin Abu Dhabi. Prize value AED700.
  2. A gastronomic dinner à deux with Greek-Cypriot-Australian Masterchef darling George Calombaris on 16th February at Sofitel Abu Dhabi. Prize value AED1,900. 

    Chef George Calombaris

    Chef George Calombaris

Just tell us who is your favourite professional chef in the world and why.

Leave your answer as a comment on this post AND using the submission form below. You can increase your chances of winning by commenting and sharing the competition post on FooDiva’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram channels. Don’t forget to mention @visitabudhabi and hashtag #gourmetabudhabi. The giveaway competition closes on 26th January when the clock strikes midnight, and two winners will be picked randomly (through on 27th January. You will have 24 hours to claim your prizes otherwise we’ll have to select other winners.

Find out more about Abu Dhabi’s star-studded culinary festival here.

Good luck and a bientôt!

FooDiva. x
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26 Responses to “Peek into the UAE’s next culinary festival with a competition – presented by Gourmet Abu Dhabi”

  1. Sarah Walton January 13, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Lovely idea. Feb is such a big food month in the UAE! I love seeing what George Calombaris does, not just because of his food, but he’s from my own home town, Melbourne. It’s so lovely to see him make the big time, as I feel I was standing by watching him grow up.
    Another favourite is Giorgio Locatelli, because he’s so incredibly passionate and excited to share his knowledge.
    Third favourite is Shannon Bennett, another Melbournian, finding this nice blend between fusing unusually matched ingredients, yet keeping dishes approachable.
    Oops – you asked for ONE favourite. Can’t do that, my list is getting longer as I think about it!

  2. Naina Shakeb January 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    My favourite chef is Executive chef of Radisson Dubai Chef Uwe Michael . I had a chance to meet him during various cooking events / contests . I had new cooking experiences while being at work with him . His recipes are interesting and easier to make . He is always a good guide to us.

  3. Rupal January 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    My favorite has got to be Sanjeev Kapoor – he was the first on tv, simplifying Indian food and I grew up watching him. And now, having been able to try his food at his signature restaurant, makes me an even bigger fan! He excutes classic Indian dishes perfectly, and has mastered the art of showcasing the variety Indian cuisine has to offer 🙂

  4. GA January 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I have two, Marco Pierre-White and James Martin, though I am not sure that is all about the food!! Would love to meet Aidan Byrne too.

  5. rifat shiraz January 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Chef Marco Pierre White is my favorite chef as i got a fantastic opportunity from Fairmont Bab al Bahr Abu dhabi to spent a day with the chef. And believe me it was such a fantastic experience. I visited all the kitchens and the chef prepared something special for me. It was a lovely experience which i cannot forget.

  6. Ziad El Rahy January 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    My favorite Chef is Esben Holmboe from Maaemo restaurant in Oslo. I think he is unbelievably creative using very simple ingredients. Every plate is very unique is taste and presentation.

  7. IshitaUnblogged January 14, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I am a great fan of Anthony Bourdain, although his demeanor and personality is an absolute contrast to what I can ever visualise myself to be. I am inspired by the way he lets himself loose and can immerse himself in the local delicacies of a region – edible and inedible likewise. He’s the epitome of what I can never let myself be – let loose literally. Reading his books, watching his shows, I can only imagine that he’s left behind a stormy kitchen and that is precisely the place which begets culinary creativity. Hope that the fact that he doesn’t work as a professional chef any more doesn’t disqualify me from the contest – would love to win the ‘gastronomic dinner à deux’ with Greek-Cypriot (oh yes, I know another person, that too a Diva with this linage!!!)-Australian Masterchef George Calombaris!

  8. Mita January 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Has to be a toss up between Anthony Bourdain because he is such a maverick and has an open mind when it comes to food and Atul Kochchar who has taken Indian food to another level altogether.

  9. Drina January 19, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I am infatuated by Pierre Gagnaire; his food is pure art in every essence of it.
    I love the way he envisions different yet rare combinations; he knows how to put out magic on a plate.
    It would be in gastronomic heaven if I met him; be it a class or a chat.
    Also, all in for that dinner with George Calombaris; who wouldn’t!

  10. Melanie January 21, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Marco Pierre White. He has the hair of a poet. True art is the result of genius and passion. He has both in bag fulls.

  11. yosvinda January 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Chefs from around the world, good food everywhere but when it comes down to choosing the Best on my list Chef George Calombaris gains 5 stars. The man behind infused modern twists to traditional Greek cuisine and the face behind enthusiastic success of Master chef Australia.

  12. Emma January 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Since moving to Abu Dhabi I have had the opportunity to eat my way round the world if I tried, but I keep returning to local food as my all-time favourite. There is something reassuring about a cuisine which harnesses the freshest of local produce, and which is often beautiful in its simplicity. Female Emirati chef Khulood Atiq receives my admiration from the word go, stating that her love of cooking began in her mother’s kitchen. She has risen to prominence by demystifying the art of local cooking and by using her talents to inspire a new generation to love local food, just like her mother did. Being an amazing chef isn’t just about artistry and experimentation, it’s about recognising that caring about what you eat begins at home.

  13. Mary Kay (Out and About in Paris) January 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I was hoping to participate in your drawing for a gastronomic dinner à deux at the Sofitel but I only arrive in Dubai on February 16 at 23:59. 🙁 Thanks for all the tips that you provide about Dubai via your blog. Your “foodie bucket list” and afternoon tea posts have provided me with lots of inspiration for my upcoming trip in February.

    Good luck to all the participants!

    • FooDiva January 23, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      What a shame you will miss this one Mary Kay. How long are you here for as there are a number of other foodie events in town end Feb/ March? Thanks so much for your kind words. If you need any specific restaurant recommendations feel free to drop me a line here or via social media. Enjoy your break and I will check out your Parisian blog 🙂

      • Mary Kay (Out and About in Paris) January 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        Thanks for your response! I’ll be in Dubai from Feb 17-22. Following advice in your blog posts, I’m on the waiting list for a tour with “Frying Pan Adventures” and have sent a reservation request for lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. I wanted to go for afternoon tea at Burj Khalifa, Atmosphere Lounge but they don’t allow arrivals after 15h30. We were hoping to arrive at 16h00 because of my husband’s work commitments. I’m going to write and ask if it’s possible to go for drinks instead of tea, unless you have another suggestion. I also booked afternoon tea at Burj Al Arab and a desert dinner with Platinum Heritage Tours and Safaris. I still have one free afternoon/evening. Sorry to ask but do you have a “must-do” suggestion? I’m open to anything – from traditional food to moderately priced restaurants, or something cultural. Thanks again for providing so much useful information for visitors to Dubai.

        • FooDiva January 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

          Wow looks like you’re covering great ground 🙂 I think you can go to Atmosphere for drinks but perhaps a little later – would be great to get there for sundowners around 5.30/6. If you don’t mind no alcohol, try Khan Murjan at Wafi – hugely atmospheric Arabic restaurant or else for Moroccan Momo’s on the top of Harvey Nichol’s at Mall of the Emirates. Otherwise for booze and it’s in my bucket list, Rivington Grill overlooking the fountains – the latter is a must-see 🙂 Q’bara, the new fusion Arabesque restaurant at Wafi is amazingly good and very well priced – review on FooDiva. Hope this helps but let me know if you need anything else. Enjoy!

          • Mary Kay (Out and About in Paris) January 25, 2014 at 12:52 am

            The ground that I’m covering is all thanks to you and your tips! Please let me know if you ever come to Paris so that I can return the favor. I’m a foodie at heart and have enjoyed some wonderful meals (and afternoon teas!) here.

            Thanks again for your help and additional suggestions. I’m really looking forward to experiencing Dubai!

  14. Selina Dixon January 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    It is rather hard to simply choose 1 chef as I admire the majourity of them. My top xxx are: Anthony Bourdain for his nonchalant approach and he is just very down to earth. His show no Reservation has me staying home on a Thursday evening watching re-runs. Jose Andres – I was lucky enough to dine at one of his restaurant – The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS Beverley Hills last year and one of the happiest moments of my life. Lorraine Pascale – simply because she is a Beautiful Black woman (biased I know). Ferran Adria of the famous El Bulli – sadly I never got the opportunity to go. The fact that it was only 52 seats and located in Costa Brava made it enchanting.

  15. Hannah Joji January 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    My favorite professional chef in the World is Chef Vineet Bhatia. Reason is, he is such a humble down to earth Chef I have ever come across. At the taste of Dubai, when I attended his Masterclass, I saw how much he inspires foodies and non foodies to join him up on stage and gives few a chance to join the Masterclass with him and this way we get a chance to cook the awesome lip smacking dish he teaches in a simple and easy way and gets as many people to get involved in the Masterclass. Now, this is what I really appreciate about him. Moreover, one gains confidence when he/she is up on the stage to cook along side with him. He is always seen smiling and this builds the confidence of nervous foodies who probably have never cooked live on stage with many so many Audience watching them cool live.. Once when we r done with cooking we step down with a million dollar smile and with confidence we return back home with lot of talents and hone our culinary skills that we have achieved through professional experts like Chef Vineet Bhatia. I admire the way he makes any complex dishes so simple with step by step demo and easy for any one to understand. Truly, admired and loved by one and all for his simplicity and humble nature. He is truly everyone’s inspiration and I admire his cooking demo. He is my all time favorite chef.

  16. Hannah Joji January 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    As a Culinary Enthusiasts, a food lover & a passion to meet celebrity Chefs, I really Hope to be lucky to meet the professional Chefs! It will be a dream come true. Hope to be lucky.
    @visitabudhabi #gourmetabudhabi

  17. Rachel January 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Having been a massive foodie most of my life, and having learnt to cook my first roast dinner for the family at the early age of 12 (my mother had to work a Sunday once and I recall being mortified that I would miss out on a Sunday roast because of it), the idea of choosing one favourite chef puts my head in a spin!
    I love Nigella Lawson, simply for her love of food. No other chef would get away with using so much sugar, butter, cream… lets face it Nigella’s guts to say “if it doesn’t have the good stuff in it, its not going to taste good!” are admirable… albeit not the healthiest.
    Jamie Oliver is a sure favourite for his ease of technique and interesting ingredients. Never afraid of grabbing the Olive-oil (perhaps it was his destiny) a great clean way of cooking and even an amateur cook can follow his delicious recipes.
    And last but not least George Calombaris… what a legend! My unhealthy addiction to Australian Maser Chef started because of George. How can you not love a guy who wants you to love food and much as him and his Greek Mar!

  18. Hannah Joji January 26, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Thank you Foodiva for coming up with this Culinary Event Competition. Whether I win or I don’t win, let me tell you that your Blog is great with fantastic Restaurant reviews, Foodie happenings, Chef meet, and yeah not to forget nice foodie pictures. I am inspired by everything and I love reading your blog. Looking forward for more of such foodie happenings.

  19. Yazan A G January 27, 2014 at 2:42 am

    My favorite chef is Goarge calmbaris ,
    He actually represent my style and passion for cooking
    I get inspired as a chef every time I watch him ,
    And the main reason is that he modernize his food heritage ,and that’s exactly what Im working on .

  20. FooDiva January 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Drumroll….we have our two lucky winners! Rifat Tahir Shiraz who wins the culinary masterclasses (favourite chef is Marco Pierre White) and Natasha Button who wins the George Calombaris dinner. Her favourite is Marcus Wareing. Congrats and thank you to all participants for entering. We have another competition lined up for you next week so plenty more opportunities to win 🙂

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