Who’s FooDiva?

FooDiva

Firstly who’s FooDiva? A Greek-Cypriot-British diva and resident of Dubai for 15 years, ditched the corporate hospitality PR world four years ago to set up her own business – this impartial restaurant review website/ blog FooDiva launched in February 2011, which within nine months was voted second Best Blog in Dubai (beaten to the top spot by a beauty blog!), followed by Gold in the Expat Blog Awards UAE 2012 and 2013, plus the Expat Star Awards 2013. FooDiva has featured prolifically in local and international broadcast, print and online media including a guest segment on CNN Go’s travel programme on Dubai and Dubai TV’s Out and About show.

Furthermore, she is an expert columnist for ITP’s monthly Gourmet magazine, a freelance writer for The National newspaper and Esquire magazine, an F&B and communications consultant/ trainer. Click here for a portfolio of feature articles. She is a regular speaker and panellist on her favourite subjects – food, restaurants, hotels, travel and social media – as well as an industry Awards judge for many outfits, some of which she’s not at liberty to disclose!

But more importantly why FooDiva? New hotel and real estate developments are on the rise again, including a constant flurry of restaurant openings, almost weekly. Dubai has approximately 10,000 eateries of which 5,000 are licensed establishments serving booze. That’s a staggering amount for a population of just over two million, remembering that probably only about a quarter have the disposable income to eat out well. So with Dubai’s burgeoning dining scene fuelled by a primarily expat population and escalating visitor numbers, plus a real gap in the market for a website dedicated to impartial, intelligent restaurant reviews, FooDiva brings you her very own critique on where to dine, what to eat, and in some cases where to buy it. Aside from restaurant reviews which now cover Abu Dhabi as well, you’ll find interviews with chefsfood features, foodie eventsgourmet shop openings, culinary travel, product reviews and competitions.

More here in FooDiva’s editorial policy. You can subscribe for free here to a weekly newsletter, or just type what you’re looking for in the search function, and the relevant reviews will pop up. In addition, FooDiva has recently launched restaurant tours of Dubai – more here.

If you’d like to get in touch directly or through social media, you can Find FooDiva here.

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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60 Responses to “Who’s FooDiva?”

  1. Bernard Creed November 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Sam!

    Love your site. You know I hate stuff like this normally but having seen your site I am now hooked! Really great and I look forward to more updates.

    Only one small complaint – thought you would have covered the dinner party in Garhoud but obviously it did not make the cut.

    :(

    Still love you though!

    Bx

  2. FooDiva November 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for loving FooDiva!

    I was off duty that night…but yes I should have. The food and the chef certainly deserved a posting. Invite me back and I will review it!
    x

  3. Admirer November 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    This is a great initiative and it will not be long before your following reaches 4 figures and then the sky is the limit.

    • FooDiva November 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks for following FooDiva. I so hope so too! x

  4. reda November 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Petit chat x

  5. Elena November 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for keeping me entertained.
    I always do chuckle when I follow u!
    x

    • FooDiva November 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      I love that you love FooDiva! Feel free to subscribe too. x

  6. Christianna November 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I can’t wait to share the culinary discoveries we’ll be making in a few weeks!!

    • FooDiva November 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      Quite! The prospect of all that fresh meat is already making me drool. Lots to share on FooDiva. x

  7. Admirer December 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Can’t wait for more reviews…..

  8. FooDiva December 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Another one coming shortly…x

  9. Nicole December 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Love the blog – interesting, informative and not preachy – tough to achieve but you do it perfectly. Will be checking in regularly xx

  10. FooDiva December 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Coming from such a discerning journalist, I am truly very flattered – thank you! x

  11. Anthony December 24, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Congratulations on a great site. Have fun in Kenya and looking forward to catching up in 2011.

    • FooDiva December 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Festive wishes FooDiva friends! Thank you for all your positive feedback. I’ll be sure to keep you entertained.
      x

  12. The Angstman Family December 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Sam
    Congratulations to your new website. Brilliant idea. We love it and will be regular guests. Merry x-mas and a happy New Year

  13. amer fahed December 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    all very good and its very nice idea and i wishing all
    best

  14. The Angstman Family December 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Sam
    If you run across a decent US Prime Rib of Beef in your culinary adventures in either DXB or any other gastro scene worldwide please look over the Chef’s shoulder for a sneak view of the recipe and let us know by return. It‘s literally unknown and not available in our part of the world … even the Mövenpick’s appear to ignore it ……or do a modest job only when trying to go US once in a while. Thks

    • FooDiva December 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

      Gutenmorgen Mr Angstman!

      Most steakhouses here in Dubai serve US prime rib of beef. It’s a permanent fixture on both Gary Rhodes’ Twenty10 and also West 14th’s menus which I recently reviewed. I’ll be in touch with a recipe.

      x

  15. Nadia December 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Hi FooDiva! Just stumbled across your blog and noticed you were at Suzanne’s book launch at Bloomingdale’s —so was I!!! I bought two copies. In case you were wondering, she has a facebook page here:

    http://www.facebook.com/suzannehusseini

    All the best my dear :)

    Nadia

    • FooDiva December 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Hi Nadia,

      It’s a small foodie world indeed!

      Best wishes,
      x

  16. David Smith January 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Enjoyed meeting you at Kichwa Tembo! Your website is wonderful and I look forward to perusing it regularly.

    • FooDiva January 7, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Happy new year David. Many thanks for the compliment and thanks for subscribing.

      The safari seems so long ago…must get a copy of your rhino photos!

  17. Amanda January 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Great site, easy on the eye, whoever did your design did a professional job! I think u’ll do well and if you have a big following maybe lots of free dinners! x

    • FooDiva January 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you! Believe it or not, it’s pretty much self-designed with some help from a web design team. FooDiva is looking forward to your visit, and our nights out! x

  18. Nazneen February 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    This website is impressive. So many interesting articles and useful tips. The collaboration with Round Menu is a great idea. FooDiva is truly making a mark on the Dubai scene.

    • FooDiva February 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you! Great feedback helps spur me on. Plenty more to come. X

  19. Steve February 5, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Hi there Samantha!

    My name is Steve Walters and I recently started blogging at http://www.eatingbangkok.com, which is currently being updated with recipes, but in the next few months will be my vehicle for covering the food and restaurant scene in Bangkok Thailand.

    I am now in the process of meeting as many food bloggers as I can and I found your site http://foodiva.net recently and was pretty impressed. I’ve added your site to my Foodie Blogs list here: http://www.eatingbangkok.com/foodie-blogs/ and would also like to add you to my blogroll.

    If you could add my site to your blogroll and write back to let me know it has been added I will add you to mine as well and the exchange would be greatly appreciated!

    As you might imagine I am very excited to get moved to Bangkok and get started on covering the food scene there as I feel it is an area that isn’t well covered by English speaking bloggers. I plan on adding loads of great reviews, pictures and even video and will be holding contests as well. It should be fun, entertaining and informative for everyone that visits.

    Thank you so much in advance for adding me to your blogroll and I look forward to reading your posts (I’ve subscribed!) and maybe even featuring some of your own posts as I do plan on a weekly roundup of Thai themed recipes and posts from other food bloggers.

    Warm regards,
    Steve

    P.S. If you are on Twitter I would love to have you as a follower and I follow back:
    http://www.twitter.com/eatingbangkok

    • FooDiva February 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Hello Steve,

      Am so glad you reached out to me. I too am making contact with food bloggers here in Dubai and around the world.

      Bangkok is one of my favourite cities in the world, with such a fabulous food scene, lucky you!

      Thanks for adding FooDiva to your listing, I have reciprocated as well. We’ll follow each other on Twitter too (@foodivaworld).

      I don’t see your email in my subscriber database, did you get a confirmation? Feel free to email me direct on srcwood@emirates.net.ae

      Here’s to lots of foodie adventures!
      Best,
      Samantha

  20. Rana February 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Would love to have your email :)

    we have an event coming up and i’d like to know if you’ll be interested to be part of that.

    Regrads,
    Rana

  21. John Podaras February 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Dear Foodiva, I just heard that the Benkay Restaurant and Lounge has finally opened at the 49th floor atop the JAL Tower on SZR. Three levels of (hopefully) Japanese authenticity. Can’t wait to read your review, when you will be able to fit it in!

    • FooDiva February 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Ooh how lovely – let’s add it to the list, along with the new Greek kebab joint in Jumeirah!

  22. Christophe Widmer March 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Congratulation to your interview! Got this news tweeted out of Dubai. Love your Blog; very informative.

    Best Regards from Bangkok!

    Chris

  23. Neil Hegarty April 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Great site. Promoting the truth. No global franchise managing your content. Anyone who speaks the truth about what’s out there has to be good. The bottled water was interesting to me … of course. Nice that someone else is starting to point out where these bottled water companies get their water from. One of the great 21st century scams.

    Neil

  24. Katie May 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Hi Samantha,

    Love your site – we do the PR for some restaurants in the UAE and would love to invite you for some dinner. Where can I contact you?

    Many Thanks,
    Katie

  25. vips September 11, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Hi Sam

    I must be the last person on earth to check out your site. It is fab though!

    Just wished i lived in Dubai.
    Looking forward to seeing and of course eating with you.
    May your success carry on forever.

    love
    Vipasha

    • FooDiva September 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Thanks Vipasha. Can’t wait to see you next week – let me know what cuisine you’d prefer, or I can probably guess (Italian?) and FooDiva shall organise :)

  26. Ilya November 17, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Hi Samantha, I am running an Expat community website Casual Expat and will be happy to see your website in our Blog directory!

    Please feel free to add it to http://casualexpat.com/uae/dubai/blogs. It’s free and easy.

    • FooDiva November 18, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Done Ilya! Thanks :)

  27. Anahid Dewletian December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hi there – i noticed that you were at Falcon School in Nicosia from 1979 – 1990 (through Linked In). I was also there in 1979 – 1981/2 only but we may have been in the same class. I would love to find some of the people we went to school with and it’s so difficult for our years in those days.

    By any chance – does my name ring a bell for you? I was in the boarding school for part of the first year 1979 – 1980. One of the teacher’s I remember names for are Mr. Floyd for English.

    Does any of this sound familiar to you? I have a couple of class pictures from those years (one of them is at the swimming pool and we’re standing partly on the diving board etc.).

    It would be very funny if we happened to be in the same year!
    anahid

    • FooDiva December 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Anahid. Sorry your name doesn’t ring a bell, but my memory is awful anyway :( I do vaguely remember Mr Floyd…

  28. IshitaUnblogged April 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Congratulations for winning the 2nd place in the Best Blog in Dubai! As promised I tried digging your archives regarding your Nepal posts – couldn’t find an Archive. I would love to read on them. And thanks for leaving such a warm comment – it’s really motivating, specially for passionate bloggers like me. I do have lot of things buzzing in my head – lots of food ideas inspired by our travels and the people we have come across while travelling. My blog is still evolving and hope to touch many more nostalgia and emotions. The links to your Nepal posts please…

  29. angeljuicer May 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hello?
    This is AeHa who is international sales manager in angel juicer company Korea.
    we are one of the best juicr in the world,
    we are having exhibition in Abu Dhabi 21th~23th May 2012.
    please come and hope you see our juicers.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Abu Dhabi.
    thanks.
    please visit our website http://www.angel-juicer.co.kr.

  30. Andrea June 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Yay, another Cypriot in Dubai – there aren’t many of us! Absolutely love your site. Keep up the great work!

    • FooDiva June 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Oh wow Andrea – so true. Many Greeks here, but sadly not many Cypriots! Thanks for loving FooDiva. Efharisto. x

  31. Rita Rodrigues October 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hello ms Samantha,,, i happened to read the article where the ‘rude’ chef replied to your comments about the food, prices, wine at the newly opened restaurant in Dubai. I think he was out of line and extremely unprofessional. Not everyone has to like his food for whatever reason. With his vulgar response he has shown to us how crude he is. Hats off to you for handling this with grace, you are in my books a terrific ‘lady’. God bless you from Houston, TX

    • FooDiva November 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you so much Rita – really appreciate you dropping by with this very kind comment. It’s not easy to take the higher ground, but I will not stoop to his behaviour. Sadly he sets a bad example for his industry when many of the chefs that I know both locally and internationally are charming individuals always on the look out for constructive feedback. The irony of this particular review was that the food actually impressed – perhaps it just got lost in translation ;) x

  32. lola's confections May 28, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Hi ms Samatha,
    Am lola from Nigeria, Am coming to Dubai on the 2nd of June for 5 days and will love to meet you and experience some of your beautiful recipes, Am about to open up my small portal cabin’s confectionary store and we make cupcakes, doughnut, cookies and home made candies, I don’t have a confectionery background but came up with my personal recipes, will love to meet and learn from you and maybe you can introduce me to various stores and restaurants……

    • FooDiva May 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Lola. I am quite busy that week but perhaps we can have a chat. Feel free to call me when you’re here 050-4585139. Thanks.

  33. Nikhita August 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Hi Foodiva,

    First of all – I love your website! Just wanted to drop you an email saying hi – I’m the public relations executive at The Change Initiative. Not sure if you’re familiar with us. We’re a one stop shop for sustainable solutions. We also sell a lot of food and food products. We have a cafe called ‘The Taste Initiative’ as well. We’re located on Shaikh Zayed Road just a little further from MOE. Would love to invite you for our upcoming events.

    Do send me your contact details so we can connect with you. Thanks!

    Nikhita

    050 3785915

  34. Aditi Bhattacharjee December 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Dear FooDiva,

    Just been reading all your reviews and blogs about various eateries around Dubai. Have to admit the diversity of your taste and the accurate review about each.

    Just wanted to let you know about our restaurant Donner Express.

    I would like to invite you to our restaurant Donner Express to try the famous British style Donner kebabs, BBQ Grills and British Indian Curries. We are new and want people to know about us. We are located at Shop G83, Bay Avenue Mall, Executive Towers, Business Bay.

    Looking forward for your visit…

  35. Roksar Kamal June 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hi,

    I hope you’re doing well. I came across your blog ‘FooDiva’ It looks quite interesting. My name is Roksar Kamal and I am from a PR agency. I’ve contacted you regarding a book launch and press conference thats taking place this week sometime soon. I would like to invite you to the book launch.

    The event is related to food therefore the coverage will be great for your blog! Its for a high-end lifestyle book so would appreciate it if you could attend it. We are giving giveaways for bloggers as well. If youre interested in attending the event, you can mail me on roksarkamal_99@hotmail.com.

    Thank you

  36. Jalal June 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Hi Food Diva,

    Please provide me with a contact’s name to set up a meeting for possible business collaboration.

    Regards,
    Jalal George

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