Dubai Food Festival: The meeting point for the gourmet and culinary masters

Shaily Kalra

Dubai Food Festival 2016
Dubai Food Festival 2016

Dubai: Dubai Food Festival, a packed 17-day culinary celebration of new events, activities and promotions, that opened here on Thursday and will continue till March 12, has lined up coveted celebrity chefs who headlined the launch elebrations.

Chefs representing Arabian, Greek, French and Australian cuisines are here and these culinary masters are enticing and exciting the tens of thousands of residents and visitors who would be joining at the Middle East’s only truly citywide food festival.

Visitors to the festival, running 25 February to 12 March 2016, will have multiple opportunities to get up close to the stars, whether at the highly-popular and exclusive Dining with the Starsevents, the family-friendly Beach Canteen on Kite Beach or at the interactive chef MasterClassesat distinguished cookery school, Scafa in JLT.

“We are extremely happy to welcome this calibre of celebrity chefs as part of our upcoming Dubai Food Festival. The fact that these world class masters chose Dubai Food Festival to showcase their culinary mastery is clear proof that Dubai is steadily becoming a beacon for foodies and experts from across the globe,” said Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) that organises the event.

Dubai’s gastronomy scene has continued to go from strength to strength, with a dazzling array of gourmet and avant-garde restaurant concepts to local haunts and hidden gems. And Dubai Food Festival’s celebrity chefs are looking forward to immersing themselves to see what concepts they can take back home with them to weave into their own restaurant offerings.

“I find traveling, experiencing other cultures: new tastes, new techniques, incredibly inspiring. Dubai has always proven exciting. I like searching Dubai for unique cooking techniques I can bring back to our kitchens. I am looking forward to being involved in the Dubai Food Festival and exploring what unique produce and cooking techniques Dubai has to offer,” said Shannon Bennett, whose restaurant Vue de monde was awarded Restaurant of the Year in The Age Good Food Guide, 2013 and 2014.

Also relishing his chance to explore Dubai’s restaurant offering is British born and trained Chef Gary Mehigan – best known for his role as host and mentor on MasterChef Australia.

“I always enjoy my time in Dubai, so I’m really excited about coming to the Dubai Food Festival in February. Dubai is famous for its eclectic mix of world class chefs and restaurants that boast some of the most exquisite locations, I also love digging a little deeper to find and experience some authentic and unique local Emirati cuisine,” added the star, whoco-hosts two shows on Australia’s Lifestyle Food Channel, Good Chef, Bad Chef, and Boy’s Weekend.

Dubai Food Festival and Beach Canteen run till 12 March 2016. The event promotes the diversity, creativity and multicultural nature of Dubai’s culinary offering – from five-star gourmet dining to everyday restaurants and cafés for all budgets; international brands to a burgeoning scene of home-grown concepts influenced by traditional Emirati cuisine and the flavours of the 200 nationalities that live in Dubai.


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