Definition of a foodie

Recently I received a frantic call from one of my friends, asking what she should cook when her brother and his new girlfriend came over for dinner the following night.

Now, I usually love these sorts of challenges and will happily concoct virtual menus, write shopping lists and issue instructions on a minute-by-minute basis. And, bar the time I tried to teach another friend how to debone a chicken via What's App and she started with the bird the wrong way up, things seem to turn out pretty well.

On this occasion, however, it was a little different. The girl in question was picky. And by that I don't just mean a little bit fussy, we're talking properly finicky - in short, a vegan who isn't keen on carbs and currently only eats green vegetables. It took a while, and there was, I admit, a fair bit of eye rolling, but we eventually settled on a girlfriend-friendly menu that also appealed to the other guests: baked quinoa cakes with crispy kale and (green) chilli-flaked spinach, in case you're interested.

Excluding those who suffer from food allergies or intolerances, receiving a list of pre-dinner demands like that is guaranteed to irritate all but the most sanguine of chefs. However, I think a fussy eater is preferable to a food bore. I'm sure you've all encountered them: the person who first refers to themselves as "a real foodie" - a term guaranteed to make me cringe - and then proceeds to list the different types of olive oil that currently reside in their well-stocked kitchen cupboard.

They're then likely to reveal that they spent X amount on a wedge of truffled Brie at Christmas and have eaten crispy locusts and fried grasshoppers in Thailand, but won't entertain the thought of having baked beans on toast for supper, unless the beans are homemade - which defeats the point of this store cupboard supper, in my eyes.

When I was back in the UK a few weeks ago, I went to a party at one of my parent's friend's houses. Someone asked what I did for a living and when I told them that I was a food writer, the youngest son (18) gleefully propelled me towards his laptop so that I could take the Food List Challenge. According to the list, if you've tried more than 20 of the 100 dishes or ingredients, you're a confirmed (shh, say it quietly) foodie.

With items such as Spam and pineapple cottage cheese making an appearance, I'm not entirely sure that this should be taken as a compliment. It did give me an idea for a dish that I'd like to try next time a food bore comes calling, though.

Follow us on Twitter and keep up to date with the latest in arts and lifestyle news at


For more information, and to enter the race, please visit


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Founder: Ayman Badawi

Date started: Test product September 2016, paid launch January 2017

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Software

Size: Seven employees

Funding: $170,000 in angel investment

Funders: friends

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
India squad

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.


Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

The biog

Name: Ayisha Abdulrahman Gareb

Age: 57

From: Kalba

Occupation: Mukrema, though she washes bodies without charge

Favourite things to do: Visiting patients at the hospital and give them the support they need.
Role model: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and


Tim Paine (captain), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner


Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg

Roma 4
Milner (15' OG), Dzeko (52'), Nainggolan (86', 90+4')

Liverpool 2
Mane (9'), Wijnaldum (25')

The years Ramadan fell in May





The Al Barzakh Festival takes place on Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30pm in the Red Theatre, NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Tickets cost Dh105 for adults from

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Explainer: Tanween Design Programme

Non-profit arts studio Tashkeel launched this annual initiative with the intention of supporting budding designers in the UAE. This year, three talents were chosen from hundreds of applicants to be a part of the sixth creative development programme. These are architect Abdulla Al Mulla, interior designer Lana El Samman and graphic designer Yara Habib.

The trio have been guided by experts from the industry over the course of nine months, as they developed their own products that merge their unique styles with traditional elements of Emirati design. This includes laboratory sessions, experimental and collaborative practice, investigation of new business models and evaluation.

It is led by British contemporary design project specialist Helen Voce and mentor Kevin Badni, and offers participants access to experts from across the world, including the likes of UK designer Gareth Neal and multidisciplinary designer and entrepreneur, Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi.

The final pieces are being revealed in a worldwide limited-edition release on the first day of Downtown Designs at Dubai Design Week 2019. Tashkeel will be at stand E31 at the exhibition.

Lisa Ball-Lechgar, deputy director of Tashkeel, said: “The diversity and calibre of the applicants this year … is reflective of the dynamic change that the UAE art and design industry is witnessing, with young creators resolute in making their bold design ideas a reality.”

Indoor Cricket World Cup

Venue Insportz, Dubai, September 16-23

UAE squad Saqib Nazir (captain), Aaqib Malik, Fahad Al Hashmi, Isuru Umesh, Nadir Hussain, Sachin Talwar, Nashwan Nasir, Prashath Kumara, Ramveer Rai, Sameer Nayyak, Umar Shah, Vikrant Shetty