An incredible roster of Michelin-lauded chefs from all over the world have descended on Expo 2020 Dubai's Al Wasl Plaza to present one-of-a-kind degustation menus as part of Jubilee Gastronomy.
Now the final feast has been revealed — and it’s bringing together two of the UAE’s own top chefs for a closing service like no other. On March 30, Freddy Kazadi of 3 Fils (the restaurant that took the top spot on the first Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants list) and Nick Alvis of folly will join forces to serve up The Finale: Connecting East & West, a four-course lunch priced at Dh495.
While diners are in for a one-off treat, the chefs, too, could not be more excited about the collaboration. “I’ve been around for quite a while and Freddy is new to the scene, so it’s a bit of an old dog, new tricks situation,” says Alvis, with a laugh.
Meet the chefs
Alvis first arrived in Dubai 12 years ago, and has lived and breathed the city’s culinary scene, first as head chef at Verre by Gordon Ramsay at Hilton Dubai Creek and most recently at the helm of folly at Souk Madinat.
Having set out with the goal of launching a neighbourhood cafe, the British-born Alvis now finds himself running a leader of the 50 Best Discovery list, an offshoot of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
Meanwhile, Kazadi, who arrived in Dubai almost two years ago “for a holiday”, now holds the position of senior sous chef at the best restaurant in the Middle East.
“I was planning on visiting Dubai for a few weeks, but then 3 Fils offered me an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” says Kazadi, who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Since then, it’s been like living in a dream. I’m excited to work with Nick and learn whatever I can from him.”
On the menu
The meal will kick off with tuna tataki rolls prepared by Kazadi, followed by corned rose veal, foie gras and gooseberry, a dish that folly fans may recognise.
The main course takes us back to the East in the form of a squid pasta creation. “The squid itself forms the pasta, and I serve it with shiitake mushrooms and green asparagus,” Kazadi says.
The final course will be a strawberry pavlova with strawberry sorbet and basil leaves prepared by Alvis, and the meal will be accompanied by folly’s famed sourdough bread.
“Both of my courses have been served at folly before, and it’s fantastic to be able to bring them back,” says Alvis.
“The corned rose veal, in particular, is delicious. We grind and marinate the meat with spices then slow-cook it to give it a pulled texture. It’s then mixed with an apple consume and a brined duck liver for a rich, creamy, meaty taste.”
Men with a plan
The collaboration was put together by “chef whisperer” Flavel Monteiro, who has curated the Chef’s Table premium series at Jubilee Gastronomy, bringing a whopping 70 chefs to cook for diners at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“Dubai is the new taste sensation of the world, connecting enhanced flavours and aromas that provides a sensation of richness and taste,” says Monteiro. “I’ve always tried to push the culinary boundaries by creating unique experiences and collaborations.
“This finale will bring the East and the West together in one special lunch, showcasing the perfect mix of culture that makes gastronomy in Dubai and at Expo 2020 so special.”
Both chefs have achieved incredible feats in the region and this latest foray is no exception. “With 3 Fils being ranked at number one in the region by 50 Best, it’s been great to get to know the team and see what they’re all about,” says Alvis.
For Kazadi, the chance to cook at Expo is just the latest honour in an exceptional year so far. “Before 50 Best and after 50 Best are like two different worlds,” he says, “I feel humbled to be recognised and excited for what’s still to come.”