Cookbook pays homage to Dubai chefs with 75 recipes

'The Best of Dubai' is a free-to-access e-book by author Flavel Monteiro

Chocolate and banana tart by pastry chef Jerome de Oliviera 
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Dubai author Flavel Monteiro must have a banquet of chefs on speed dial: he has managed to put together six cookbooks since February – loaded with recipes from the who’s who of the culinary world – and his latest was released on Tuesday, October 6.

Cooking up a storm with Dubai chefs

This newest is an ode to Dubai, an e-book titled The Best of Dubai: A Dining Experience. The 300-page tome is a celebration of the emirate's chefs: 34 contributed 75 free-to-access recipes for the book. Some run the show at restaurants helmed by international chef patrons – such as Salvo Sardo from Ronda Locatelli and Francesco Acquaviva from Social by Heinz Beck – while others have worked their way up from other kitchens to their own – such as Reif Othman and Nick Alvis and Scott Price.

'The Best of Dubai: A Dining Experience' features 75 free-to-access recipes by 34 chefs

Florid introductions are penned by some of the best-known names in the business, think Michelin-lauded chefs Heinz Beck and Alfredo Russo, and Mark Sansom, content editor for The World's 50 Best Restaurants.

Each waxes eloquent about the opportunities Dubai affords its chefs, its warm hospitality and ever-evolving food scene thanks to the city’s multicultural status.

As Sansom puts it, residents can be sure that “the future of their eating experiences is in very good hands indeed”.

A dash of Emirati cuisine

Monteiro has dedicated a separate section to Emirati cuisine, with a foreword by Jean Winter, founder of Jean’s Private Kitchen. The chef and food consultant recalls how she was properly introduced to authentic Emirati dishes and customs by Sheikha Latifah Al Maktoum and her mother Hessa bint Rashid Al Maktoum, who put together a feast that makes for a delicious read.

If you’re inspired, you can try your hand at the seven Emirati recipes at the start of the book, which include dishes by Hatta chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi of Al Nafoorah.

Restaurant-style recipes

Elsewhere, the recipes are divided into vegetarian, seafood and meat, and recreate the dishes that you’ll find on the menus of some of Dubai’s best-known restaurants – from Alici and Coya to Hakkasan and Zhen Wei. The book ends on a sweet note with six dessert recipes by renowned international pastry chefs.

Fancy fare

If there’s one complaint a novice cook might have with this book, it’s that some of the recipes come across as too opulent to whip up in a lay kitchen. That’s not entirely surprising, given the calibre of the chefs, but you’re unlikely to get your salmon to look anything like Gregoire Berger’s Floating Island.

If you'd like to try anyway, The Best of Dubai is available here.

Floating Island by chef Gregoire Berger of Ossiano

Next on Monteiro's agenda is an e-book starring the best chefs in Abu Dhabi, as well as Gastronomy Spain, due to be released in time for Christmas, and featuring chefs and dishes from the country's 17 regions.

Recipe: Avocado galouti kebab with tortilla paratha and home-made salsa and sour cream

By chef Himanshu Saini of Tresind

Avocado galouti kebab with tortilla paratha and home-made salsa and sour cream by chef Himanshu Saini of Tresind

Ingredients and method for the avocado kebab

250g Hass avocado, ripe

50g mashed boiled potato

10g onions, chopped

10g tomatoes, chopped

5g coriander, chopped

5g ginger, chopped

5g green chilli, chopped

30g roasted gram lentil powder

10g ghee

2g green cardamom powder

5g roasted cumin powder

Salt for seasoning

1 packet tortilla

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasoning. Make small kebabs of 40 gm each and keep them in the refrigerator to set.

Cut small-sized tortilla sheets to hold the avocado kebabs.

Ingredients and method for the tomato salsa

50g onions, chopped

100g tomatoes, chopped

10g red bell peppers, chopped

10g green bell peppers, chopped

5g coriander, chopped

20ml Tabasco sauce

50g tomato ketchup

Salt for seasoning

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for salsa and mix it well. Adjust the seasoning.

Ingredients and method for the sour cream

50g fresh cream

10ml Lime juice

Salt for seasoning

Mix all the ingredients and whisk them.

To serve

Sear the avocado kebabs as well as the tortilla sheets to give them a paratha-like effect. Place the kebabs on the sheets with sour cream, and tomato salsa.

Recipe: Kingfish machboos with dry lemon

By Emirati chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi

Kingfish machboos by Emirati chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi


1kg kingfish

800g basmati rice

120g tomatoes, chopped

100g onions, chopped

20g garlic, chopped

150ml local ghee

10g local spices

4g turmeric powder

2 dry lemons

2g cinnamon sticks

1g bay leaves

½g cloves

20g ginger, mashed

5g salt

2g pepper

6 cups water

Method for the kingfish

Clean and cut the fish in 1 inch slices, and marinate it with local spices, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Heat 50ml ghee in a flat pan and fry the fish on both sides until it is fully cooked.

Method for the machboos

Heat the remaining ghee in a deep pot and sauté the onions, garlic, ground spices.

Add the tomatoes, ginger and the powdered spices. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add water, season it with salt and pepper.

Cook for a further 10 minutes on medium heat and add the lemon and coriander.

Add the rice and some more coriander and cook on a low flame.

Once the rice is cooked add the fried king fish and cover the pot. Let it further cook for 15 minutes on low heat and serve hot without breaking the fish.

Dubai author Flavel Monteiro released the book online on October 6