If you haven’t been to Flooka at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade, it’s a restaurant that should be on your list. Not only because it’s nestled in a stunning setting with a view of the mangroves, but also because the executive chef Ibrahim Osseiran is a master with seafood. Osseiran (who also oversees Flooka in Dubai) has put his personal stamp on the menu.
“It’s traditional with a twist of modern. We make old food in a new way.” Among his signature dishes are fish kibbeh and fish shawarma – two Middle Eastern specialities usually done with meat. Of his kingfish shawarma, Osseiran says: “People love this. It’s famous. This is my taste.”
His goal is to bring Flooka to more people. “I want Flooka to be famous and for people to understand our food,” says Osseiran. “I need it to be franchised. That’s my dream.” He’s looking forward to his first Taste of Abu Dhabi festival. “I’m excited to meet the international chefs,” says Osseiran. “I’m hoping to learn new things. It’s good for me and my career.”
Other notable chefs at the festival include the Spice Prince of India and Food Network star Reza Mahammad; Jonathan Phang, who hosts Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains on the Travel Channel; Steven Edwards, the 2013 winner of MasterChef the Professionals, a BBC competitive cookery show; and Bader Najeeb Al Awadhi, the 18-year-old Emirati baking sensation who has hosted two shows on Abu Dhabi TV Al Emarat.
There will be meet and greets and book signings with the chefs in addition to their cooking demonstrations.
For a full schedule of the Chefs' Theatre presentations, and their sessions at the interactive cookery school, visit www.tasteabudhabi.com