Food news: Locatelli's vegan menu, Sho Cho's bento boxes and more

Plus: The Marriott group has launched its More Cravings competition; Freedom Pizza introduces cauliflower crust; and try Yann Bernard Lejard's five-course menu

Ronda Locatelli launches vegan menu

Chef Giorgio Locatelli was at Atlantis, the Palm this week to launch his Italian eatery Ronda Locatelli's vegan menu. Diners can enjoy 40 new plant-based starters, mains and eight types of pizza with vegan mozzarella. Some of the most delicious-sounding dishes include the tomato focaccia; baby spinach salad with walnuts and a pomegranate dressing; spaghetti alla puttanesca with tomato sauce, black olives, cherry tomatoes and capers; and chilli and garlic broccoli. The most delicious-looking item, meanwhile is the sfera di cioccolato, a chocolate sphere with coconut ice cream, mixed berries and hot raspberry sauce. Other vegan- friendly desserts include a rich chocolate cake, avocado chocolate mousse, and strawberry, mandarin, lemon and coconut sorbets. Call 04 426 2626.

Visual feast with a plating master chef in Dubai

It's said we eat first with our eyes, an experience that chef and culinary artist Yann Bernard Lejard has spent his life perfecting. Known for his exquisite plating techniques, the Frenchman uses his crockery as a canvas, drawing out the food using vividly coloured garnishing, edible flowers, wires and metallic foils, and bold brushstrokes of sauces. Lejard will host a five-course dinner at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC's Le Cirque restaurant on Thursday at 7pm. On the menu (Dh350) are some of his signature dishes, including octopus with strawberry tomato lumee, salmon gravlax, with beetroot, horseradish, and apple flower; risoroni with foie gras, coriander, quail and truffle; and beef teriyaki mousseline with white pepper and mushroom. Call 04 372 2323.

Have a bento-box lunch at Sho Cho Abu Dhabi

Lunch at the Japanese restaurant at Qaryat Al Beri will be served in bento-box-form from this week. Diners can choose from two set menus – both of which come with edamame, miso soup, a seaweed, calamari or salmon salad, and a scoop of ice cream or sorbet. Option one also includes beef, chicken, salmon and vegetable teriyaki; four pieces of California maki; and a piece of salmon and tuna sushi, for Dh105. For Dh125, you get two pieces of prawn or vegetable gyoza; lobster, beef, chicken or vegetables in yellow chilli sauce with steamed or fried rice; six pieces of tempura maki; and two pieces of salmon sashimi. The menu is available from noon to 3pm. Call 02 558 1117.

Competition seeks out true-blue foodies

The Marriott group has launched its More Cravings competition to find the UAE's most enthusiastic foodies. The first deadline for the three-phase contest is on Monday, for which participants need to submit a 30-second video clip on their social media accounts, with the hashtag #MoreCravingsMEA. The video should portray who you are, why you think you should be the next foodie, as well as three types of venues you would enjoy writing for. You can choose from categories such as cafes, brunches, bars, family- friendly eateries and luxury dining. The 15 winners who make it to the second phase will be given a task related to one of their submission categories as well as being able to review the eateries within this bracket. Five people will then be shortlisted from each restaurant type, and they will be officially identified as Marriott International's food ambassadors, and get opportunities to review and write about restaurants and bars on the More Cravings website. One overall winner will get a two-night food-­focused trip, inclusive of flights and accommodation. For more information, visit

Get your Freedom Pizza on a cauliflower crust

In addition to the Mother Earth and Plant Eater options on the Freedom Pizza menu, you can now get all your favourite toppings on a ­cauliflower crust. The high-fibre vegetable, which is increasingly being used as a replacement to rice, mashed potatoes and even pasta sauce, is full of antioxidants and vitamins C and K. The crust is ideal for vegans, those intolerant to gluten or lovers of all things organic, as well as those looking for a low-­calorie alternative to regular pizza dough.


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