When Flavel Monteiro released The Best of Dubai a free-to-access e-cookbook with recipes by 34 chefs, he knew he wanted to take the initiative further, to showcase the city's most delicious dishes and the innovative cooks behind them.
The Dubai author's aim is to make the emirate the “culinary destination of the world”. The first step towards this is a one-off food event, which will take place at Reform Social & Grill on Saturday, December 5.
Not only will visitors get a chance to sample street-food-style bites from 15 of the emirate’s best-known chefs, but the chefs themselves will man their own food stalls, and can be approached for meet-and-greets, and even to share the recipes of what they deem are their speciality dishes.
On offer are five starters, seven mains and three desserts, “so foodies can work their way through the menu or head back for more of their favourites”, says Monteiro. A one-time fee of Dh300 gets you access to the venue and unlimited dishes; reservations are recommended.
What’s on the menu?
Here are some of the dishes on offer.
Sirloin with Turkish coffee rub
An enticing blend of flavours, this comes from Colin Clague, chef at Ruya Dubai, who was part of the opening team at Burj Al Arab, as well as Zuma, Jean Georges-Dubai and Q’bara.
Chicken thigh kushiyaki
Dubai’s favourite Japanese chef Reif Othman started his own street-food concept Reif Kushiyaki last year after a stellar career that saw him in the kitchens of Zuma Dubai, Play Restaurant and Billionaire Mansion.
Polpo Cacio e Pepe
Roberto’s chef Francesco Guarracino will serve his famed slow-cooked roasted octopus dish at the event.
The award-winning group chef of Food Fund International, Praba Manickam oversees 11 brands, 21 restaurants and 350 chefs across the Middle East, South Africa and Europe.
Wagyu and truffle korma
Known for his outlandish but delicious fusion fare at Tresind, chef Himanshu Saini combines Japanese meat and Italian truffle with an Indian cooking technique all in one dish.
Angus beef tartare
Bull & Bear chef Luigi Vespero does a mean tartare, with organic egg yolk, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika and Japanese mayonnaise.
Thai grilled chicken
Don’t be deceived by this dish’s simple name; chef Vinu Raveendran is, after all, part of the gastronomic fusion concept that is Carnival by Tresind.
Baby lamb shank machboos
The original Emirati chef, Musabbeh Al Kaabi of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is something of a machboos expert, so save plenty of space for this meat and rice main.
Beef cevapi with urnebes
Uros Mitrasinovic, of hidden gem Balkan restaurant 21 Grams restaurant, is all about authentic fare, as this traditional Serbian dish proves.
For fans of Malaysian food, nothing beats this classic coming from Doubletree by Hilton chef Rene Juefri.
John Buenaventura, executive chef at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, brings a street-food staple to the event.
Pastry chef Nouel Omamalin, aka The Nifty Chef, describes his Best of Dubai offering as “surprise cookies”.
Valrhona chocolate stones and soil
Chef Praveen Kumar adds a hint of smokiness to his dessert with spiced barbecue pineapple.
The Best of Dubai food festival is on Saturday, December 5, from 12.30pm to 4.30pm at Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes Dubai, and is priced at Dh300 for unlimited dishes. Book your spot by calling 04 454 2638 or WhatsApp 058 647 8692.