All those weeks at home have given us a renewed appreciation for gourmet creations and new dining experiences. And now, thanks to a new platform that has come to Dubai, you don’t need to leave your couch to enjoy both.
Anonymous food critic and blogger Food Sheikh officially launched Food Sheikh All Stars on Wednesday, June 17. It's a delivery menu that features dishes created by some of Dubai’s leading chefs specifically for the platform.
Residents can scroll through the online menu, order dishes like the All American Chicken Sando by Chef Omar Rosriguez or a Seared Salmon Poke Bowl by Reif Othman, and have it delivered to their door step.
Some of the other well-known chefs whose dishes can be found on the menu include Tom Arnel of Tom & Serg, Chef Akmal Anuar who opened 3Fils, and Stasha Toncev and Chef Urosh Mitrasinovic of 21 Grams fame.
Meanwhile some of the dishes custom made for the platform include a double dynamite shawarma roll by Mohammad Orfali, the ultimate veggie burger by Arnel, dan dan noodles by Omar Rodriguez, Four Cheese Swanky Arabian Rolls by Greg Malouf, Beef Shish Cevap Wrap by Toncev and Mitrasinovic and the Chipotle Chicken Poke by Othman.
There’s even a range of desserts from a cold new tiramisu to a white chocolate and lime cheesecake by Liz Stevenson.
Keeping the current economic situation in mind, the price point has been designed to be accessible, with prices starting at Dh25.
An innovative new concept
The project has been one year in the making, says Food Sheikh. “For years now, I’ve been wanting to explore a concept with storytelling at its core, and what better way to tell stories than through food itself, backed by the talented personalities that prepare the food?”
The food critic started approaching Dubai’s popular chefs in 2019, asking them to create dishes that “told their story through food” while at the same time were made specifically for delivery.
“It’s a very different creative process from creating a recipe for a restaurant,” he explains. “These dishes have to be ready in about eight minutes. They have to be able to sit in a box for 20 minutes and look edible, and they have to travel well. There were a lot of challenges.
"Each chef supplied about eight to nine potential dishes which I then narrowed down and collated into a cohesive menu, to ensure that it is a good mix of cuisines, while best displaying the cooking method and character of each chef.”
The platform then effectively franchised the selected recipes from these star chefs and partnered with a virtual kitchen (also known as a dark kitchen), with months spent on a “knowledge transfer from the chefs to the production team”. “There was a lot of training sessions, Zoom calls, voice notes,” says Food Sheikh. “Everything was happening during the coronavirus pandemic after all.”
However, he feels it was worth all the effort. As the menu launched, Food Sheikh insists that this is going to be more than just another food delivery menu. “It will be extremely live. Some chefs may want to come on, and some may want to leave but it is essentially also a marketing campaign, highlighting their valuable content.
"Even through we are a virtual concept, we want to create tangible experiences with the chefs. And once, the pandemic is behind us, we can actually start meeting for activations and launches. We want to celebrate Dubai’s restaurant industry.”
This is not the first time Food Sheikh has launched a concept to help Dubai's food community. In March, he launched DeliverDXB, a delivery platform that allows customers to support and order directly from their favourite restaurants, in order to cut out aggregators that charge commissions per order.
The All Star kitchen is currently open seven days a week from 11.30am to 11.30pm, with delivery currently available in the Marina area (with plans to extend to the rest of Dubai in the coming weeks). The food can be ordered directly through www.fsallstars.com as well as through all the usual delivery platforms.