Dish after dish of food and fun

Food guru Event director Victoria Crick on the Taste of Dubai, the biggest food festival in the city, back for a third year. The gastronomic gathering is expected to attract thousands of hungry people to Dubai Media City from today until Saturday.

Victoria Crick is the organiser of Taste of Dubai.
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It is a festival of five-star fine-dining restaurants that reflects the cuisines the UAE has to offer. We've got 23 top restaurants from throughout the country, with the best of Dubai's food industry. Eight or 10 different varieties of food will be represented, from Chinese and Thai to Japanese and modern European.

We have eight new restaurants in addition to the 14 we had last year, all of which have rebooked for this year. We have 30 more participants in the marketplace area. We've also got our Spinneys cookery school, which has eight individual cooking stations so that up to 24 people can be taught. We've got the Blu Water Lounge, which will be serving free mocktails, and we've got the Momotaro sashimi lounge.

It's like a creche area that children can go to for up to two hours and have a play at being a chef. They can decorate cookies and get ideas of how to eat healthily.

We have Gary Rhodes, who is our ambassador. He will be there all four days. On Wednesday and Thursday we've got James Martin, and on Friday and Saturday we've got Giorgio Locatelli, who has the Ronda Locatelli restaurant at Atlantis. Vineet Bhatia will also be here.

We've got Matt Pickop, the executive chef at Gordon Ramsay's Verre restaurant, and Paul Lupton from Rhodes Mezzanine. Chris Lester and Kelly Jackson from Rivington Grill will appear at the Spinneys cookery school and the chef's theatre. We've got Narumol Poolkan from Benjarong. And Yiannis Baxevanis from Elia will do a session for children at the cookery school. He has a facility in his restaurant where he tries to encourage young children to have a go at cooking.

We've got gadgets. People from electrical companies like Kenwood are there. Weber from the Dubai Garden Centre will be there to present different types of barbecues. We'll have Dean & DeLuca, Panini from the Grand Hyatt and Mark Wilkinson Furniture as well as individual companies like Sprinklez Cup Cakez, Sugar Daddy's and Scrumptious.

Oh, there are 65 of them!

It's there again. It's just an amazing show, and the dishes are phenomenal. When you consider the volume of people that come through any one session, to be able to deliver dish after dish of the same high quality to 1,000 or 1,500 people, it's an amazing feat. We've got kangaroo steak from Legends, and that'll be interesting to see how they keep churning them out one after the other.