A hotel in Abu Dhabi is launching a new catering facility designed to prepare kosher food for hotels across the UAE.
Aloft Abu Dhabi has partnered with Elli's Kosher Kitchen to open a full-scale kosher catering unit at the hotel.
Launching Sunday, the preparation and distribution centre will distribute freshly prepared kosher food to Marriott hotels across the emirates.
It will also supply kosher food for events taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), beginning with Idex 2021 Defence Exhibition which kicks off on Sunday.
The cuisine will feature Elli's Kosher Kitchen's signature "Kosherati" style. This cooking method fuses kosher recipes with locally sourced ingredients that are popular in Emirati culture.
Dubai resident Elli Kriel launched Elli's Kosher Kitchen in 2019. The company is the largest kosher food supplier in the UAE.
The new food preparation facility at Aloft Abu Dhabi will be headed by UAE chef's trained in kosher food production by Kriel.
“This is a very proud moment for myself and everyone who has helped me take the concept to where it is now, especially my friends in the Emirati community,” said Kriel.
Elli’s Kosher Kitchen is also the only caterer in the country to be certified by the world-recognised Orthodox Union.
Richard Collins, area general manager for Marriott International in Abu Dhabi, said: "Under the agreement, Aloft Abu Dhabi will host a top-quality 'kosherised' catering operation run by Elli and her talented kitchen staff.
“The market for kosher food is growing in the UAE, especially among international travellers following kosher diets, health conscious customers who want to know how their food is prepared, and those curious to experience other ethnic cuisines," he said.
What is kosher food?
The term kosher means fit or acceptable. It refers to the kashrut, or Jewish dietary laws.
Pork and shellfish cannot be included in a kosher diet and meat and dairy products cannot be prepared, cooked and served in the same meal or eaten together.
This means serving lasagne, cheeseburgers and blue cheese on steak is out.
There are three categories that cover dairy, meat and parve.
Parve, also spelt pareve, is a term that covers food that is free of dairy and meat, such as fish, fruit, grain, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and eggs.
Rulings on kosher establishments must be carried out by trained rabbis from a kosher certification agency.
The process involves checking ingredients, before the facility is inspected for aspects including cross-contamination.
The UAE and Israel began to normalise ties after the Abraham Accord were signed at the White House in September 2020. These developments have led to an increased demand for kosher food in the UAE.
Last September, hotels in Abu Dhabi were asked to serve kosher food by the capital’s tourism board as part of a drive to attract more Israeli visitors.