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Chefs Highlight Dubai’s More ‘Creative, Intense’ F&B Scene in the Build Up To 2020

September 12, 2016 Destination Dubai No Comments Email Email

Chef John Martho Buenaventura, Culinary Director at CUISINERO UNOLeading Middle East chefs and restaurateurs are exploring the changing face of the region’s dining scene ahead of their joint participation in a dedicated food and beverage forum at the 17th annual Hotel Show Dubai.

The region’s leading hospitality event, taking place over three days at the Dubai World Trade Centre this month, is opening up its Vision Conference on 19th September 2016 to expert-led discussions exploring trends amongst the region’s diners.

Speakers include: Chef Colin Clague, Executive Chef & Managing Partner, Ruya Restaurant, Grosvenor House, previously Chef de Cuisine at the Burj al Arab and Executive Chef of the popular Zuma and Qbara restaurants in Dubai; Kuwaiti Chef Ahmed Al Bader, renowned for his influence on the country’s F&B scene through his work with the Epicure Group and Group Six; and Chef Darren Velvick, Head Chef & Patron of The Croft, who spent more than a decade working alongside Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing and won ‘Middle East Chef of the Year 2015′.

Chef Darren Velvick, Head Chef & Patron of The Croft

Al Bader, providing the keynote speech, said: “On the one hand, breaking trends in cities like London and New York are about introducing something new and getting the critics on your side. Here, in the Middle East, trendsetting is more like wildfire. The Arab world is a very social media savvy place, therefore our identity is constantly being portrayed at breakneck speed and people are very keen to adopt. Yes, we uphold our traditions, but trendsetting here can happen overnight.”

“I’m predicting Dubai will get more intense and creative with food in the coming years,” added Chef John Martho Buenaventura, Culinary Director at CUISINERO UNO. “As 2020 approaches, a lot of new restaurants are set to open with a wider range of cuisines, imported brands and Dubai-born concepts; especially with the entrepreneurial Emirati community being very active and tapping into really cool concepts. The Dubai market is starting to really open up into trying new, complex and fun culinary combinations.”

Dubai’s casual dining revolution – favouring authentic street foods cooked quickly and served in a relaxed atmosphere – is set to be a running theme through the series of expert-led discussions.

Alex Teodoresco, the man behind some of Dubai’s most popular events celebrating street culture – including Street Nights Dubai and Truckers DXB – will be speaking at the conference, whilst hosting a feature on the show floor. He commented: “In the past 3 years there have been a few events and concepts that were all about empowering the local communities and young entrepreneurs. Those, in turn have fueled a grass root movement that is creating and expanding the demand for street food concepts.”


Stephen Meredith, Executive Assistant Manager at the Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay Dubai is revealing preparations for the launch of its new outlet ‘The Backyard’ where authentic Asian street food will be served from a food truck. He said: “Street food has been a part of life for many years especially in Africa and Asia. Invariably it is tastier, cooked by someone who has cooked it their whole life, and is prepared to deliver it in generous portions at a fashionable price. Add to that the rise in popularity of food trekking, blogging driven through social media, a melding of cultures, and a millennial generation that wants to get off the beaten track to engage with locals and voila – street food revolution!”

The F&B themed discussions at the 4th annual Vision Conference include: ‘Food as a Feeling: trendsetting in the GCC, reinventing classics and loving food’; ‘Chef Entrepreneurs – the secret of success’; ‘Trends in kitchen and eating spaces – reviving your concept for improved performance’; and ‘The casual revolution: street food, sharing caring, grab and go, menu engineering for new trends and improving revenue performance along the way’; set to take place 10:30am – 14:00pm on Monday 18th September 2016.

Find out more and register to attend The Hotel Show Dubai 2016 (17-19th September 2016, Dubai World Trade Centre) and its Vision Conference for free, at:

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