TIME Oak Hotel & Suites and TIME Grand Plaza have received the official ‘snail of approval’ from the Slow Food Dubai, becoming the first hotels in the Middle East to be recognised as pioneers of the 20-year old international movement.
(L-R) Haytham El Sayed, Executive Chef, Bernard Fantoli, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, TIME Hotels; Laura Allais-Maré, Leader of Slow Food – Dubai; Emin Eser, Hotel Manager, TIME Hotels and Nicolas Palumbo, Assistant Food and Beverage
To qualify for the award, the TIME Hotels culinary team had to create over 50 dishes from scratch, using only locally sourced ingredients.
Founded by professional gourmet Carlo Petrini in 1986, slow food supporters are committed to sourcing and using food that is produced and prepared as per local culinary tradition, and using high quality locally sourced ingredients.
The food and beverage team at TIME Hotels has been working in partnership with the Slow Food Dubai Chefs Alliance since early 2015, to promote the benefits of this unique culinary direction across the hotel’s restaurants and banqueting facilities.
“TIME Hotels is focused on sustainability across all areas of its operation, and food and beverage is no exception. With around 85% of food items imported into the UAE, we believe that we can make a difference by introducing the Slow Food initiative in our hotels,” said Bernard Fantoli, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, TIME Hotels.
(L-R) Chef Ibrahim AlSaid – Executive Sous Chef, Bernard Fantoli, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, TIME Hotels; Laura Allais-Maré, Leader of Slow Food – Dubai; Chris Fourment, General Manager, TIME Grand Plaza and Ziad Minabbawi, Food and Beverage Manager
“The guidelines implemented at both hotels include a commitment to using 100% homemade products with no GMO, MSG or other artificial flavour enhancers; local sourcing of all ingredients/products up to a radius of 3,000 kilometres; and a focus on sourcing organic where possible,” he added.
TIME’s Slow Food menu includes dishes such as labneh cheese with extra-virgin olive oil served with heirloom tomatoes and organic arugula; baked local shari fish with cucumber, carrots and beetroot in a zaatar-black olive sauce; free range chicken machbous with Emirati rice and a secret herb mix; and a delicious cream soufflé made with khidri dates, nuts and mountain honey.
Each property was presented with the award at a ceremony attended by team members instrumental in getting the initiative up-and-running along with representatives from Slow Food Dubai, and invited guests.