The UAE cafe scene serves up dishes from every corner of the world, and now a tantalising initiative is shining the spotlight on the national delicacies. The Emirati Delicacies Programme (ECP), led by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, accomplished its next phase this thirty day period, which associated training the capital’s top rated chefs in Emirati cuisine.
Now, 46 inns throughout Abu Dhabi are featuring their individual just take on Emirati classics – serving anything from 24k-gold-dusted luqaimat to fluffy chebabs – with a perspective to elevate genuine regional delicacies to new heights.
From the intoxicating smells emanating from the kitchen to the varied dishes that form a medley of colour on the plate, Emirati foods is a lesson in not only flavour, but also heritage, culture and hospitality – and there’s no much better man or woman to bring it to the city’s diners than neighborhood chef Khulood Atiq.
All through her profession, Atiq has trained fellow chefs in Emirati cooking strategies and has appeared on many cooking exhibits to endorse the delicacies. ECP has given her the largest platform nevertheless to increase the profile of these dishes, and educate worldwide cooks throughout the capital about common recipes and cooking solutions as a result of digital teaching classes. The cooks, in flip, introduce the dishes to the hotels and dining places they helm throughout the cash, hence opening up the delicacies to more and far more diners.
“Emirati cuisine is the closest to my heart and a pure reflection of my childhood and memories,” claims Atiq. “The to start with dish I learnt to make was Emirati, and I was normally keen to discover a lot more about the meals of my ancestors.
“It is section of our culture and heritage that I am very pleased of, and I am pleased to have had a chance to educate men and women about it.”
The commitment the “country’s initial female national chef” feels in advertising and marketing Emirati delicacies is unwavering, despite dealing with countless issues along the way.
“Everyone assumed I could not take care of the large strain and long working several hours that come with being a chef, only mainly because I am Emirati, permit by yourself a female standing in the kitchen area between all-male colleagues,” she states.
“[When I started] a female wearing a chef’s coat as a substitute of an abaya was an oddity, but I am happy to say that people’s perceptions transformed when they noticed I was committed, potent and assured.
“I feel like a part model for other woman Emirati chefs and I’m encouraging them to keep their individual in any kitchen.”
Atiq has improved perceptions in not only her very own kitchen, but also kitchens around the globe with cooks clambering for a location on the programme. “There’s been an all round positive response, to the extent that some hotel chefs from the initially section of the programme ongoing into the second period to learn new recipes,” Atiq says.
For Jouni Ibrahim, government sous chef at Conrad Accommodations & Resorts, the chance to learn Emirati cuisine from Atiq was not one thing he could move. “Emirati food stuff has an incredible quantity of flavour with an astounding diversity in its spices,” he suggests. “As a chef, it’s an enjoyable delicacies to prepare dinner and I adore understanding new expertise.”
The new dishes out there at the hotel’s Li Beirut Lebanese restaurant include luqaimat dusted in actual gold, as nicely as tender lamb shank machboos.
“I’ve saved the classic taste with authentic elements and spices, and included our personal twist to the presentation,” says Ibrahim. “So far the reaction has been incredible our diners appreciate it.”
In excess of at Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, chef de delicacies Mohamed Bouhlal is of the agency belief that website visitors to the UAE should be able to sample its flavours. “Abu Dhabi is getting regarded as a desired destination for terrific food stuff, and it is significant that Emirati cuisine is part of that,” claims the chef, who is at first from Morocco.
The hotel has launched classic dishes like harees, machboos, luqaimat and madrooba to its all-working day eating restaurant, banquets and in-place eating, and Bouhlal is eager to keep on growing Emirati choices.
“The flavours and hospitality are an integral aspect of the UAE culture, and as a area brand name, we are happy to not only introduce, but also elevate area food stuff,” he suggests. “I system to continue on to extend the menu, but for now I just can’t recommend the chebab sufficient.”
Guests at the Crowne Plaza Yas Island will also be in a position to tuck into genuine dishes including fish machboos and tahta shrimp, thanks to the efforts of cluster executive chef Oscar Cardenas Diaz, who took on the ECP teaching with Atiq.
“We want persons to stop by our hotel and get an insight into the distinctive Emirati society, and then go property and inform every person about our foodstuff,” suggests the chef, who is initially from Buenos Aires.
“You comprehend a state by tasting its food, and we want to share an explosion of flavours from the UAE.”
Atiq, who has also published a e-book about Emirati delicacies, taught the first section of the ECP in 2020 and has considering that adapted the flavours to accommodate a international palate.
“Inspired by Abu Dhabi’s diverse population of more than 200 nationalities, the second stage of the Emirati Delicacies Programme showcased new fusion recipes that intertwined the cuisine with typical dishes from other cultures,” she points out.
“For case in point, chef Sandeep Ail from Punjab Grill fused Indian and Emirati flavours to create standout dishes that include fragrant Emirati-spiced Gulf shrimp, luxurious samak machboos and Hyderabadi oonth ka kebab.”
“Meanwhile, chef Don Munasinghe from Osmo Lounge and Bar extra an Emirati touch to the restaurant’s quirky drinks and desserts menu, with sweet sticky luqaimat cream puffs, light fluffy gahwa tiramisu and a shockingly fragile saffron milk cake.
“With delicacies, we should really constantly be looking for new ideas, impressed by the globe all-around us and concentrating on unique preferences and gorgeous presentation,” suggests Atiq. “If we want to stand out amongst global cuisines, it is important to glance for novelty and experiment with traits.”
Of the 46 motels that have concluded the programme, 23 are new graduates of the 2nd section, doubling the selections for Emirati delicacies in Abu Dhabi.
For Atiq, it is a resounding accomplishment. “Our area dishes are a accurate reflection of the UAE’s trading heritage, with Emirati meals infused with spices and elements from across Asia and the Middle East,” she says.
“It is critical for me to teach chefs on the right way to put together and existing neighborhood dishes, and therefore adjust Abu Dhabi’s culinary landscape by bringing Emirati cuisine to the forefront.”
Current: February 24, 2022, 4:13 AM