15 January 2015

Dubai Food Festival promises fun-filled foodie February

Source: Dubai Food Festival website.

The second Dubai Food Festival (DFF) is to include celebrity chefs as well as new activities in addition to favourites from last year, says the Dubai Festivals and Retails Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

New events include the region’s first foodie film nights, Dubai Food & Film, and nine back-to-back celebrity chef cooking sensations as part of the new-for-2015 and Middle East’s first, Fatafeat Kitchen. The Festival will also welcome a fleet of the city’s favourite food trucks in the Food Truck Convoy. Another highlight will be experiencing celebrity chefs taking over the kitchens of the Dubai Creek’s floating restaurants as part of the Dine On The Creek programme. 

The 23-day city-wide extravaganza will also bring back 2014 hits such as Beach Canteen, Dubai Food Carnival, Taste of Peru, GulFood and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF).

DFF 2015 headliners include the Michelin-starred Jason Atherton, award-winning Greg Malouf, TV favourite Sanjeev Kapoor, queen of the Arabic kitchen Manal Al Alem, chef and author, Silvena Rowe, and the Saudi Arabian Super Chef Yousef Khumayes.

Her Excellency Laila Mohammed Suhail Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said: “This year’s edition of the DFF will incorporate a varied and extensive events calendar, showcasing our Emirate at its culinary best. Along with welcoming a number of internationally-renowned chefs, including those who have established restaurants in Dubai, the Festival will celebrate another key element of Dubai’s gastronomic offering, its most-loved home-grown concepts.

“The Festival programme has been designed to both highlight the range of flavours that inspire Dubai’s menus, drawn from the cuisines of the 200 nationalities that live in the city, as well as the traditions of Emirati cuisine and hospitality, an increasingly important element of our tourism offer. We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors from the region and beyond throughout February to experience the depth and diversity of our city’s culinary credentials.” 

This year’s DFF will feature four themes: 

Emirati Cuisine

The Made In Dubai event, debuting 27 and 28 February at Zabeel Park, will pay homage to Emirati hospitality and culture, as it showcases 96 delicious yet often unknown Emirati dishes through tastings and masterclasses with local chefs.

The bigger and better 2015 Beach Canteen, which this year takes residence at Kite Beach for the entirety of the Festival (6 to 28 February), plays host to nine of Dubai’s top homegrown restaurants and concepts. The Beach Canteen will also host popup restaurants from Atherton (26 to 28 February), Kapoor (21 February) and Khamayes (6 to 7 February). 

Similarly, the Urban Bazaar local foodie street market, appearing 6 February at The Archive, Safa Park and on 27 February at the Creekside, Bur Dubai, will host stalls showcasing homegrown concepts.

Multi-cultural Dining & Street Food

DFF will welcome homegrown food trucks including favourites Moti Roti, Raw Coffee and Burger Fuel to take part in the Food Truck Convoy (various dates). The trucks will arrive at key locations including Tecom, JLT and Emaar Square throughout the Festival, serving up street food cuisine. 

At Street Nights (20 to 21 February), street art will be paired with street food in the city’s arts precinct, Al Quoz. Complementing the food theme, a showcase of street-food photographer Penny De La Santos’ most stunning images of the multicultural dining and street food on offer in Dubai will be on show at Dubai Airport during February.

International Chefs & Restaurants

Nine regional and international celebrity chefs will conduct live cooking demonstrations at the inaugural Fatafeat Kitchen (20 to 21 February), including Egyptian cuisine expert and Chef Salma Soliman. Another of the Festival’s inaugural events, Dine On The Creek (various dates, to be announced soon), will see celebrity chefs including Kapoor, Al Alem and Khumayes serve up their award-winning dishes in traditional Emirati surroundings.

“Along with expanding 2014 event favourites, such as the highly popular Beach Canteen, DFF 2015 will see the addition of some truly memorable events and activities that, while inspired by global foodie trends, will have a distinctly Dubai flavour,” said Dubai Food Festival 2015 Director Debra Greenwood.

Further Dubai Food Festival 2015 events and details will be announced in the coming weeks as the launch of the Festival approaches. For the most up to date information regarding this year’s DFF, visit www.dubaifoodfestival.com.

Key Festival Dates and Venues

1. Beach Canteen, 6 to 28 February, Kite Beach, Jumeirah

2. Dubai Food & Film, 6 to 28 February, various outdoor locations throughout the city

3. Urban Bazaar, 6 February – The Archive, Safa Park and 27 February – Creekside, Bur Dubai

4. Food Truck Convoy, 8 to 12 February, 15 to 19 February, 22 to 26 February – Emaar Boulevard, Academic City, JLT Park, Knowledge Village, Studio City

5. GulFood, 8 to 12 February, Dubai World Trade Center

6. Mystery Dining Tours, 9, 14, 17, 18, 23 February, Various locations

7. Dubai Food Carnival, 12 to 14 February, Dubai International Marine Club

8. Taste of Peru, 12 to 14 February, Madinat Jumeirah Amphitheatre

9. Street Food Photography Exhibition, throughout February, Dubai Airport

10. Global Restaurant Investment Forum, 16 to 18 February, Conrad Dubai

11. Fatafeat Kitchen, 20 to 21 February, Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall

12. Street Nights, 20 to 21 February, Street 4B, Al Quoz

13. Masala! Food Fair, 20 to 21 February, Zabeel Park

14. What’s On Black Hat Guide Launch, 22 February, Cargo – Pier 7

15. Made In Dubai, 27 to 28 February, Zabeel Park

16. Dine On The Creek, dates to be announced soon, Dubai Creek