20 October, 2011

Table 9 - great expectations for Dubai

I was at an event yesterday afternoon, and another of my food blogging Dubians asked a chef, who is Michelin starred in his own country, "Is Dubai ready for Michelin?"

He spoke diplomatically for about two minutes, praising many of the restaurants in Dubai, it's rapid growth, and then swiftly changed the subject onto what he loves so much about this city. No. Dubai is not ready for Michelin. I don't need him to answer that for me - I know it myself. But the question to ask is "Why?"

Michelin is more than just a restaurant guide. It's stamp on a city signifies a Neil Armstrong sized leap into the gastronomic world, plus a mark of excellence when it comes to tourism. Basically, there has to be something to see, something to eat, and somewhere to stay that is worth yelling to the people back home about, not just in the singular, but many, many things - enough to write a book about.

You may say that Dubai has plenty to write home about. So may I - in fact, I do - about three times a week on my blog. But the problem is, that nearly everything in Dubai is borrowed, and I'm not talking about the financial crisis. This is the city that has both everything and nothing. A city made up of the desires of a multi-cultured population and the whims of the powers that be. It is a new city, with a local citizenship that represents only a fifth of the total demographic, and an economy relying on tourism. In the grand scheme of things it has no history or unique culture. It has not had time to develop it's own personality. Don't get me wrong - it has personality, but sometimes it seems it's in the vein of Sybil.

But on Tuesday night, I glimpsed the start of Dubai's future. Two fantastic young chefs have just found themselves in a sliding doors moment. Gordon Ramsay has decided to close the flailing Verre, leaving Scott Price and Nick Alvis looking for work. Now, they are both excellent chefs, and would have absolutely no trouble picking up work in any number of the best European restaurants, but do you know what they have decided to do?

They are opening their own restaurant, in Dubai, remaining in the soon-to-be-vacated shell of Verre by Gordon Ramsay. I'm getting all tingly just writing about it. You see, I come from a city where the culture is very food oriented, and this signifies, for me, a step towards Dubai starting to grow up.

read more on the hedonista here...


Uday said...

Hi, a client of ours is an international coffee brand. They have set up their first shop here recently and would like you to review their products. Is there any phone/email which I can reach you guys on?

Brett Eliot said...

Expectations are increasing from Dubai since few years. Now many more expats are entering UAE for work opportunities. Also companies are hiring freelancers for their jobs to carry out operations.

Haris said...

Its a nice step to move ahead

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