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Middle East’s largest food and music festival on in Dubai
By William Faria March 16, 2013
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DUBAI: The sense of sight, smell and taste is all that’s happening at the on-going annual 6th edition of ‘Taste of Dubai’ al fresco festival taking place at the surroundings of the Amphitheatre in Dubai Media City, where UAE residents from all walks of life this weekend have a chance to enjoy the most refined palates.

The three-day event that runs until Saturday (16th March) presented by Philips, is considered to be the Middle East’s largest open-air gourmet food, drinks and music extravaganza.

Speaking to The Gulf Today on the sidelines of the event on Thursday, Chris Fountain, Managing Director of Turret Media, the organisers of Taste of Dubai said that Dubai boasts one of the world’s best collections of restaurants and visitors love to enjoy good food and are always ready to sample something new in the emirate.  He added that last year the event attracted over 22,500 visitors.

Show goers have a chance to taste some of the Gastronomic talent of finger-licking signature dishes which all cost between Dhs15 to Dhs30, said Fountain.

Some of the leading names at the venue include Armani/Amal (Indian) and Armani/Ristorante (Italian) from the Armani Hotel; Indego by Vinnet, Asado (Argentinian) and Thiptara (Thai) from The Palace Hotel, No 5 Bar & Lounge in the Ritz Carlton DIFC, Rivington Grill (British), Ruthís Chris Steakhouse (American), Rhodes Mezzanine (British fine dining), Nobu (Japanese), Gaucho (Argentinian), Ronda Locatelli (Italian), The Gramercy (American) and Rang Mahal from the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis.

The international cuisine is comprised from all over the world as far as Argentina, Thailand, USA, Korea, Great Britain, China, Italy, Japan and many more.

The visitors also got a chance to dine in the dark with Chef Andy Campbell the latest additional feature this year.

There are several and fabulous competitions taking place at the jam-packed venue.

Starting from the purchase of entry tickets via the Taste of Dubai website, one lucky ticket-holder will be entered into a prize draw to win an Ultimate Dining Experience worth Dhs15,000. The prize comprises 30 vouchers worth Dhs.500 from every participating restaurant, including Dubai favourites Rivington Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Rhodes Mezzanine, Nobu, Gaucho and The Grammercy.

This one sounds even more interesting as the name implies ‘Dine in the dark’ yes for sure, diners at this particular outlet are blindfolded and served three large canapés. All you need to do is identify 20 ingredients from a list of 100, and you will be entered into a lucky draw to win a fine dining experience at the comfort of your home courtesy of Chef Andy with a worth of Dhs5,000!

Chef Andy as he is popularly known has been the Head Chef at many well-known fine-dining restaurants in London, including Cafe Royal, Menage A Trois and French House. 

Today, he oversees the kitchen of The Jumeirah Gardens, an exclusive guesthouse, and is most well known for his Seven Signature concept, where he creates dishes using seasonal ingredients and organically grown local produce.

This year’s new dark dining concept joins an array of other popular activities along with celebrity chefs displaying their secret recipes such as Philips Chef’s Theatre (there are a total of 33 cookery demonstrations over the three days) starring celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes, Richard Sandoval, Vineet Bhatia and the Food Network’s Jenny Morris and Reza Mohammed, as well as the Kenwood Cookery Schools (teaching in total 26 interactive cookery sessions).

Then there is Kids Zone that includes a wide variety of engaging and educational activities for children of all ages to enjoy, including live dance and theatre productions, bouncy castles, face painting, a children’s library.

Budding chefs can sign up to the Cookery School on a first come first served basis, with each masterclass open for registration 30 minutes before they begin.

This year’s Taste of Dubai brings together 30 of city’s best restaurants, with 12 of them new to the festival and over 150 dishes on the menu. There are 10 international celebrity chefs including star of primetime British TV Gizzi Erskine and TV chef and author Ariana Bundy. Other leading chefs were also taking part in displays of culinary prowess at the Chef’s Theatre.

Besides the eating and drink, and as the sun settles down, the best soundtrack to a weekend of incredible cuisine, is the Entertainment Stage, that has been sponsored by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts stars two UK acts, The Counterfeit Beatles and The Noisettes, as well as regional musicians Lisa Theunissen and The Makers, Rachael Calladine and The Everyday People, and The Boxtones, alongside a selection of Virgin Radio DJs, fire dancers and samba performers.

The annual Taste of Dubai event has over the years been supported by a variety of food, beverage, entertainment and lifestyle brands.

Every year the event hosts prestigious celebrity chefs, premium beverage brands, gastronomic exhibitors and an incredible entertainment stage playing host to region’s favourite bands and exciting new bands.

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