2012: A Foodie Odyssey
I was recently asked to share my thoughts on food trends in the UAE for 2012, so I thought I would pen my top five for you. Would love to hear your feedback.
1. Increased demand and supply of locally sourced produce – mainly vegetables and fruit, and in some cases organic – fuelled by the growth in farmers’ markets. At the same time, expect more home-based artisanal producers.
2. More ‘chefs for hire’ setting up businesses to meet demand for at-home entertainment.
3. Home-grown restaurant concepts are taking form with the likes of Table 9 at Hilton Dubai Creek. Having said that, the celebrity chef trend will still continue, fuelled by a primarily expat population. Gary Rhodes is opening at St Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche this year (Rhodes 44) fusing Arabic influences into his cuisine. Five chefs from Michelin-star restaurants in the US and Europe (total of 12 stars) will descend on Dubai for a gala dinner at Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah in April.
4. A technology-driven restaurant experience – from online restaurant reservations to iPad menus.
5. The growth of the local food blogging/ social media scene will give consumers increased access to impartial online reviews.
Tip: Here’s February’s seasonal produce so you know what to look out for in the local supermarkets – Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, leeks, onions, shallots, swede, chervil and apples.
INFO: Samantha Wood is the founder of UAE-based restaurant review and foodie resource www.foodiva.net recently voted the number two best blog in Dubai!