Gourmet Trends October

Foodie and restaurant guru Samantha Wood has her finger on the pulse of the UAE culinary scene – never miss a beat with her monthly Gourmet guide
Friday , 05 October 2012
Market & Platters
Market & Platters
International Fine Food Festival
International Fine Food Festival
What’s in Season?
What’s in Season?
Scafa (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts)
Scafa (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts)

A new deli in New Dubai 
A new standalone deli and gourmet grocer has docked in Dubai Marina – Market & Platters. It’s brought to us by the owners of Fresh Express, the long-standing suppliers to the UAE hotel trade and royalty. The fresh seafood counter is the first to greet you, and it certainly beats queuing at the supermarket. The European cheese selection is pretty substantial, including real Greek feta, but the antipasti is a bigger differentiator with the likes of a crayfish, tomato and dill salad, and a rich bacalhau (salted cod) spread. Fruit and vegetables are the focal point – all decked out market-style on white wooden craters – but the strongest USP of all comes courtesy of the take-away platters of fresh carpaccio, tartares and sashimi. From the moment I walked in, the service from senior management and ‘real’ chefs behind the counter was second-to-none with knowledgeable, professional advice. Market & Platters makes a wonderful quality and reasonably priced addition to your weekly shop, especially when you’re after that certain je ne sais quoi.
INFO: Open daily from 9am to 10pm; Market & Platters, Tiger Tower, Dubai Marina, 04 450 4466, www.marketandplatters.com.  

Fancy A Fine Food Festival?
Dubai is about to stage another first with the inaugural International Fine Food Festival at Meydan later this month. Showcasing local and internationally sourced produce from farmers, the consumer event will focus primarily on fine foods and beverages that are slow-grown, line-caught or matured using sustainable or organic production. Key attractions include the Chef’s Table, where (for Dhs250) you can watch chefs in action while sampling their cuisine, and the Golden Toque Middle East chefs competition – if you fancy yourself as a cook, start perfecting those recipes now! The IFFF will also see the launch of a Cookbook Club, with the opportunity to chit-chat with food authors including American-Iranian Ariana Bundy.
INFO: The IFFF runs from 30 October to 2 November from 10am to 8pm; Meydan Grandstand; entry is free with pre-registration at www.ifffestival.com

What’s in Season?
For veggies we have artichoke, beetroot, broccoli, celery, cucumber and kale right through to leek, lettuce, marrow, mushroom, onion, pepper, pumpkin, squash, swede, sweet corn, turnip and watercress. As for fruit, opt for apples, pears and tomatoes.

Scafé for soul food
Culinary schools are popping up like mushrooms these days, but the difference with newly opened Scafa (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts) in JLT is its  bistro. Aptly named Scafé, it offers French-Mediterranean comfort food, in some cases cooked by the students themselves. You won’t regret ordering the tomato and asparagus quiche or candied lamb tagine.
INFO: Open Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 6pm; Scafé at Scafa, Unit 16, Promenade Level, Cluster-I, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai; www.scafa.ae.

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