Lunch Date with Shadi Joweihan
Why do you love Traiteur?
The setting and selection of drinks makes Traiteur stand out from the crowd, as far as I’m concerned. I still believe it’s the best brunch in town and the food is out of this world. I love their tuna tartare, and of course the frog’s legs; so delicious.
What is your desert island dish?
It would have to be foie gras with some milk bread and, if I could get some, a nice glass of chilled Sancerre.
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
You really can’t beat a good French baguette.
Do you have any extra special food memories?
There are so many of them. A good serving of foie gras reminds me of summer in Juan-les Pins in Antibes, in a pretty French restaurant called Le Jardin. Buffalo mozzarella on tomato with olive oil and basil garnish reminds me of the most genuine French cuisine restaurant in old town Nice called Le Bistro d’Antoine and, to trigger more island memories, it would have to be a smooth Tom Yum Kung from the south of Thailand and, my favourite second home, Phi Phi island.
Who is your food inspiration?
I used to travel a lot, so I guess that was my inspiration. I especially love the two extremes between European French and South East Asian cuisine.
What is the most unusual thing you have eaten?
Scorpion lollies, giant ants and Thai curry flavoured crickets. They’re actually really tasty.
In your opinion, what makes a perfect dining experience?
How comfortable and welcoming the venue is, is very important and of course, the freshness and quality of food. It can be the simplest outlet but with the freshest produce and creativity, it can be the perfect dining experience.
What do you like to cook at home?
My favourite quick dish is Jamie Oliver’s mussel spaghetti in a basil broth. Wow, just talking about it just makes me want to cook it!
Who taught you how to cook?
I’m self-taught really but I guess inspirational cooks such as Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali have helped.
What are your kitchen cupboard must-haves?
These days, I like to try and eat healthily, as much as possible, so it’s organic raw super foods all the way. My must-have is Loving Earth’s acai and maquie powder in the morning with a fresh juice or smoothie.
What is your foodie dream?
My dream is to give dignity back to the term ‘gourmet’. I guess we are achieving it slowly but surely in the UAE. Gourmet food is about quality and specially selected ingredients, and it should be respected.
INFO: Milk & Honey, Shoreline, Building 10, the Palm, 04 432 8686, www. milkandhoney.ae; Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, 04 317 2222, email@example.com.