You don't need to be a gourmand to enjoy BurJuman food fest
Budding cooks hoping to expand their menus will find inspiration in a shopping mall this week, thanks to an extensive line-up of free masterclasses and demos at Treat - the BurJuman World Food Fest.
It doesn’t matter whether you struggle to boil an egg or like to try out some molecular gastrostomy on unsuspecting family members, you’ll fit right in at a specially-built Teka Chef’s Theatre in the mall.
Top chefs from a host of five-star hotels across town including Dubai Creek’s Radisson Blu, the Dusit Thani and Kempinski Palm to name just a few, have jumped on board to take budding chefs through some delicious dishes, including fresh raviolis, Thai Green curries and fab fish dishes.
The cooking classes run until Sunday and are just part of a huge schedule of 21 different workshops scheduled to celebrate everything culinary.
BurJuman’s Sabina Khandwani explains: “Our intention was to create a wide, extended and highly interactive opportunity for shoppers to come and enjoy food and learning, and have fun. There are so many levels. It is a chance to cook with top chefs and you can also watch top chefs putting on cooking demos, giving tips and showing their recipes.
“They make it look simple and even though we might discover it is not so easy, they simplify it for us by showing a recipe step by step, and that will give you the confidence.
“Fine dining might be an art but there is a way to tackle it too and that is what the chefs are going to be showing the general public.” Free, informative masterclasses on hot and cold canapes, table setting and culinary etiquette are also on offer over the course of the 12-day event and Sabina adds: “You can do a great job in the kitchen and you can also make a great job bringing out food and serving it up too. A lot of people can make simple mistakes when hosting a meal and hopefully this will help people to right wrongs with presentation as well as the food.”
Blindfolded contestants will have to rely on their senses of smell and touch in a ‘guess the ingredients’ competition and a special kids’ corner will also run at weekends, with cupcake decoration sure to give the little ones a great introduction to the joys of food.
Chef Uwe Micheel, the president of the Emirates Culinary Guild and director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, was first up with a fun masterclass on Wednesday - one 7DAYS was lucky enough to attend (inset picture). We can testify that you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy what’s on the menu, but as chef Uwe explains, there’s one key ingredient you need in the kitchen.
He said: “The most important thing is to have fun. Whatever you cook, even if you do it at home, remember to enjoy it or don’t do it!
“All the chefs here can give enthusiasts some tips and secrets which they may not know and cannot get at home.
“This is a different and important experience for enthusiasts because you cannot get the same from a cookbook.”
The 7DAYS version of chicken escalope, potato pancakes and a bean medley wasn’t quite on a level with Chef Uwe, but believe it or not, some bystanders found it tasty. Special thanks go to Chinese cooking enthusiast Jie, 48, who was on hand with help and advice when we fell a little off the pace. Jie, who hopes to attend as many of the classes as possible, said: “I’m hoping to come every day as I have a lot to learn and it would be great to learn from the experts. I’ve come here to improve.”
IN A CLASS OF YOUR OWN
Learn from the best and sharpen your culinary skills with some top chef masterclasses still to come at the Burjuman World Food Festival. It’s a real treat!
Thursday 13, 8.15pm-9.15pm Fresh Homemade Ravioli stuffed with Gorgonzola and Walnuts by Chef Furtunato Leocata
Find out how to make fluffy and doughy pillows of pasta for the perfect ravioli paired with a lovely Italian veined blue cheese. Take hints from the popular Italian chef Fortunato Leocata of the Courtyard by Marriott.
Friday 14, 5.30pm-6.30pm Blueberry Cheesecake, Chef Muhammed Haji Ali, Pastry Chef
With the arrival of the popular Cheesecake Factory to the UAE shores there is not a better time to show you how to make top cake. Blueberry gives a light and sweet cheesecake that little bit of an edge.
Friday 14, 8.15pm-9.15pm Thai Green Curry by Chef Bossaporn, Junior Sous Chef
In a cultural melting pot like Dubai, everyone should have one curry in their repertoire so why not make one of Asia’s most popular and versatile dishes your choice. Learn how to make it with the Dusit Thani’s own Chef Bossaporn.
Saturday 15, 6.45pm-7.45pm Herb breaded Tuna with Cous Cous by Executive Chef Christian Garcia
A great main meal option, which makes use of an often-undervalued fish. Breading is a simple but effective way to add great taste to a fish dish.
5.30pm-6.30pm Chocolate Truffle by Chef Hari Yulianto,
Wow your guests with this luxurious after dinner treat. Nothing says lavish more than truffles and, when you say you had a hand in crafting them, expect some serious back-patting.
>> Treat runs until September 22, check BurJuman’s facebook page for details on registration for the free events.