French chef Manu Feildel, best known for his participation in Australia’s cookery programme ‘My Kitchen Rules’ (MKR) took time out to chat with Catering News during his visit to Dubai Food Festival
This is your first time in Dubai. What do you think of it so far?
So far so good, I’m really enjoying it here. I didn’t know what to expect but it has been fantastic and eye-opening. This is a very rich country with a lot of beautiful things and people are very welcoming and polite. I’m loving it!
Have you dined in any of the restaurants?
I’ve been to At.mosphere in Burj Khalifa, which was amazing. Amazing restaurant, amazing views and amazing food – the chef Jerome Lagarde was a fantastic host as well.
What are your favourite restaurants in Australia?
Fine dining-wise I’d mention Sepia, run by Martin Benn; my wife-to-be is Malaysian so I love Asian food. My French local restaurant is Le Pelican.
You’re taking part in the Masterclass Series at Dubai Food Festival. What tips and tricks will you share with your guests?
When I do cooking demonstrations and masterclasses, I try to put people at ease by creating simple recipes that taste really good; recipes they can go home and cook again without being scared of cooking. A lot of people think cooking is difficult so I like to share tricks that make food look and taste good.
What cuisine will you focus on during your Masterclass?
I will showcase three different recipes involving scallops to show that you can do a lot with just one thing. A speciality I’ve been doing for years, which works well and is simple enough to cook at home, is a scallop sausage served in a crab bisque sauce. It’s really gorgeous, it looks pretty and the flavour is to die for, so I think that is going to be a cracker.
What are the biggest trends you are spotting in the F&B industry?
I think a big trend is paddock to plate. It’s produce-driven, organic and less is more. It’s all about the produce at the moment which is nice to see – chefs are coming back to the roots.
What are the most successful restaurant concepts you’ve spotted in Dubai?
There’s a lot here – every time you turn around there is a new concept. I think concepts with a dinner and a show perhaps are popular here.
What aspect of Dubai Food Festival are you most excited about?
I’m just happy to discover Dubai through food and through sharing my passion for food with Dubai – and of course the sunshine!