Chef Middle East is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a major entity in the foodservice industry, importing and distributing foods and beverages from around the world to the hospitality, dining and catering industries in the Middle East
Founded in Dubai as an offshoot of a family-owned, Middle East-based fine food and restaurant empire in 1995, Chef Middle East has gone from strength to strength, now operating in the GCC and beyond with a team of some 350 people, serving over 2,500 customers with 4,000 plus SKUs from over 250 global supply partners – with regional plans for further expansion already in the pipeline.
Over these past 25 years, Chef Middle East has solidified its position as importer and distributor of the highest quality foodstuff from all around the world, serving the hotel, dining and catering sectors in the Middle East.
Thanks to a state-of-the-art logistics network, clients have access to a mix of quality, value-added ingredients. Apart from clients in the United Arab Emirates and the GCC region, customers in the Indian Ocean, Africa, European Commonwealth of Independent States and the Subcontinent can also avail the same range and quality of services and products. Its core strengths are working with customers with vision, and supplying partners with exciting products and its own team, which has built its technical, operational and service credentials to peerless levels.
Steve Pyle, chief executive officer, asserts that the food landscape over the last 25 years has changed enormously, and that consumers’ tastes have become more sophisticated, while suppliers’ appetite for exposure in the GCC became much higher.
Markets are extremely dynamic and competitive, making them exciting places to do business, he highlights. With a growing awareness of the need to reduce waste, a key issue to be addressed is avoiding excess packaging and wastage.
Plant-based foods are gaining popularity as consumers integrate them into their daily diets and fusion food is seeing an upsurge in demand.
Chef Middle East rises to the challenge by being sufficiently agile and relevant to cope with an environment which is constantly in a state of change and rapid evolution. This is essential as innovation is key in the foodservice industry. Ingredients and flavours are constantly changing, and so are clients’ demands, making it imperative to keep ahead of trends that can affect menus, sales and – ultimately – profits.
At Chef Middle East, they inspire culinary craftsmanship, enabling them to always be the first to provide the hospitality business with the most sought-after, innovative and highest-quality ingredients.
Indispensable to the company’s longevity and success are its long-term partnerships with brands and suppliers, testimony to the trust granted to it over the past 25 years.
Pyle also emphasised that ambition remains paramount to the key player in premium foodservice distribution in the Middle East, to which end a Chef Middle East team travels the globe to find new perspectives and innovative ideas at grassroots levels.
Whether it is for fine dining, street food or Japanese cuisine, always flavourful and healthy, an exhaustive array of seafood both fresh and frozen, non-GMO, no-hormones certified Angus beef, fresh cut-to-order steaks, French duck, poultry and a wide range of charcuterie are among the many quality ingredients available.
Italian cuisine must-haves and Spanish tapas, and handpicked artisan ingredients are all signatures of Chef Middle East. No part of the globe is left unexplored. Of course, no meal is complete without a stunning dessert, and so it is that the Chef Middle East Pastry category, along with refreshing beverages, creates a memory of an unforgettable meal.
A purpose-built Culinary Innovation & Training Centre in the Dubai headquarters is where the magic happens, managed by a team of experts and creatives in their individual fields including an award-winning Culinary Chef, world-class Pastry Chef and expert mixologist trainer.
Here, new restaurant concepts, menus and recipes are developed and rigorously tested in an unending quest for perfection, and workshops and cooking demonstrations are held for fellow customers.
The success of Chef Middle East would not be possible were it not for the tireless teams of people in the business, from entry level to executive. Each and every individual is an essential cog in the great Chef Middle East wheel. By 2030, Pyle confidently expects some of their emerging talent to have realised their full potential and be championing the CME cause.