Nov 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Dubai....A new way to celebrate an American classic!

My beautiful 22 pound brined Turkey roasting next to a 3 pound Wagyu Prime Rib Roast
 The starters: Crab Stuffed Deviled Eggs, Foie Gras with Toasted Brioche, Spinach and Goats Cheese Quiche
 The immaculate table setting with festive floral arrangements and gold and teal themed table ware. 
 The rest of the Thanksgiving feast included Fresh Cranberry sauce, Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta Cakes, Baby  Spinach Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffed Turkey Legs, Wild Rice Stuffing, Carrot and Zucchini Bread, Salt and Spice Crusted Prime Rib Roast, the Turkey and the home made gravy of course!!!
Mimi posing with my Turkey
 Quintessential Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Pie.  One of my FAVORITES!!!
 The Dessert Buffet was complete with Pecan Pie, Maple Ice Cream, Lemon Meringue Pie, and  Pumpkin Pie with Amaretto Whipped Cream.
This was one of the most fabulous Thanksgiving meals I've enjoyed.  A collaborative effort between all of my friends and myself, we were able to create a decadent  meal that filled our bellies and our hearts with memories that will last a life time! A BIG Thanks to all my talented "chefs" for their contributions, I feel blessed to have such amazing people in my life to share all of these special moments with. I love and appreciate you all.....

Hakkasan the first visit, but definitely not the last!

The entrance to this gorgeous restaurant was just a little taste of the culinary adventure we were about to embark on....
For starters we enjoyed a gorgeous basket of steamed dim sum (some of the best I've had in Dubai) consisting of Black Pepper Duck, Scallop Shumai with Tobiko, Shrimp and Chive, plus Crystal Dumplings.
Jasmine Tea Smoked Wagyu Beef Short Ribs-I was completely blown away by this dish.  The tender beef literally melted in my mouth.  The delicate crispy threads of jasmine tea on the plate complemented the gorgeous components of this well comprised dish. 

Crispy duck salad with pomelo, pine nut and shallot-One of Hakkasans best selling items.  A little birdie also told us this is Kelly Rowland's favorite item on the menu! It was Crispy, Fresh, and Flavorful, I can see why it's so popular!
Champagne and Chinese Honey glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Tempura Mushrooms

Egg Noodle Nest with Wok Fried XO Lamb Chop-Tender, Juicy, and Spicy! I've never tasted lamb like this before.  In fact it tasted more like beef than lamb, none the less, a GREAT menu item.
Black truffle roast duck with tea plant mushroom-One of the best Duck items I've ever tried.  Crispy skin, tender duck meat, and an aromatic sauce.   I think I ended up eating most of this one.  It was so good, I didn't want to share!
For dessert a meringue with Brandy Ice Cream and Plum sauce-The smooth and creamy texture of the brandy ice cream was heavenly and perfectly balanced with the fruity rich plum sauce and crunchy textured meringue.
The first Cantonese Restaurant to win a  Michelin Star in 2003, Hakkasan has become a familiar name in foodie  circles around the world.  The original brand started in London and since then has expanded to Miami  and now in the UAE, with it's first restaurant in the region debuting in Abu Dhabi.  With the new launch at Emirates towers in Dubai, this restaurant will definitely be giving other modern Asian Cuisine concepts a run for their money!

Nov 23, 2011

Jamie's Italian Dubai, the re-launch!

I had the pleasure of enjoying an afternoon filled with fun and food.  The Cherry On Top PR team are the masterminds behind this media launch event which took things to a more interactive level. There were three stations set-up and throughout the day we were brought from one area to the next starting with the extensive Anti-Pasti section complete with a variety of cheeses, smoked meats, fresh olives and fresh baked bread.

Next we moved onto the wood oven area, where the fresh pizzas are made.  They had us put our culinary skills to the test and really made us earn our lunch by learning how to make the infamous Fish in a Bag!
Now, moving onto the fresh pasta section.  Jamie's Italian makes a wide array of fresh hand-made pastas daily.  ranging in not only shape, but also flavors such as spinach, tomato, and even squid ink.
It's a lot harder than it looks.....

Finally....lunch time! We were first given a board of Bruschetta including Roasted Pumpkin with Feta, Goat's Cheese and Tomato, and flavorful Chicpea puree. We also enjoyed a variety of fresh pasta dishes ranging from a Casereccie Genovese, Twisted pasta with new potatoes & green beans, tossed in Genovese
pesto & Parmesan plus my favorite which was a Smoked Trout Tagliatelle Oak-smoked trout with capers
zucchini ribbons & lemon mascarpone yummmm!!!!!
We also enjoyed a number of  signature desserts.  Below is the Bakewell tart, very common in England, but my first experience with one.  It was pretty good, nut not my favorite.
This was the Tiramisu, an unusual style of presentation and  it was topped with orange zest, which added another dimension of flavor to another popular dessert.
Now this was my absolute FAVORITE!!!! A Lemon Curd Tart...WOW!!!  The texture was a cross between a custard and a semi-freddo topped with crushed pistachios, Raspberries, and Whipped Mascarpone
Jamie's Italian Dubai is now licensed and a lovely place to check out if you're shopping in Festival City Centre or some solid tasty and healthy grub.

Nov 21, 2011

NStyle's 10th year Anniversary Celebration

In honor of this momentous occasion NStyle collaborated with Damas to host this elegant luncheon affair.  The event was held at Bice Mare in Souk Al Bahar and was the perfect setting for the afternoons festivities.  For starters we enjoyed a selection of  perfectly presented canapes.  (Top Left) Lobster and Mango Salad (Top Right) Parmesan Crisp topped with Beef Carpaccio, Rocket, and Truffle Oil (Bottom Right) Goat's Cheese Puff Crostini on Mesclun Greens

The Chef preparing our decadent lunch! Risotto with White Truffles and GOLD!

 See, I wasn't kidding, the dish was actually topped with flecks of gold.....Only in Dubai!
 Fresh White Truffles
 Congratulations to NStyle for remaining a leader in the industry for 10 years.  I am really looking forward to the pampering session I received in my goodie bag today compliments of the host.  I will definitely be back to Bice Mare for another exquisite meal after experiencing the top notch quality of service and tasty treats I had heard about for so long.

Nov 11, 2011

The Table 9 Experience

As we prepared ourselves for the culinary experience of the year, we were greeted at the table by these cute little terra cotta pots filled with the most scrumptious layers of flavors and  textures consisting of a Cauliflower Puree, topped with "Dirt", a combination of coco powder, icing sugar,and dehydrated tomatoes.  Unlikely combination, but it was such a treat! And the presentation was just too adorable.....
All the dishes were tasty, but I will just post the highlights.  Below is a gorgeous combination of lobster and mango.

 Light and Airy Goat's Cheese with Star Anise Spiced Beets and Walnuts

 House Cured Bresola, with Whipped Artichoke Cream and Crispy Potatoes
 Chicken Foie Gras with Current Jam and Hazelnuts
 Seared Scallops on an Onion Puree, with Roasted Onions, and mini Onion Rings
 Sweet Breads on a Parsnip Puree with Parsnip Chips, Roasted Chestnuts and a Curry Foam
 House Made Butter and Bread.  I could have drank that butter it was so delicious!
 The very talented and meticulous Chef Scott Price!
 Showing off his Candy Cart (also all made from scratch) The attention to detail at this restaurant really sets it apart from all the other restaurants in Dubai.  They have also incorporated a lot of locally sourced elements such as the ceramics on the table, cutlery, and art work on the walls (supplied by Mojo Gallery)
 Last but not least dessert......a deconstructed Apple Pie!
 Lemon and Ginger Slice, clean and perfect
 Chocolate and Hazelnut tart...heavenly
 And as if that wasn't enough sugar, we were also served these rich and creamy coco dusted chocolate bon bons to top it all off with our complimentary candy bags
Hats off to Chef Scott Price and Chef Nick Alvis for a unique gastronomical experience.  Trained under one of the best these two culinary talents have joined forces to create their own powerful entity.  I wish them all the best and look forward to many years of success with the addition of Table 9 to the roster of Dubai's BEST restaurants!

Mystery Photo Shoot, Any guesses?

Last week I made this quick and simple dish using some  "Mystery Ingredients".  Can you tell me what this dish is and which magazine you think it's going to be published in?

The article will be published in the December issue of a local UAE publication. Looking forward to seeing the spread.....

Nov 8, 2011

It's time to roll up your sleaves and get DIRTY!

Aprons and Hammers is all to familiar a concept, but new and exclusive to Dubai.  Crab Shacks always have a reputation of non-pretentious quality eating, and this one is no different.  The portions are generous and they have an extensive menu including steamers, curries, and even corn on the cob! 

We had the Crab Cakes, Clams and Calamari for starters.  The Pepper Steamed Clams were my favorite! 

We also enjoyed a  nice big bucket of steamed crabs in a tasty lemon herb and butter sauce
This was also the first time I've seen Cioppino on a menu in Dubai, and I have to say it made my day! If you're not familiar with the dish, it's a tomato based fish stew originating from San Francisco .  It was first developed in the 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach Section of SFO. 

My beautiful friend Reem and I enjoying our bucket of Crabs in the signature Aprons, necessary if you are going to have the authentic experience at this fun destination restaurant!

Nov 1, 2011

The Truffle more!

When somebody gifts you fresh black truffles, what do you do?  I hate to admit it, but I was extremely selfish and kept them all to myself!  Last week, I think I ate them in every form possible from risotto to eggs, to pasta, and even shaved it on bread with butter!
Truffle Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan and Cream (cooked for me by a special friend)

Truffle Mushroom (Whole Wheat) Pasta with Goats Cheese, Onions, and Crushed Red Chillies

This dish below doesn't have truffle, but I had to share it.  It was cooked for me by the special friend who gifted me the truffles and shares my passion for food.  It's a pan seared John Dory with fresh mango salsa.    It's a great light but flavorful dish that is really quick and easy to prepare at home.  Let me know if anyone wants the recipe!!!

I feel less guilty about the truffle indulgence now that I've shared it with everybody.....I promise next time I will share:)