Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2009

14 April 2009
Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2009

The first Gourmet Abu Dhabi festival took place in February 2009; its aim, to put the UAE city on the world culinary map by attracting some of the world's most high-profile chefs to the headline the event by hosting a series of culinary masterclasses, discussions and gourmet dinners.

Among those taking part at the inaugural event were Chicago's influential Charlie Trotter, German-born Heinz Beck whose three-Michelin-star restaurant La Pergola is located in Rome , French culinary stars Alain Passard and Alain Solivérès , Belgium's Yves Mattagne, Spain's Santi Santamaria and Oriol Balaguer, Italy's renowned Annie Feolde and Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone. While representing British shores was Atul Kocchar, leading light of the modern Anglo-Indian cuisine movement in the UK.

The food festival, which ran from 5 to 14 Feburary, also showcased the art of mixologists and several prestigious wine houses, from both the New and Old Worlds, and launched the inaugural Abu Dhabi Gourmet Stars Awards for chefs working in the emirate..

Gourmet Abu Dhabi will be an annual event and is staged by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and organised - like its sister event , Singapore's well-established World Gourmet Summit - by Peter Knipp Holdings (which provided the images used below).

Arabian Feast
Arabian Feast


Find out more about the special guest chefs, master chefs and patissiers at GAD >>

Find out more about the gastronomic personalities and celebrities at GAD >>

Find out more about the participating châteaux at GAD >>

Find out more about the hosting establishments and chefs at GAD >>


The Beach Rotana and its Finz restaurant scooped no fewer than four of the nine inaugural awards of excellence, while the Emirates Palace accounted for three of the accolades. The awards attracted some 118 nominations.

The winners in full are:

Executive Chef of the Year Ernst-Lothar Frank, Executive Chef, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Food & Beverage Manager of the Year Joseph Matar, Food & Beverage Director, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Regional Cuisine Chef of the Year Ali Charaf, Diwan L'Auberge, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Regional Cuisine Manager of the Year Adel Danihasseli, Anar Restaurant, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Regional Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Anar Restaurant, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Restaurant of the Year
Finz, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Restaurant Chef of the Year Daniel Smeenk, Finz, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Restaurant Manager of the Year
Thaer Hanna, Finz, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Restaurant Host of the Year May Labao, Chamas Brazilian Churrascaria, InterContinental

Arabian Feast
Arabian Feast


The month's events encompassed special dinners, foodie forums, opening and closing ceremonies, an Arabian feast, a chocolate banquet, pastry programme, and a gourmet safari and much more.

Videos and photographs of the events can be viewed here >>

They include a host of Culinary Masterclasses by:


Four decades of dining in Abu Dhabi >>

Abu Dhabi on Caterersearch >>

Video: Atul Kochhar looking for UAE restaurant venue >>

TimeOut Abu Dhabi >>

Gourmet dining
Gourmet dining

Jeddah Food: >>

The dish on Abu Dhabi's Gourmet spread -The National talks to event organiser Peter Knipp >>

Jeddah Food: UAE capital stars shine at first gourmet Abu Dhabi awards >>

AME: Gourmet Abu Dhabi closes to international acclaim ADTA looks to build on inaugural success >>

MidEast: Gourmet Abu Dhabi closes to international acclaim >>

Kuwait Times: Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2009 tickles the pallet >>

4hoteliers: Abu Dhabi promoted as culinary destination >>

Emirates Business 2467: Plate expectations in Abu Dhabi

Etravel: Culinary maestros in Abu Dhabi for epicurean festival >>

Gourmet Abu Dhabi logo
Gourmet Abu Dhabi logo

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking