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).
WHO'S WHO AT GOURMET ABU DHABI 2009
Find out more about the special guest chefs, master chefs and patissiers at GAD >>
ABU DHABI GOURMET STARS AWARDS
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
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.
They include a host of Culinary Masterclasses by:
- Alain Passard >>
- Annie Féolde >>
- Laurent Pillard >>
- Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex >>
- Charlie Trotter >>
- Atul Kochhar >>
- Sam Leong >>
- Heinz Beck >>
- Yves Mattagne >>
- Alain Soliveres >>
- Santi Santamaria >>
- Lee Keung >>
- Marco Sacco >>
- Eyvind Hellström >>
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