Amidst the shutdowns and lockdowns, Dubai gives you 24 days to celebrate an unforgettable and inspiring culinary adventure. The Dubai Food Festival 2021 returns for its third edition this year from 25 March to 17 April, featuring Masterclasses, Chef’s Tables and Experiential Dining adventures that redefine what it means to eat out.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) said: “Foodie Experiences is very much a favourite at Dubai Food Festival. It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind food adventure across Dubai with a curated list of the city’s most anticipated and prominent food events. This year, we’re proud to be hosting a wide variety of memorable gourmet experiences from seeing top chefs in their craft to dining in the desert under the stars, Foodie Experiences truly offers something for everyone to enjoy, whatever their tastes.”
The Foodie Experiences calendar is jampacked with more than 18 unique opportunities spread out across three main categories: Masterclass, Chef’s Table and Experiential Dining. A word of caution when planning, some of these gastro events are one night only and restricted to a limited number of participants.
Top 5 Masterclasses at Dubai Food Festival 2021
Dibba Bay Oyster Box Jumeirah: Dibba Bay Oyster Experience
Dates: 25 March | 1, 8 April
Shuck your oysters at the Dibba Bay Oyster Experience against the backdrop of a stunning sunset at the fishing harbour. The experience includes an oyster shucking class, a workshop on local oyster farming and indulging in gourmet oysters. The event will be hosted by Ramie Murray, founder of Dibba Bay Oysters, Middle East’s first shellfish farm producing gourmet oysters.
1004 Gourmet: Everyone can learn to cook Asian
Dates: 27, 31 March
Colourful, zesty Far Eastern flavoured mains, steaming ramen or immaculately rolled sushi, take advantage of 1004 Gourmet’s online Asian Food Masterclass Series. Learn to serve three popular Thai dishes, slurp your noodles or serve up sushi like a pro – Japanese style using everyday kitchen equipment and utensils.
Folia: Live Cooking Demo with Chef Matthew Kenney
Dates: 28 March
Join American celebrity Chef Matthew Kenney for a Live Coming Demo which centres around plant-based cuisine. Chef Kenney’s menu is served in Folia restaurant at the upscale Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
BOCA: Workshop & Dinner with Spanish Paella Master Chef
Dates: 4, 5, 7 April
Renowned Valencian chef Vicente Rioja and BOCA’s Chef Matthijs Stinnissen create paella recipes that pay tribute to local ingredients and flavours from the UAE.
Brasserie Boulud: Virtual Cooking Class with Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud
Dates: 8 April
Considered as one of America’s leading culinary extraordinaire, Chef Daniel Boulud, owner of the first Brasserie Boulud restaurant in the Middle East, will be hosting an exclusive 60-minute virtual cooking class, resulting in an intimate French meal.
Read More: Making Sense Of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah
Top 5 Chef’s Tables at Dubai Food Festival 2021
Mina Brasserie: Interactive dining with Chef Michael Mina
Dates: 25 March
Immerse yourself in an interactive dining experience indulging in the finest French creations by Mina Brasserie, the modern and vibrant brasserie located in the Four Seasons DIFC.
BOCA: Chef’s Table Tasting Menu
Dates: 25, 26 March | 29, 30, 31 March | 1, 2 April
Taste UAE’s evolving traditions with Chef Matthijs Stinnissen’s imaginative Winter/Spring ’21 tasting menu at BOCA. The six-course sharing meal celebrates the country’s rich heritage across sand and sea by weaving together platters sourced from native flora, hydroponic cultivations, and the Arabian Gulf’s bounty.
3fils: Omakase Chef’s Table
Dates: 29, 30,31 March | 5, 6, 7 April
3fils in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour is offering an eight-course immersive Omakase Chef’s Table with a uniquely curated Asian fusion menu featuring dishes including Cream & Truffle Warm Custard with Confit Egg Yolk & Wakame, Chopped Otoro Enomak with Red Chimichurri and A5 Wagyu & Un.
Taiko Dubai: Schilo’s Chef Table
Dates: 4 April
Founder and Executive Chef of Taiko Amsterdam, Chef Schilo van Coervorden seamlessly fuses Middle Eastern influences to reimagine contemporary Asian cuisine through an inspiring and highly imaginative menu. Closed to the general public, the highly exclusive and limited-edition event at Taiko Dubai promises a personal, interactive and engaging dining experience around the Robata Grill.
Huna: LMNTL: 5 Courses. 5 Elements.
Dates: 7, 8, 9, 10 April
Huna will host LMNTL, a vegan multi-sensory dining experience representing the five fundamental elements of the universe – water, the lowest point, to space the highest point – with each course presented by Chef Priyansh of The Prunch Kitchen.
Top 6 Experiential Dining at Dubai Food Festival 2021
Choix Patisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnaire: Afternoon Tea Experience
Dates: Daily from 25 March – 10 April
Embrace a Parisian lifestyle with a premium collection of delicacies from three Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire’s afternoon tea menu. This award-winning afternoon tea features delicate finger sandwiches, delicious pastries, and mouth-watering cakes with a Parisian twist.
Pai Thai: Discover the Five Tastes of Thailand
Dates: Daily from 25 March – 10 April
Take your tastebuds on a trip with Pai Thai’s Five Tastes of Thailand five-course tasting menu exploring the five key flavours of Thai cuisine: bitter, salty, spicy, sour and sweet with beverage pairings, against the backdrop of Dubai’s tranquil Madinat waterways.
Platinum Heritage: Fine Dining Desert Experience
Dates: 25, 26, 27 March | 1, 2, 3 April | 8, 9, 10 April
Leave the city’s bustle behind and unwind amid the serenity of the desert for an Arabian-style fine-dining experience. Stay cosy in the comfort of your own candle-lit cabana and take in the tantalising aromas as expert chefs prepare your meal on-site. Start Platinum Heritage’s six-course luxury dinner with sunset canapés and let the evening unfold as you feast on exquisite dishes prepared with fresh local ingredients.
Read More: Green Side Of The Desert
Mirzam Chocolate Makers: The Hai High Tea!
Dates: 26, 27, 30, 31 March | 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 April
Switch up the traditional tea-time snacks with a detour along the Spice Route in a collaborative three-level menu presented by bean-to-bar chocolate makers Mirzam and Asian speciality grocery store 1004 Gourmet. Come ready to explore exciting new flavours with rare and unique ingredients in this fusion food experience laden with steamed-hot dumplings, matcha-infused chocolate cakes, yuzu white chocolate ganache truffles and an indulgent selection of limited-edition drinking chocolates.
Sonara: 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS
Dates: 27 March | 3 April
For a glamorous Arabian-themed adventure that elevates all the senses and makes for a beautiful story to take home, you will want to be whisked away to Sonara Camp. Nestled amid the dunes, it’s the place for immersive cultural experiences and leisurely indulgence. The evening includes dance performances, camel rides, sandboarding, traditional sports like archery, fun activities for all ages, a daring fire show and a movie under the stars.
Lowe: A Night Under The Stars
Dates: 30, 31 March
Head to idyllic Al Barrari for A Night Under the Stars in the NASAB Amphitheatre where you can indulge in a luxury picnic basket filled with unique items whilst watching a screening of ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’, a foodie classic.
Some of the events during the Dubai Food Festival 2021 are for one night only, and for a limited number of participants. Seats are limited, so don’t miss out! Book your seats by contacting your chosen restaurant directly. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Mar 2021 – World Travel Magazine.