Learn more about the culinary superstars that joined us at Dubai Food Festival
Colin Clague, executive chef of Jean-Georges restaurant in Dubai, was greatly inspired by his mother, who was a qualified chef herself. Childhood helped him develop a keen sense of the quality of local produce and the seasonality of ingredients. He believes in utilising the best quality ingredients, and this point of view can be found at Jean-Georges as he aims to create sublime flavours executed with simplicity and finesse. Clague has previously held executive chef positions at Q’bara restaurant in Dubai, Pollen restaurant in Singapore and Zuma restaurant in Dubai among many other notable achievements in Dubai and elsewhere.
All of 28 years, Himanshu Sani, head chef at Tresind in Dubai, has garnered experience in several kitchens to become one of the youngest chefs de cuisine and executive chefs across India, New York and Dubai. Having won the Vermilion Chef search cook-off and The Best Young Chef at the Delhi Gourmet Club’s Top Chef Awards, chef Himanshu enjoys the freedom of expression that cooking brings to him.
With dishes like dahi bhalla ice cream, wild mushroom chai, posh maggi and jalebi caviar under his creative umbrella, chef Himanshu and his team at Tresind in Nassima Royal Hotel are working hard to create a progressive rendition of Indian food presented in an artistic and modern style.
Chef Roland Puse of Coya Dubai, worked his way to become a chef de partie through the Conran apprenticeship course, where he began his apprenticeship at Plateau restaurant in Canary Wharf. He then worked as a chef de partie for Raphael Duntoye of La Petite Maison in Mayfair. Roland was chosen to help open La Petite Maison in Dubai and a few years later joined Coya Dubai, working alongside head chef Benjamin Wan as his sous chef. Coya Dubai serves contemporary Peruvian cuisine, bringing a Latin American flair and a multidimensional dining experience to the emirate.
Tom Arnel, half of the duo behind Dubai’s popular casual eateries Tom & Serg, The Sum of Us and Common Grounds, has travelled the world through its kitchens. Before settling in Dubai, he was the first apprentice chef to Shannon Bennett at acclaimed Melbourne restaurant Vue de Monde, served as head chef for a French restaurant in Singapore and worked at Arzak, a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain. While working as executive chef for Jones the Grocer in the UAE, he met business partner Sergio Lopez and the pair launched Tom & Serg in 2013. Their first establishment’s success was followed up with The Sum of Us, a bakery, café and roastery, and Common Grounds, a casual hotspot in Mall of the Emirates.
Manal Al Alem
Chef Manal Al Alem is an Arab celebrity chef, widely known and respected by millions of fans in the Middle East and worldwide, as the Queen of the Arabian Kitchen. She has worked very hard since 1983 to help women create the most appealing dishes from local and international cuisines through her TV shows on MBC, Abu Dhabi TV, Kuwait TV, Al Resala and Al Rai.
Her participation in food festivals and competitions as well as her publications and active internet presence through her website, YouTube channel and other social media have fuelled her popularity amongst fans in the region.
She has also collaborated with many food producers to create recipes and new products, while her cooking classes and other culinary activities, in addition to her line of cooking tools and utensils all aim to make cooking a fun, healthy and enjoyable journey of discovery and creation.
Chef Manal Al Alem has recently moved to Dubai and is working hard to realise her dreams.
Bader Najeeb Al Awadhi
Bader Najeeb Al Awadhi is a 19-year-old self-taught Emirati cook whose love for baking began when he was around 13 years old. He has hosted two cooking shows, Sukkar Zyadah on Sama Dubai TV and Ma’a Bader on ADTV Al Emarat as well as hosting his own videos from YouTube channel WithChefB. He has represented the UAE in a number of prestigious championships and appearances, and hopes to represent the UAE in competitions globally as well as open his own restaurant in the future.
Silvena Rowe is a celebrated chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author. She has made appearances on popular shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Chopped and has written several cookbooks, including her best seller Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume. Two of chef Rowe’s restaurants include Omnia Gourmet and Omnia by Silvena.