Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gourmet Abu Dhabi

Each year, the tourism bureau hosts Gourmet Abu Dhabi, which is a 2 week event of culinary excess and decadence. There are demonstrations by master chefs from all over the world, a number of different cooking workshops and, of course, elaborate dinners you can attend. The Master class demonstrations are free to the public, but filled up too fast for me to get a seat (although I found out later from a UK expat that even when they say the venue is full, there are often seats available if you go the day of and just try to get in). The workshops vary in price from about $60-$150 dollars a person and the dinners are outrageous ($300-900/person) So, I opted for the perfect compromise ... an all day Chocolate & Pastry workshop for around $60. (I know, Abu Dhabi is truly my kind of town!!)

There were 6 master patissiers from all over the world (I'm including the names for my friend, Susan, who might recognize a couple):

  • Angela Pinkerton - Eleven Madison - USA
  • Marke van Beurden - Caprice - Hong Kong
  • Janice Wong - 2am dessertbar - Singapore
  • Loretta Fanella - Italy
  • Carolyn Nugent - Bottega Louie - USA
  • Ruth Hinks - Cocoa Black - UK
The event started at 9:30 and finished around 3:45. We saw two patissiers at a time and then had a break to taste what they had just made. We also got a copy of all the recipes so we can try them at home (yeah, right - once you see some of the photos, you'll see that I probably won't be making most of them! - Or at least not like they were intended to be made! :)

Here are a few photos of their amazing creations:

Most of these women are part patissier and part artist, so some of the recipes were incredibly elaborate and complicated. A few really thought about the audience and brought recipes that were much less complicated and could be made at home by the average cook. There is a really nice chili mousse and a truffle recipe that I think I could handle. Even so, it was amazing to watch these chefs in action and hear them talk so passionately about their craft (and of course, having chocolate as a part of each dish didn't hurt either!)

The event was held at the Armed Forced Officer Club and Hotel, which is a huge complex with banquet facilities. Here are a few pictures of this amazing hotel.

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