What’s On previews the Taste of Dubai food festival. Plus, find out about the celebrity chefs attending the food festival in Dubai.

– Dubai’s food trucks
– BBQ spots
– Outdoor brunches
– Best restaurants
– Perfect picnics

This month sees the return of Taste Of Dubai, a weekend-long festival celebrating everything the emirate’s food scene has to offer.

Visitors are served up the chance to see world-class chefs at work, learn something new at cookery classes, and meander among the stands sampling dishes from Dubai restaurants such as Eataly, Gaucho, Katsuya, The Scene, Perry & Blackwelder’s Original Smokehouse, and The Act.

The star name heading the line-up at Taste Of Dubai is Jean-Christophe Novelli, the world famous multi-Michelin Star award-winning chef. Returning to the Dubai food festival, the charismatic French chef will display his culinary talents with dishes from his renowned cookery books and his very own cookery school, The Novelli Academy.

Joining him this year are Food Network’s Andy Bates, Master Chef champion Dhruv Baker, while local flavour comes from 18-year-old Emirati baker Bader Al Awadhi. “I can’t wait for visitors to taste the exciting dishes that we have in store,” he says.

As well as live music from a Bon Jovi tribute band, competitions and cookery classes, this year’s event also has a Beverage Theatre where mixologists will rustle up cocktails. Last year’s event was packed out so book your tickets early – and make sure you arrive hungry.

Top 5 places to try:

Perry & Blackwelder’s Original Smokehouse
You’ll be greeted by mouthwatering smells of smoked meat emanating from the Texas-style BBQs, where the new restaurant’s chefs are preparing tangy hot wings tossed in various sticky sauces, sloppy joes, pulled brisket, beef short-rib, smoked turkey and more.

Perry & Blackwelders

The Scene by Simon Rimmer
This is gastro pub-style food from British celeb chef Simon Rimmer. Think chicken pies, mash potato and trifles that will make Brits feel at home. Fingers crossed they’ll be serving their ‘proper chips’ at the stand.

The Act Dubai
The fancy mock-Baroque venue is preparing a menu of Peruvian flavours including dishes such as beef antichuchos, confit duck leg with coriander rice and ceviche with Peruvian yellow peppers.

the Act

The welcoming  café/restaurant with its aisles and aisles of Italian produce will be exhibiting regional favourites from bowls of pasta to tasty mozzarella salads.

Earlier this month, What’s On headed down to Gaucho for a sneak preview of their Taste Of Dubai offerings with the lovely – and awesomely bearded – head chef Jamie Robertson. You’ll find him and his yummy empanada creations at the festival.


March 12 and 14

Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai, Thur 4pm to midnight, Fri noon to midnight, Sat noon to 11pm, Dhs75. Tel: (02) 2348490. Metro: Nakheel. tasteofdubaifestival.com