I’ve arrived in Dubai after a seven hour flight from London and I’m loving all the sunshine. The desert backdrop of this sprawling city is simply a canvas for modern day luxury, but the food culture is busting with centuries-old recipes I can’t wait to discover.
I’ve secured accommodation at The Palace Downtown Dubai in exchange for working at At.mosphere restaurant during my stay. But I don’t have to get to work just yet so it’s off to explore — and of course eat!
After checking into the hotel I head to Qwader al Nabulsi, one of Dubai’s premiere pastry shops.
After tasting a few treats I had the honour of jumping in the kitchen with Knafeh master, Smalhal, to have a go at making the sweet and salty cheese pastry. What an experience!
DAY 5 & 6
I’m cooking a special lunch tomorrow for a group of VIPs, so I’m off to the Spice Souq to source some ingredients that will give my fine dining dish a distinct look and flavour.
Then it’s time to get to work. At.mosphere restaurant, located on the 122 floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is an exquisite dining destination led by Head Chef Jerome Lagarde.
I’m cooking in exchange for accommodation, and for a very special group of guests, so I need to impress!
My guest chef VIP lunch menu includes a Chilled Pea Soup with Crab Salad & Black Olive Oil, and Roasted Pigeon with Celeriac Puree, Foie Gras Sauce & Truffle Cabbage, mangnifique.
I’ve been traveling for a week and I realised that I haven’t spent any of my budget on fun — so I’m heading out of the city and into Dubai’s Desert Conservation Reserve with Platinum Desert Experience.
I help the chef prepare a side of lamb before it goes into an oven in the earth, then watch a falcon hunt as the sun sets on the rolling dunes. Simply spectacular.
There’s only time for a quick stop at Bayt Al Baghdadi restaurant to discover a dish I keep hearing about, Iraqi Masgouf.
I have a go cooking beautiful fresh fish on a huge fire pit, and making flatbread in a screaming hot oven before I dig into my lunch.
After lunch it’s back to the airport for my next stop — India! I hope you can join me.
Watch Episode 3 of Around the World with Manu in Australia this Sunday, 23 October 2016 on channel 7TWO.
GET THE EPISODE 2 RECIPES:
- Chilled Pea Soup with Crab & Black Olive Oil
- Roasted Pigeon with Celeriac Puree & Truffle Cabbage