#ItalianCuisineWorldSummit 2014 videos (Turn on your highest HD setting)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Slow Food Dubai & Balcony Gardening Group LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace

Slow Food Dubai 
Balcony & Urban Gardening Group 
LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" and you can find them at the market every Friday. There you get to swap plants with the Urban & Balcony Gardening Group as well as share successful plant growing tips (we all know growing healthy plants is not that easy in Dubai weather). So if you like to take your gardening skills to the next level and actually grow some of your own herbs, plants and even veg, make sure to look for them every Friday at "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace".

Watch the video and see why Laura Allais-Mare the leader of #SlowFood Dubai finds "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" to be a very important effort and why she personally chooses to shop there. Then listen to the Urban & Balcony Gardening Group tell you to drop by for plant swapping and gardening tips!

Do we need to say more? I mean this is why we all LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" Join us and become a member of our family too :)
PS have you joined Slow Food Dubai Yet? I am sure you have, just checking lol

Come back tomorrow for the main video Meet THE FARMERS themselves and hear what THEY have to say about "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace". 
After all, this is all about them and also for them;)
#TheFarmersMarketOnTheTerrace #SupportLocal #MyDubai

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" :)

3 days and "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" 6th season kicks in!!! We can hardly contain our excitement as you can see from all social networks :) Everybody LOVES Dubai's first and so far only Farmers' Market (I want to use so many emotes but you get the drift)!

So what does that mean?

For those who still have not made it to "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" and are not familiar with this whole excitement let me tell you: you really want in on this because it means
Farm-Fresh (field to fork), Organic, Seasonal and Local Produce that you buy straight from the farmers (no middle man)! Where not only you get to know the farmers growing your food (which nowadays we all know is more important than ever), but you also get to support local (We are after all thriving in this community) give them feedback and even ask for specific produce that they will actually grow for you! And if all this is not enough, then at this market organic becomes affordable, not a luxury that requires very hefty pockets!! Yes so you and your family can eat CLEAN, REAL & GOOD FOOD without compromising the children's college fund

What can ever be better? 

Watch the video above and hear Chef Silvena Rowe describe why she LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" and why she loves the produce there. Listen to her tell you how healthy, delicious and affordable this local, organic and absolutely Farm Fresh produce is in her own way which we all love and adore :) And then if you like to hear more testimonials then on this link you can watch home-cooks, and buyers describe to you why they LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" and choose to go there every Friday for their weekly shopping.

This is why everyone LOVE "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace" and recommends it to YOU :) so make sure to be part of this excitement and join us this season, starting this Friday 28th; the day this market's 6th season kicks off and see how YOU LOVE it too.

Once there, make sure to say hello, as I will be there too and always love to see you ;-)
#MyDubai #SupportLocal #GoOrganic

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Little Story That Needs To Be Told & Quotes That Should Be Considered

As you know it is that time of year again, when the season is right for picking the produce that's been growing in the farmers' earth. Yes, it is that time of year again when 
And we cannot get more excited!! :))

So I am keeping you posted with The Farmers' Market On The Terrace news this week, posting a video everyday up until Friday so keep an eye here!
(meanwhile will be editing the videos and preparing the posts of the Italian Cuisine World Summit to post shortly after).

Really so much excitement going on at the moment here at dimasharif.com so stay tuned ;)




A Celebration of The Ritual of Growing

(The Farmers' Market On The Terrace - Season 6)

The Farmers' Market On The Terrace

Since 2010, The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace has nurtured and celebrated the ritual of growing and gathering bringing people together in order to help sustain, grow, restore society, community, and in so doing, help mend the fabric of our lives, nutrition.

Yael Mejia, food consultant to Baker & Spice Dubai and the Farmers’ Market champion, says: 

“When I came to Dubai to set up Baker & Spice as 2008 was drawing to a close, one of my first tasks was sourcing local and regional fresh produce.
“This is one of the guiding principles of our kitchen and I had no intention of changing course. I knew there was farming here and I just had to find it and connect.
“It took a year of investigations, phoning, cajoling, travelling in the desert, begging, and we ended up working with three farms. They delivered fantastic produce to our kitchens, mainly vegetables. 
“The “field to fork” concept had landed in Dubai. Customers started asking questions about how we were making our food and when told about our direct farm supplies their disbelief made me think about sharing the news and the produce.
“We set a date and went to the press. The media storm was incredible and 4000 people turned up that first Friday to shop. Everyone chipped in to give local produce a much needed boost and the connection between small farms and consumers has, ever since that very first market, helped invigorate and strengthen a local food system that may have languished in favour of supermarket supremacy. In retrospect we changed the conversation about food in the UAE, forever.
“We had 4 farmers at our first market. It was the end of April, the end of the growing season really, and after 3 weeks it just got too hot and stuff was running out. Seven months later the market was back for a full season, it was fantastic and over the ensuing four years it has become a favorite winter fixture.
“The knowledge that the produce is organic, local, of such amazing quality and so cheap, has resonated with people who are concerned about what they put in their mouths and how they feed their children.
“Being able to connect directly with the people who grow the food we eat is something most people think is important. Many global food scandals have contributed to this global concern.
“Having pioneered the farmers’ market revolution, many other markets have followed in our footsteps and as a result it is now far easier to access local organic produce in Dubai.
“All over the world farmers markets have made a comeback. Unfortunately commercial pressures here and abroad mean that even in my local ‘farmers market’ in London, most stalls are not manned by farmers, but by market traders who move around from market to market trading other people’ products.
“It is rather perverse that in a country where farmers don’t proliferate, we managed to keep The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace true to basic principles. It is a farmers’ market in the correct sense of the word, still the only one in the UAE.
“The apostrophe matters here; this market belongs to the farmers, and is for them. As a community led initiative, not a business, they don’t get charged to attend. By cutting out the middlemen, farmers are able to keep prices competitive with – or even lower than – those found in supermarkets. Every season brings with it more varieties of vegetables. The farmers are surprisingly adventurous and are attuned to trends through their direct conversations with shoppers.

“It is a joy seeing old friends and like-minded people learning to love the people behind their food. My favorite time of the week is without a shadow of a doubt 8am on a Friday morning, standing in the garden and watching the market coming together. All my triggers are laid out in front of me. And in my mind, I am cooking and putting together the salads and pots of the coming week.
“To a chef this is heaven. Food is a great leveler. We all have to eat. Bringing people to the table is an oft-used term applied to everything these days. But the essence of it, the source, has everything to do with sharing resources, be they plenty or meager, sharing of food, conversation and ideas.”


Watch the video below (Arabic & English subtitles included) and hear what the mothers, home cooks and even husbands are saying about "The Farmers' Market On The Terrace". Hear them tell you all about the quality of the farm-fresh produce, the fair prices, the actual shopping experience and buying from the farmers themselves (no middle man) and the amazing sense of belonging to this community. 
This is why the people LOVE this farmers' market and recommend it to YOU :)

This Friday 28th is the opening of 
The Farmers' Market On The Terrace, 6th season 
so make sure to be there and drop by to say hello, as I will be there too ;))

The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace returns on: Friday, 28th November and is held every Friday, in the shade of a beautiful avenue of palm trees, from 9am until 1pm, until the season ends at the end of May 2015.

About The Farmers’ Market on the Terrace 
The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace continues to create a new standard for legitimate, certified, locally grown, organic, fresh, authentic, sustainable, ethical produce. It remains true to basic principles and is a farmers’ market in the correct sense of the word and still the only one in the UAE. It is a market by the farmers, of the farmers and for the farmers. All generated income goes to the farmers directly, and farmers are do not pay to participate.

About Yael Mejia
Baker & Spice food consultant Yael Mejia is responsible for spearheading the very first locally inspired community-based farmers’ market initiative in Dubai. She continues to lead the discussion on local agriculture and its importance as part of the global food solution.

Relative Links & More pics to feast your eyes

Pics from the launch of the market's 6th season, Nov. 2014



Come back tomorrow for the new video ;)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Celebrating Success Stories & An Exclusive Interview with Chef Niko Romito ***

Here is a "From Food To Life" post and it goes like this:

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Cherry Soup with sheep milk ice-cream by Michelin Chef Niko Romito

I don't know what it is about this line of work that makes people (all, the involved and the bystanders) become overly critical! In the past few years, I have been watching this phenomenon and have over and over seen how most people always choose to either focus on the negatives or at least be very highly critical! No one seems to focus on the success stories behind even the minutest endeavor! Somehow it all becomes about perfection, which we all know does not exist! And when all else fails it just becomes personal!

I was at a radio interview with a few chefs the other day and was terribly amazed how the focus of the interview was for Michelin Chefs to criticize practices and other chefs! The 3 Michelin chefs I was with found the interview very annoying and were highly uncomfortable. In a very nice way, they tried to express that they did not want to "focus on the negatives" that they were here to share their experiences, to celebrate and focus on the positives in people's restaurants and chefs' practices. Regardless, the host continued to throw such questions at them and we all had to go through a long discussion offline that created so much tension!

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Veal with dried Porcini mushrooms, almond, thyme and black truffle gel by Michelin Chef Niko Romito

Likewise, I have been meeting up with some others in the course of this event, who each time had nothing good to say about anything! Who just threw criticism just about anything and everything that came to their minds that day (relative or not)! What is it that makes people unable to see the bright side to things? The Success Stories. While some criticism can be constructive, most are overly destructive! That is what I am talking about here. In the end all people alike, aspire and work hard to achieve something meaningful to them. All people want to succeed and all people want to be the best, all try and life happens, throwing people off sometimes, working in our favour at other times; as ever... We watch ourselves and others, then it is totally up to us to find the angle from which to see things and the voice with which to express ourselves. Totally a personal choice to celebrate or criticise. I personally have always or let's say mostly (as nothing is perfect) chosen to celebrate (apart from this post where I choose to criticise this) and what better way to celebrate a success story than with the current best of the best in Italian cuisine?

I am starting my Celebrating #SuccessStories series with an exclusive interview with 3 Michelin Star Chef Niko Romito. He says he is not born to do this (being a chef), that he was eagerly studying economics and his heart was set on being a broker. But life conspired against him and that dream was cut short when his father passed away and he had to take over his family's business (a restaurant). He was a tad less than happy to go into the food industry, but like a true numbers man he became determined to make it work and be very very successful. So little did he know that this little change, this life conspiracy against his dream, was going to make a huge star out of him. That he was only to become Italy's best! Niko Romito along with his sister took over Ristorante Reale revamped the whole place and Niko cooked his heart out and translated his lost financial broker dream into an affair with immediate local as well as pan Italian provincial produce that he deployed to renovate loved classics, and decided to pour it all out on plates that will eventually contain and pass on all his emotions to his diners. Yes I ate his food and the man is in every bite, speaking through a pea ice-cream starter with a tuile of parmesan about a season, so green, so abundant, and still cold before warming up and shaping the parmesan... entirely and deeply delicious! This in-short story here is truly worth celebrating.

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Ristorante Reale

This simple, ordinary story of a lost dream, of life happening despite of our plans, of being thrown into things we thought were not for us, of change (the forceful type), and of determination and action instead of being rolled up in a corner crying over loss... this here is a success story. Regardless the details, the many attempts to perfect, the honing and retraining, the reconditioning of one's thoughts... which while taking place might have been ugly or highly "Criticize-able" the end of the road, paved the way for a star to shine.

So here is to success, to the bright side and to focusing on the positives. Here is to reality, not fabricated success stories created to entertain us at the late hours through a silver screen selling comodities. Here is to real life and the people living it, to strength and to achievements. Let the critics criticize all they want because that is all they do. And let the doers do, because that is what they do!

Watch the great man behind the name: Niko Romito in this exclusive interview, where I pick his brain about his food philosophy, and what he celebrates in his cuisine as well as expresses in his dishes. Also discussing why it is important for someone so celebrated as he is to take part in the Italian Cuisine World Summit. Bear with me as most Italians speak only Italian, so he will speak his language. However, Master chef Walter Potenza (Yes so him! The Walter Potenza :) interprets Niko's words in English for us to understand.

The Michelin Guide (also often criticised)
A Michelin Star is a success story for chefs. Chefs feel they received the ultimate award when they receive a Michelin star. The chefs feel their massive efforts and hard work (it is not easy being a chef by the way, that lifestyle is gruesome!) have been acknowledged and rewarded. Besides, the Michelin guide to the chefs is a highly acclaimed acknowledgement. Therefore, I personally celebrate meeting a Michelin chef and yes think it is a big deal. I also appreciate experiencing their food. Besides the actual stars, these chefs have done something right to actually acquire them (in Romito's case, not just 1 star but 3) and I like to celebrate that with them. So, do go to the remaining dinners (the schedule in pics is at the end of the post on this link) and celebrate their success with them!

PS a friend of mine known as @scentorialist came to me the other day and said: "Don't let the 'vampires' suck the energy out of you. We all know the world is full of those!" and to all of you aspiring people working on your own success stories am telling you the same!

Yalla back soon....

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Vision Behind The #ItalianCuisineWorldSummit & "Latergraming"

As you know the Italian Cuisine World Summit 2014 is well underway here in Dubai, bringing in a whole lot of Italian Cuisine excitement. The summit is all about sharing with you the authentic tradition of Italian Cuisine, as well as updating you with what is new in the world of Italian food. With that said one of the main objectives of the Italian Cuisine World Summit is to show everyone that the Italian cuisine is way more than just pasta, pizza, lasagne and even more than just pomodoro sauce! Yes these are basic components of the cuisine, and yes are the tradition and an important base of the Italian eating experience, however are not the only components as Italian cuisine is huge, regional and very diverse. It is also a cuisine that is hugely developed and contains a contemporary section that is hardly ever explored outside of Italy. Therefore, the organisers of the summit found that it was of great importance to expand people's knowledge of the cuisine beyond what they refer to as 'the international Italian Cuisine'. A world class Italian Cuisine Summit was hence a must and from there the concept was born. 

While this is the 6th edition of the Italian Cuisine World Summit, it is the 2nd in Dubai. Rosario Scarpato, the Director of the summit saw that Dubai is central in location - which allows people from everywhere to easily attend the summit - as well as becoming a city referred to as the Food Capital of the world, he decided to make Dubai the home of this summit. 

What is such an objective and vision without the participation of the utmost experts of Italian cuisine? And how will the summit portray Italy's diverse regional cuisines, the modern interpretations of classic cuisine as well as the unique produce and philosophy behind the cuisines within it without involving all these experts and active members of each category? Hence, the summit organisers saw that by bringing Italy's best Michelin Chefs, food experts and renowned food producers, they will allow everyone to experience the authentic tradition of this world famous cuisine, as well as be exposed to its ever developing side by sampling the creation of Italy's most avant-garde chefs in the form of Michelin menus created by these top-notch Michelin chefs for Dubai to savour. 
To shake things up and make it all more exciting, they went with having these Michelin chefs take over the kitchens of Dubai's favourite and most upscale Italian restaurants. Diners could book a Michelin dinner and experience the chefs' michelin menus at the comfort of their city without having to book flights and travel to the different Michelin restaurants. This way they get to explore all that is new, fine dining and outstanding in Italian cuisine today. 
But that is not it! Since people are trying other food concepts than their classic pastas, lasagnes and pizzas, and should they be interested to learn the techniques behind producing such new Italian concoctions they could do so by attending the masterclasses held at the Emirates Academy where the chefs in turn will demonstrate how they prepared these dishes, all the while telling attendees what inspired their creations, as well as explain their regional cuisines and the regional characteristics of each kitchen. Well if that was not enough, each demonstration is proceeded by a specialised masterclass that covers the topic of the day in depth; like the making of fresh pasta for example, or the art of using dry pasta... or gelatos and semifredos, or even butchery... in the form of "all there is to know". Participants are then free to pick their preferred topic or masterclass to attend, where they will learn from the real masters the essence of the knowledge and ability which these great chefs and experts have spent years researching and practicing to perfect.

Furthermore, and most importantly to the organisers, the summit has another objective that is more focused on Italian cuisine professionals abroad, from chefs to suppliers, as well as writers and editors....etc. Here the focus is more in-depth, more professional and aimed to assist and enhance the performance of these professionals in their jobs. From interacting and first-hand learning from the guest Michelin chefs, to certified courses, expert competitions as well as produce expert courses and updates on all things new. 
The summit organisers find it very important for Italian chefs abroad to keep in touch with their ever developing cuisine and Italian produce as well as to stay reminded of the importance of keeping true to the authenticity of the cuisine and its traditions instead of being diverted into 'international Italian cuisine' or limited to that experience. 

The organisers of the Italian Cuisine World Summit rightfully find that true Italian restaurants have to be true to authentic Italian cuisine. 

This part of the summit included many seminars, training workshops, certified courses as well as in depth explorations of the above. It also included competitions among Dubai's Italian chefs where they were to be judged based on all the above mentioned as well as technical merit, presentation, innovation and overall eating experience.


We all know how I always go on about the importance of authentic cuisines, traditions as base even when we move on to contemporary; as well as understanding and savouring the culture behind food & local cuisines and exploring new cultures, eating experiences and ultimately better understanding areas and people through their food. So it was only natural that I will have a soft spot for such a gathering and concept as  the Italian Cuisine World Summit. 

While I am keeping you posted with all that is taking place, my main objective from the beginning, as ever, is 'the story' and the significance of the experience, which I am compiling for you as we speak. Blogging sometimes forces one to be distracted from the experience in order to cover the event. However in this case, I found that "the later gram" concept is called for, as first and most importantly, I have to experience and compile the story in order for me to tell it fully and justly. So while you guys are hopefully enjoying the Michelin dinners, seminars, events and masterclasses... am running around town following the stories (very stubbornly at times) which are beautifully unfolding and capturing every minute possible. These will be all posted in video for you not to miss anything, also for the least interference on my behalf as I would not want in this case for my voice to shine, but that of these great people and this absolutely unique event that am covering. I will however be sharing my "From Food To Life" take in the form of blog posts here. And of course as you already know I have been updating the daily happenings on my social networks and so on...

So for now here are the restaurant schedules with their Michelin guest chefs for the remaining few days before wrap up. 

If you have not yet experienced this, you really must, truly unique absolutely delightful to culinary travel throughout Italy here in Dubai!

Yalla back soon....

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Masterclasses With Michelin Chefs - All the details for this week's classes

Why not? Just go for it!

If you still have not attended a masterclass with the Italian Cuisine World Summit Michelin Chefs and Italian cuisine experts don't miss out! Because these classes are truly remarkable. I mean how many times do we get the chance to learn from Michelin chefs and cuisine experts, who spent years practicing and perfecting their techniques and skills? This is a rare chance to do so and only 4 days are left.

Those who attended the classes have really enjoyed them and found them informative and very useful. Here are a few accounts by Dubai-based food bloggers on the sessions they attended.
So go ahead and book your masterclass. Below are the details for the remaining 4 days, where you have the day's topic, timing as well as the Michelin chefs demonstration sessions.

The sessions are all held at the The Emirates Academy Of Hospitality Management. The price of the session is AED 250.00

Contact Patrizia for more details or to register +971 55 780 4746




#italiancuisineworldsummit #MasterClasses 

Become A White Truffles Expert - ICWS Italian White Truffles Course Details

If you guys are interested in attending The Italian White Truffle Sessions here are the details:


- 3:00 - 4:30 PM:
Economy of white truffles. & How to buy the best at the right price and guided tasting.

- 4:30 - 5:15: 
Master Cooking Class with White Truffles 1 (including a tasting)

5:15 - 6:00 : 
Master Cooking Class with White Truffle 2 (including a tasting)
by Chef Eicke Stainort,

- 3:00 - 4:30 PM: 
Grape beverages and white truffles, principles of the perfect paring

- 4:30 - 5:45 PM : 
Master Cooking class 1 (including tasting and grape beverages paring),

- 6:00 PM: end of the course

The sessions are all held at the The Emirates Academy Of Hospitality Management. If you wish to attend just one day, you can do so at the price of AED 750.00 per day (AED 1500.00 for both days) Really the price of one truffle dinner with wine pairing!

Contact Patrizia to register +971 55 780 4746 #italiancuisineworldsummit #MasterClasses