Vote for my Shawerma Tuna Flavour for a chance to win AED 15,000

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Michelin Visit To Old Dubai

The Chefs:
"We should go to Old Dubai. We hear there is an amazing spice market there."
"Is it true that the old spice routes from India and Asia passed by there in the old days?"

"Why don't we go check it out? I can take you there."

And we went.

Last November, and during the Italian Cuisine World Summit - which takes place in Dubai annually (in November), and where the top Italian Michelin Chefs hail from across the globe to participate in this event - the chefs eagerly asked to go to the Old part of Dubai, where the old souk is and where the well known Dubai spice market resides. I thought why not arrange for them to go visit and also thought it will make a perfect preview video of what you can do or find when at the old quarter of Dubai. So I took them and filmed throughout the day.

I did not have any script in mind or any specific concept behind this video. I just wanted to film as we go and see what experiences they will find there without any interference from my side. The whole thing was very spontaneous and not planned, because after all when visiting a place, we are most likely to find interesting stories at every corner. If we are curious, want to know and interactive with the world around us, we might even find stories that move us and perhaps even touch us emotionally.

This is exactly what happened with Chef Walter Potenza, who (again not planned) ended up being the main character in this video, because he was so curious and interactive, he found himself really moved and emotional by the experience (you can even hear it in his voice).

I love this video because we all like to travel, and one way or another in our travels we are all looking for something. An experience that speaks to us, an inspiration, a glimpse of something new coming into our lives and giving us a push forward. This video has all that and is an encouragement for all of us to look around us and look for the beauty and inspiration in all our experiences. Best of all, this video shows us by example that unless we are curious, unless we do interact, and unless we really take a moment to truly experience a place; we will only remain passers by who stroll the streets as though they were just another set of streets.

Watch the video below and join our conversation there.
Share with us your thoughts, you never know who you could end up inspiring! Let me know if you have ever had such an experience where you felt a connectedness with a place new to you? Have you ever went on a trip and become emotional about your experience there and tell me what made you so emotional?
Or share with me your tips on how to dig for and find interesting experiences when traveling?

I love to hear your stories and am sure we will all learn something in the end.

PS if any of your friends love traveling and exploring new places and experiences, share this post with them and ask them to join our conversation.
Just imagine the amount of inspiration and knowledge we can generate if everyone chips in here!

Love always
Dima x

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much".  - Helen Keller

Monday, 26 September 2016

Palestinian Street Food at the #GLFoodFest2016

Palestinian Street Food at #GLFoodFest2016

Over the past 3 days I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Lafayette Gourmet Food Festival, which took place at their outlet in the Dubai Mall. The food festival is an annual affair that the team at Lafayette Gourmet design and host. It is a come together of chefs, foodies, food fans, food brands and products; where everyone is sharing their story and slice in the food world. You will find different foods to sample, many products to sample and purchase and you will even watch experts and chefs demonstrating and sharing their experience and methods with you, showing you how to use their products or replicate their techniques at home. For three days you are taught, fed and entertained: simply treated and showered with all things food.

Live DJ, Breakdance and Graffiti
at #GLFoodFest2016 
This year the theme was celebrating urban lifestyle with a focus on street food. There were street food offerings from many areas across the globe, there was live graffiti artists, a live DJ & break dance artist and many many competitions and attractions. The attention to details that the team had
shown in their decoration and creation of the whole vibe makes you forget that you are in the middle of a mall in a city still enduring the summer heat, and for an instant your mind believes itself to be at some street food event outdoor in some cosmopolitan city! It was truly fabulous!

I for one had a stand there selling Palestinian street food, from the very famous and classic options such as hummus and even fattet hummus to the less globally known options such as Kofta in Tahini subs and Musakhan Rolls... all of which were garnished and complemented with items from my line of Organic Mooneh Essentials. So everyone got to try at least two types of pickles from this range. I used my Organic Shatta (red chili sauce) to add a kick to the sandwiches and have also offered tastings from my very famous dried zaatar, preserved tomatoes and lemon and chili preserve... most importantly everything was dressed and finished with my amazing Premium and award winning Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Palestinian Street Food at the #GLFoodFest2016

Of course did not forget about dessert! What is any market visit in Falasteen if not including the munching on this country's fabulous desserts?! But even here I wanted to introduce a dessert less known than say Knafeh, because my mission is to introduce as many of the fabulous foods of the amazing Palestinian cuisine as I am able to, instead of sticking to the same old classics, which most people already know. For dessert I have gone for an option from the northern part of Falasteen, one that belongs to the kitchens of Galilee: Usmaliyeh bil Mistka (Kadaifi pastry filled with mastic cream and topped with caramelised pistachios).

Besides the stand, I also did two demonstrations, the first discussing the art of food preservation with special focus on pickling, where I also demonstrated how you can preserve tomatoes in Olive oil (confit style). You know, we are about to start the new farmers' market season, so I thought this will be most beneficial as it explores ways to preserve the new season's fabulous produce.
And the second demonstration was to show how to prepare the best loved Musakhan Rolls as everyone raved about these throughout the 3 days.

And if all the tasting made people eager to learn how to make these fabulous foods and preserves, and if the demonstration did not cover enough (as demos can never be thorough enough), I had my book Plated Heirlooms on hand available for purchase, as it is really one complete resource to all things Palestinian cuisine with in depth explanations of methods, techniques and full information on any topics such as pickling, preserving, jamming ...etc.

Organic Moneh Essentials by Dima Sharif at #GLFoodFest2016

What a great event! really, if you missed it you have missed on a great deal. It was fantastic and felt like a 3-day party with all the music, dancing, art, food art, shows, competitions ....

One thing I must say: Leave it to Lafayette Gourmet to design an event, because then you know it is kick ***! Not to be missed!

Thank you to the extraordinary Chef Russell Impiazzi and the team at Lafayette Gourmet for this marvellous event.

Thank you to all of you who have joined us. Thank you to those of you who came especially for me, and made me know it because I felt your love and support and it means the world to me. Also thank you to those whom I have met for the first time and had nothing short of sweet to say to me, I truly appreciate it. I love to serve you and this whole thing I do is just that! Thank you.

Find more images from this even on this link.

Please note that this is not an advert or a promotion, this post is not a sponsored post I have not received any compensation in any way or form to post this. I am sharing with you from my personal experience.

Having lately been involved in many activities that require hiring service providers, I have learnt the hard way that not everyone works with the passion and dedication that they promote they do. This is very disappointing really and the last thing you want is to pay for services that you end up having half heartedly if at all up to standard! 

When it comes to events and/or catering services,  I without a doubt and whole heartedly recommend you go for Lafayette Gourmet, you will always receive above and beyond your expectations and they always create fabulous events and food that become the most elemental to the success of your event. I constantly work with the team at Lafayette Gourmet and we do many events and activities together and I have not once been disappointed and very often if not always beyond impressed! It is truly refreshing to find some people still reflect the passion they promote in the work they do. Go for it and see for yourselves.

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."   
- Mother Teresa 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Napoleon Bonaparte "The Father Of Canned Food"!

A little bit of canning history...
While food preservation goes back to times when man was still living in hunter gatherer communities - using cold to freeze and heat to dry foods therefore elongating the shelf life of that food - and while food preservation is a progressive art that evolved in heaps since those days, canning in this regards is a relatively new method. However, and while it existed in the world way before the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, he is considered "the father" of canning!

Sir Bonaparte as it appears had offered 12,000 French francs to anyone who could find a way to prevent military food supplies from spoiling. Napoleon himself presented the prize in 1795 to Chef Nicholas Appert, who invented the process of packing meat and poultry in glass bottles, corking them, and submerging them in boiling water. Without realising it, he sterilised them, stopping bacterial spoilage and growth.

This military secret soon reached England where, in 1810, Peter Durance patented the use of metal containers for canning. Englishman William Underwood migrated to Boston and established a canning plant in 1821. This was the beginning of canning in the United States. Underwood (even today, a brand of "deviled ham") is America's oldest canning company.

I find these stories tremendously interesting, to see how the food we have today and take for granted was actually a creative process at those times popping up out of necessities. I tell you some of my country's canning stories and show you how to make some of the oldest traditional recipes in chapter 2 of my book Plated Heirlooms. Really an interesting read into the culture and history of Palestinian cuisine. You can buy #PlatedHeirlooms at Jashanmal bookstores, Kinokuniya, SCAFA cooking school, Book Munch Cafe and through Gulf News online store who will deliver it straight to you.
I also give you a taster of these ancient techniques and recipes through my line of Organic Mooneh Essentials ( #OMEbyDimaSharif ) which you will be able to buy straight from me at the Farmers' Market On The Terrace starting November. You can also purchase these from Al Falamanki Cafe (Dubai), Al Maeda Restaurant in Double Tree by Hilton JBR and soon from Lafayette Gourmet (Dubai). Do give them a try I know you will love them and your body will love you for it as they are organic and packed with probiotics and fermented goodness.

Monday, 12 September 2016

A blessed Eid to those celebrating and peace to all

Wishing those celebrating a blessed Eid and sending wishes of peace to everyone. 

May you all receive love, flowers, and love-filled messages and connections to make your days colorful and filled with joy.

Adha Mubarak
Love, Dima

Monday, 5 September 2016

Where to buy Plated Heirlooms

If you are visiting Dubai this #Eid then don't forget to grab your copy of my cookbook Plated Heirlooms.
As you know so far it's only available in the #UAE ­čĄô 

#PlatedHeirlooms is now available in:
- Jashnmal Bookstores in (MAll of the Emirates, DIFC & Mushrif). 
- Kinokuniya bookstore at the Dubai Mall 
- Scafa cooking school in JLT. 
- Al Maeda Restaurant in Double Tree by Hilton JBR
- Gulf News Online Store (they deliver to you anywhere in the UAE

#cookbook #PalestinianCuisine #classic #musthave contains all the best loved and great #recipes a complete #resource for #Palestinian #cuisine