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The Speciality Food Festival to consolidate Dubai as a gastronomic hub
Tuesday, 07 November, 2023, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Dubai, UAE
Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is preparing to host the 12th edition of The Speciality Food Festival, the MENA region’s only dedicated gourmet and fine food trade show. Taking place from  November 7-9, 2023, The Speciality Food Festival will offer influential buyers from the region’s fast-growing markets a platform to network and track down the right premium or niche product, while visitors will have the opportunity to uncover the latest news and emerging trends in the speciality food industry.

Bringing together industry leaders and decision makers from the retail, hospitality, food service, manufacturing, import/export and wholesale industries, the festival will tap into current food trends and address the opportunities and challenges across these sectors, focusing on six core themes: Vegan & Plant Based, Horeca & Food Service, Speciality Beverage, Health & Wellness, Artisan & Gourmet, Organic & Free-From.

Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre, commented, “Gastronomy is booming both in Dubai and across MENA, evidenced for example by the arrival of world-renowned gastronomy guides Michelin and Gault et Millau in the region. Next month’s The Speciality Food Festival will continue to be a powerful driving force behind this boom, enabling buyers and visitors to encounter a huge variety of innovative and trend-led global speciality foods, exhibitors to showcase their product and service offerings, and all participants to build new business connections”.

Specialist buyers of premium products from across MENA will be able to discover a vast array of speciality foods from over 250 exhibitors, including global brands like Monin, Mamame Whole Foods and Truffle House. Exhibitors will display a dazzling array of products from sectors including artisanal and gourmet, plant-based and organic, and beverage including: award winning olive oils from Italy, Spain, Greece; 100-year-old traditional balsamic vinegars; olive preserves, pastes and pastas, caviar and family-owned handcrafted burrata and stracciatella. More than 25 countries will be represented on the show floor, including Italy, Egypt, Hong Kong, Greece, the Philippines, Korea and Singapore.

Top Table Gourmand
Gulfood stalwart Top Table will return to The Speciality Food Festival this year, with more than 40 interactive masterclasses from 20 homegrown chefs who are helping shape the region’s unique culinary identity. Big names set to give visitors first-hand experience of the latest culinary ideas and innovations include Chef Alessio Pirozzi, head chef at the Michelin-starred TornoSubito, Chef Kelvin Cheung of Jun’s, Chef Alexander Stumpf, executive chef & co-owner of BB Social Dining, Chef Roberto Segura, head of culinary at InfiniConcepts Agency and Tabu Dubai; and Chef Junior Nadje, founder of Diner Modern.

Youth X
Young, aspiring chefs are having an ever-growing influence on the regional and global gastronomic scene. To recognise and reward this contribution, YouthX will convene up and coming young chefs from four of the region’s leading hotels for the Young Chef Challenge, and give them a unique chance to showcase their culinary skills in a thrilling competition.

At a culinary casting earlier this month organised by YouthX partner the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA), 10 teams were whittled down to four. The winning teams that have secured their spots in the regional finals and will face off at Top Table Gourmand on the second day of the The Speciality Food Festival, are Atlantis The Palm (Ossiano), led by Chef Gregoire; Jumeirah Mina A'salam, led by Chef Kevin; Kempinski Palm Dubai; and the SLS Dubai. The regional winners will then move forward to the international final at Gulfood next February.
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