9 unmissable dining events to mark MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants

Masterclasses, collaboration dinners, culinary experiences – it’s all happening in the capital.

All eyes are on Abu Dhabi as the inaugural edition of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants will be hosted on 7 February, bringing with it a whole host of exciting culinary events between 4 and 8 February. Spanning cooking masterclasses, four-hands dinners and experiential dining events – and ready to book – here they are at a glance.

Friday, 4 February

For the first time, the 50 Best Masterclass roadshow lands in the Middle East. Chefs from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list will reveal the secrets behind their signature dishes as part of a live cooking experience, with plenty of tasting and insider tips along the way. Taking place at Yas Island, each masterclass will end with a Q&A session where the audience can take a one-off chance to learn from the world’s finest chefs. Buy a ticket to all three masterclasses for the exclusive price of AED 750, a saving of AED 450 on the individual ticket prices.

Tim Raue

Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin

Germany’s highest-ranked chef and one of the stars of Netflix’s Chef’s Table series has spent a lifetime defining a completely unique cookery style. Leaning on Japanese techniques and ingredient preparation with a minimal use of carbohydrates or heavy sauces, Tim Raue’s future-proof cuisine is exactly in tune with the modern way that diners want to eat. His Berlin flagship is ranked No.31 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 and, for this masterclass, he will show guests how to make his signature wasabi langoustine and Sanghachi pike perch, with a sprinkling of tips and tricks to top things off.

GO: Click here to buy tickets or more information.

Pía León

Kjolle, Lima

The World’s Best Female Chef 2021 is the cook behind some of the world’s most seminal restaurants. Peru’s Central, which Pía León runs with husband Virgilio Martínez, was named Restaurant of the Decade in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. She also launched Kjolle – her first solo project – recently. Her cooking focuses on the topography of Peru, exploring its varied ecosystems and the unique ingredients associated with each location. León will be showcasing her country’s produce in Abu Dhabi for this masterclass, giving the audience a one-time chance to see how it is prepared and, of course, how it tastes.

GO: Click here to buy tickets or more information.

Will Goldfarb

Room 4 Dessert, Ubud

One of the world’s best-travelled chefs and another star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, Will Goldfarb worked in France, Spain, Australia, the UK and his native USA before deciding to settle in Bali, Indonesia to open his restaurant, Room 4 Dessert. His studied approach to sweet cookery saw him announced as The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2021, where he was lauded for his technical skill and style of food that sees him harness the healing properties of ingredients, particularly the herbs and plants native to Bali. For this masterclass, Goldfarb will be preparing and revealing the secrets behind three desserts that each mark a key milestone in his career: Red, Incidente Stradale, and The Sugar Refinery.

GO: Click here to buy tickets or more information.

Tim Raue x Dai Pai Dong

Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Also taking place on 4 February and uniting Dai Pai Dong’s mastery of dim sum with Tim Raue’s outstanding Asian flavours, this unique collaboration within the Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel promises to be one of the hottest tickets of the 50 Best event week. Raue will be interspersing his signature langoustine, pike perch and sustainable duck soup dishes with Dai Pai Dong’s innovative Cantonese cuisine, including delicious barbecued meat and its legendary bao buns.

GO: E-mail to buy tickets or more information. 

Saturday, 5 February

Pía León: Peruvian Paradise

Zaya Nurai Island

The first of two ultra-exclusive experiential dining events in Abu Dhabi, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover game-changing Peruvian cuisine created by the ultra-talented Pía León. 50 Best invites fuests to an intimate lunch for a gastronomic exploration of the culinary ecosystems of Peru in a fully immersive tropical island paradise. A boat will whisk guests from the mainland to the pristine Nurai Island, where the scene will be set for an unforgettable afternoon – with plenty of surprises and culinary delights along the way.

GO: Click here to buy tickets or more information.

MENA: United Through Food

Paddock Suites, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island

Book your seat for an interactive afternoon of live interviews, presentations and forthright discussions with culinary legends from across MENA and beyond. This thought-provoking event will explore the power of food and how it can unite cultures across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. A host of regional stars debating the current food scene will be joined by Goldfarb, who will enlighten the audience about the healing power of food and how we can harness its positive properties. This interactive event will also feature a one-of-a-kind ‘Falafel Off’, where the varying takes on this emblematic dish will be presented for tasting to compare and contrast different flavour profiles at play from Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE.

GO: Click here to buy tickets or more information.

Sunday, 6 February
Julien Royer x LPM Restaurant & Bar

LPM Restaurant & Bar, The Galleria, Al Maryah Island

Another unmissable collaborative dinner, this event will showcase Julien Royer, the mastermind behind Odette, the Singapore restaurant that was twice named No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. The French chef balances Asian ingredients with French techniques, and will be teaming up with the LPM chefs to create a unique collaborative menu that will combine some of the greatest hits of both restaurants for one night only.

GO: E-mail to buy tickets or more information.

Tuesday, 8 February
Natsuko Shoji x Tori No Su

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Natsuko Shoji, Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2020, is the chef-owner of Eté restaurant in Tokyo. She is revered for her pastry craft, making intricate desserts featuring livery of leading designer brands, while her bespoke cake-making business counts the likes of David Beckham and René Redzepi as happy customers. She is also a skilled savoury cook, trained in the classical French style, and will be joining forces with Tori No Su, the Japanese fusion restaurant in Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

GO: E-mail to buy tickets or more information.

Dave Pynt: Playing with Fire

BBQ Al Qasr, Emirates Palace

Aussie chef Dave Pynt has worked at some of the best restaurants on the planet, from the current World’s Best Restaurant Noma in Denmark to the legendary Asador Etxebarri in Spain and icons St John in the UK. All have influenced the grill-led cookery that define his restaurant Burnt Ends in Singapore, which was announced as No.34 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. Pynt will land in Abu Dhabi’s BBQ Al Qasr for a one-off barbecue experience, where myriad meat and vegetables will be exposed to the tender kiss of fire and smoke. The experience will begin with an exploration along the beachfront and end with decadent desserts by candlelight.

GO: E-mail to buy tickets or more information.

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Samia Qaiyum
A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, Samia Qaiyum specialises in travel and culture, having lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others – just don't ask her to define the word 'home'.

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