The Exceptional Chef Series brings forth some of the best names from the culinary world.
Foodies in Abu Dhabi, you’re in for a treat because the culinary scene here is about to witness an exceptional extravaganza. From 8 September until 14 October, the capital is gearing up to host the sensational Abu Dhabi Exceptional Chef series. This series, a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) annual Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, promises to bring together a star-studded lineup of the world’s most revered chefs for an unforgettable dining experience.
Over 12 days, 12 celebrated chefs will collaborate to offer unique and memorable dining experiences. These culinary wizards will showcase the epitome of local and international cuisines, highlighting the very essence of Abu Dhabi’s culinary diversity. So without further ado, let’s take a sneak peek at the roster of chefs who are set to dazzle and delight:
Rodolfo Guzman: 8 September
Hailing from Chile, Rodolfo Guzman is not just a chef, but a flavour magician. He’s the proud owner of Santiago’s acclaimed Borago restaurant, where he takes Chilean gastronomy to extraordinary heights. With a knack for blending local treasures, his “endemic cuisine” philosophy brings together nature’s bounty from across Chile, creating a symphony of flavours. Now, he’s bringing the essence of his homeland to Catch at St. Regis — a seafood paradise where innovation meets elegance.
Mathieu Rostaing: 9 September
French sensation Mathieu Rostaing has taken Lyon by storm with his inventive Cafe Sillon dishes. No Poulet de Bresse or Foie Gras here – Mathieu’s all about the unexpected, crafting magic from tripe, mackerel and cardoons. Now, he’s landing at The Abu Dhabi EDITION’s Oak Room, bringing a French symphony of flavours. Get ready to savour exceptional cuisine with rock ‘n’ roll vibes, all in oak-panelled luxury.
Luca Mattioli: 15 September
Meet Luca Mattioli, the Italian culinary maestro. As Executive Chef at France’s Mirazur, he’s conjured three MICHELIN stars for the restaurant and even topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2019. Now he’s taking his gastronomic symphony to Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Nestled by Khor Al Maqta Canal, this gem serves French elegance plated with perfection.
Victoria Blamey: 16 September
Buckle up for a culinary escapade by Victoria Blamey who’s bringing the vibrant essence of New York’s Mena straight to Abu Dhabi. Her journey across the world has infused a dash of inspiration into her creations and BB Social Dining at Rosewood Abu Dhabi is the perfect canvas for her creativity. From Bao’s to BBQ, each dish is a masterpiece that’ll transport you on a flavorful adventure.
Benedetto Rullo, Lorenzo Stefanini & Stefano Terigi: 22 September
Get ready for a taste of culinary camaraderie with the Giglio Boys at Talea by Antonio Guida. Their journey began a decade ago when their paths converged. After Berlin’s adventures, they reunited in Lucca, birthing their culinary alliance. And now these Italian maestros from Il Giglio are set to harmonise their skills in Talea located in Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi — infusing the spirit of Italy into every dish they craft.
Alberto Landgraf: 23 September
Meet Alberto Landgraf, Brazil’s culinary prodigy who started his journey in England. Working with legends like Tom Aikens and Gordon Ramsay, he weaved his way back to Brazil, creating culinary magic at Epice in Sao Paulo. His creative excellence on the plate reflects his commitment to fair trade and fostering positive food relationships. And now you can join him at Maté, as he brings a taste of Brazilian sophistication to the capital.
Gregory Marchand: 29 September
Introducing the man, the myth, the ‘Frenchie’ – Gregory Marchand’s culinary journey began with helping nuns cook as a child in Nantes. From working with Jamie Oliver — who gave him the Frenchie nickname — Gregory’s globetrotting career landed him in Paris. Now, his culinary odyssey reaches Mazi, where he brings a contemporary twist to traditional Greek flavours. Join him on a journey through taste.
Tala Bashmi: 30 September
Meet the culinary dynamo, Tala Bashmi, who’s transforming Bahrain’s flavours. Her journey from football fields to art school to a dessert business finally led her to Fusions, where her Middle Eastern flair shines. Runner-up on Top Chef Middle East, her journey reached new heights with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ MENA’s Best Female Chef Award. Now, she’s bringing her passion for Middle Eastern cuisine to Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, adding a touch of contemporary flair to traditional Chinese techniques.
Mehmet Gurs: 6 October
Say hello to the culinary maestro, Mehmet Gurs. His journey from Istanbul to the US and back is like a flavour-packed adventure. Before spicing his way up Dubai’s culinary scene with Arrazuna, he’ll be heading to Garage at W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Straight from Mikla in Turkey, this chef’s creations promise to take diners on a sensory journey through Turkish cuisine.
Chicco Cerea: 7 October
Chicco Cerea — originally Enrico Cerea — is a true heir to a culinary dynasty. Growing up in the embrace of the Cerea family’s passion for food, he transformed curiosity into skill, crafting his unique style. At Cafe Milano, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, his culinary heritage will shine through as you indulge in the flavours that have enchanted generations. From Da Vittorio in Italy, Chicco is set to take you on a journey that’s both traditional and innovative on the plate.
Julien Royer: 12 October
Get ready to be dazzled by the culinary brilliance of Julien Royer, a French virtuoso with exceptional taste. From Odette in Singapore to Louise in Hong Kong, his MICHELIN-starred ventures are gastronomic marvels. Now, he’s bringing his culinary artistry to Villa Toscana, St Regis Abu Dhabi, promising a symphony of flavours that celebrate the finest in cuisine.
Kim Alter: 14 October
Get ready to dive into a culinary journey guided by Kim Alter, the visionary behind Nightbird and Linden Room in San Francisco. Now, she’s bringing her inventive flair to José by Pizarro in Abu Dhabi. From Manresa to her own acclaimed ventures, Kim’s innovative spins on familiar dishes promise a delightful dining experience. With her upcoming stint in the capital, she promises to add a touch of Californian flair to Abu Dhabi’s dining scene.
From Chilean flair and French finesse to Californian creativity and Turkish traditions, the Abu Dhabi Exceptional Chef Series promises an unparalleled journey through global flavours. So mark your calendars and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure like no other.
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