Only in Dubai

This is a version of an article also published in the Financial Times. I readily accepted the invitation to be a speaker at GRIF, the recent Global Restaurant Invitation Forum, in Dubai. It had been more than a decade since I had last visited this city and during this period Dubai, thanks to its rapidly increasing tourist numbers and location as a halfway house for those travelling around the world, has been an attractive second home for chefs and those keen to franchise their restaurants. As a result there was…






Eating in Cairo (during Ramadan…)

Eating in Cairo (during Ramadan…) – 2005 While a couple of books, a trip to the British Museum and the internet provided me with enough preliminary information about a trip from Alexandria to Cairo and Aswan, nothing seemed to yield encouraging results about Egypt’s better restaurants. Emails to friends who knew the country well bore little fruit; the guide books were pretty uninspiring; while one friend, currently living in Cairo for a year, commented that a dearth of good restaurants was the only drawback to an otherwise fascinating city. To…






What Dubai offers the restaurant-goer

What Dubai offers the restaurant-goer – 2003 The plane touched down so far ahead of schedule that there was no time for breakfast. Instead it was straight into what would prove to be a four-day ritual of a glass of pasteurised camel’s milk; a bowl of rich rice pudding made from camel’s milk and laced with saffron; labneh, thick strained yoghurt, with walnuts; and several different coloured but equally delicious dates. I have to admit that I viewed my first trip to Dubai with some reservations but now feel that…