Here’s my fortnightly (sort-of) roundup on events in Dubai and further afield if you feel like jumping on a plane. This time there is a truffle focus. Next time, Christmas!
- When: now
- What: many of Dubai’s best restaurants will have seasonal truffle menus in place. Although truffles last all the way through the year, this is the time for the prized white truffles of northern Italy. Check out Ronda Locatelli, Certo, Armani Ristorante, Alta Badia, and Zuma, who must be doing something with Dubai’s most pricy truffle. If you want to cook at home though, try below.
- Details: Italtouch sell pretty much all of Dubai’s truffles. Get in touch here.
The Dubai Air Show
- When: November 18-21
- What: lots of pretty planes flying around or sunning themselves on the tarmac. There’s parties, shows, conferences, a gala dinner with Kelly Rowland, and even golf tournaments (trying to figure out how this is associated – maybe there’s a comp to see who can hit a low-flying jet?). Best for the public is Skyview (linked below) – a day out with air stunts, military craft, bouncy castles and more.
- Details: on the website
Opera in the Park
- When: 21 and 22 November
- What: Not really in the park, but on the rooftop at Wafi, you can get a lovely little picnic basket, a glass of wine (if you wish) and some dulcet tones all for 195AED. At that price, even if it’s terrible, it’s probably worth it.
- Details: website
Specialty Food Festival
- When: 17 to 19 November
- What: It’s really more of a trade thing, but anyone can go, and it’s free to enter. At the DWTC, running from 10am to 6pm, and sprawling out larger every year, this show has pretty much all the suppliers of anything remotely gourmet to the region. There’s tastings, cook-offs, masterclasses, and underlying it all, a strong sales push. Pretend you’re a famous food blogger and you’ll be guaranteed the royal treatment 😉
- Details: website
- When: 25-27 November
- What: Degustation menus at the highest restaurant in the world prepared by the French version of Gordon Ramsay, 2-Michelin starred Philippe Etchebest (He’s probably nicer than GR though). 500AED for lunch, 1200AED for dinner. Start saving now.
- Details: website
It’s officially truffle season, so if you can get to Italy in a pinch, then take yourself to Alba for the last few days of the Truffle Fair (ends Nov 17). If you miss it, never fear, you can make up for it by doing your own truffle hunt. How cool is that – see how it actually works, and figure out if the truffle dogs are better behaved than you when you smell that tuberous ambrosia.
There’s also some celebration in Tuscany/Umbria (The San Miniato Truffle fair is on this weekend and two weekends following), and the lovely Umbrian city of Gubbio hosts it’s month of truffle adoration until Dec 1 (more info here). Casteggio has it’s day of Truffles and honey (oh hold me up, my knees are buckling) on Nov 24 this year (more here).
Taking the truffle hunt a little further, why don’t you stay on the estate of San Pietro a Pettine (near Assisi in Umbria). I met the owner at Ronda Locatelli the other evening, and I’m completely enamoured. You will be too. Book a room, grab a dog and find out how it’s done. Finish it all with a truffle cooking class. That’s it – booking my ticket NOW!
If you can’t make it that fast, don’t lose hope. You might want to head to the Drome, one of the most beautiful parts of Southern France, and visit the Saturday market at Richeranches (some great info here) – the most famous in the area (and stay nearby in this lovely little house like I did). Every Saturday until the truffles run out (possibly all the way through to February, depending on season.)
Maison Mathis in Arabian Ranches – a European themed upmarket cafe
El Sur at the Westin Dubai – one for my book. I went to the pre-opening and was quite pleased with what they had to offer. The Entertainer has a new app which does a 2-for-1 on main courses this month.
Ba – Chinese restaurant at Fairmont on the Palm.
Spontiphoria – cafe opened in Wasl square with a unique concept combining formalwear, cupcakes, gifts and all things girly