ABU DHABI // Knives and forks at the ready, the capital is preparing itself for the second Gourmet Abu Dhabi food festival. The line-up for the annual culinary event, which runs from February 5 to 19, was announced yesterday and boasts an expanded programme on the inaugural festival, including international chefs with 19 Michelin stars among them. A 15-day food marathon held across 14 venues, Gourmet Abu Dhabi will showcase the city's food talents along with those of the international chefs.
In addition it will feature dozens of workshops, masterclasses and dinners. "It will be a cross-cultural event, appealing to the widest possible audience," said Noura al Dhaheri, from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, host of the festival. New features at this festival include a women-only workshop, a chocolate dinner and a game dinner cooked by the highly regarded American chef Charlie Trotter. "He has done his homework and knows the game that's available here," Peter Knipp of the Gourmet Abu Dhabi organising committee said.
Other famed chefs attending include the Frenchman Alain Passard, who owns L'Arpège in Paris, rated a three-star restaurant by Michelin; Claude Bosi of Hibiscus, a two-star restaurant in London; and the Canadian celebrity cook Bob Blumer. The Gourmet Abu Dhabi Star Awards return with an additional category in recognition of pastry creation. "This time around, we have raised the bar following input from the local industry," Mr Knipp said.
Public voting for the first round of competition is now open at www.gourmetabudhabi.ae and will run until the end of this month.