Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 July 2020

'It helps people get to know us': Dubai's finest chefs join forces to create an online platform for ideas, tips and recipes

Dubai Chefs Collective is also intended to help customers learn more about the people who create their favourite dishes

A number of Dubai chefs have banded together to launch a new online collective, where they can share recipes. Courtesy of Dubai Chefs Collective
A number of Dubai chefs have banded together to launch a new online collective, where they can share recipes. Courtesy of Dubai Chefs Collective

The best thing about good food? Sharing it with others.

And, in a bid to share their food with more people, a number of Dubai chefs have joined forces on a delicious new project. Dubai Chefs Collective is a digital community where the emirate's chefs can connect, share ideas and recipes, and generally support one another. As Shane Born, executive chef of Bidi Bondi and the man behind the concept, puts it, it’s a “community of chefs, for chefs, by chefs”.

“I realised that we didn’t really have a space where chefs could interact,” he says. “Since we all have a lot of downtime these days, I wanted to start a platform where we could get to know each other better and challenge ourselves.”

Born decided to first float the idea to about 20 local chefs, and got an overwhelmingly positive response. As of now, 32 chefs have joined the platform, with that number growing by the day. Some well-known names in the industry include Liz Stevenson, known for her time with Ruya, Giovanni Ledon with Akira Back Dubai, Mohamed Yusuf Sujee, executive sous chef at ME Dubai Hotel and Robert Stevens, head chef at Intersect by Lexus.

“There’s no limit on how many people we accept. It’s about bringing together people who have a big love for food and a passion to create content for other people,” explains Born.

Content includes a recipes section, with chefs from around the world sharing guides to making their gourmet dishes. Some recipes already up on the website include an Asian salmon tartare and slow-roasted tomato soup served with cheese toasties.

There’s also a blog where contentious food-related issues, themes and topics can be discussed in a bid to “challenge ourselves to grow, learn and follow the pursuit of perfection". In the future, the chefs also plan to launch cook-at-home challenges.

Another perk of the platform? It helps residents learn more about the people behind their favourite foods. “In the UAE, we have a culture where we go to restaurants without really knowing anything about the people preparing our food. I think customers would be more willing to go out of they knew the chefs better,” says Born.

Since the platform's launch about a week ago, Born says more chefs have been pitching in with content for the blog and social media, asking about ingredients and equipments, sharing tips and generally getting to know each other better within a WhatsApp group.

He adds that this project is in no way connected to the pandemic, except that it has given them more time to work on it, with the collective coming at a time when community is needed the most.

“This was set up to help local chefs, support customers and any local interests that they have. It’s based on the idea of a community where everyone can learn from each other, and make life better for everyone,” says Born. “So, watch this space – there’s going to be plenty of exciting things to come.”

Updated: May 28, 2020 11:54 AM

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