The inaugural Dubai Cheese Fest has been dubbed a huge success as over 3,500 cheese connoisseurs from Dubai paid homage to “fromage” during the two-day event held at the stunning Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, from 22-23 February.
It was a case of ‘bon appétit’ at the world-famous House of Cheese, brought to Dubai by The French Dairy Board, CNIEL, as visitors had the opportunity to understand that there is not one but many ways to enjoy French cheeses, and that it integrates with all food cultures.
Showcasing the very best of French produce and delicacies such as Morbier, Fourme d’ambert, Bleu d’Auvergne and Saint Nectaire as well as Tomme de Savoie, Brie and Comté – Fabien Degoulet – awarded world’s best cheesemonger 2015 – was on hand to show how French cheeses may be included and adapted to Japanese and Korean cultures for example.
Delivering a series of workshops and demonstrations in the House of Cheese corner using typical spices and ingredients, Fabien created recipes such as Comté sushi, Langres & Cambodian Red Pepper, Brillat-Savarin & Wasabi Powder, Camembert & Nori seaweed and Brie de Meaux & Kumamoto tangerines. He demonstrated that French cheese could also be used in authentic Japanese material by creating a contemporary Cheese Bento.
Mansi Jasani, very talented cheesemonger and cheesemaker based in Mumbai, delivered a workshop which focused on the integration of French cheeses into Indian culture. She created simple recipes which combined French cheeses with Indian ingredients such as Himalayan honey, Bhakadvadi (Maharashtrian snack), Kerala black pepper and Chunda (Gujarati sweet mango pickle).
Chef Mohanad Alshamali from BHAR – Renaissance Downtown Hotel – recently awarded best Middle Eastern Chef, revealed how European cheeses are at the heart of Middle Eastern culture – combining ingredients such as zaatar, dates and sumac to create simple and innovative recipes such as Basturma, grilled peaches, Brie & spiced dates and homemade Fourme d’Ambert shanklish and mint.
Providing a fourth alternative on the consumption of European cheeses, Pierre Gay, awarded best cheesemonger in France, presented a ‘Sweet Cheeses’ workshops. He created a range of recipes including fresh Brillat-Savarin spoons with cocoa powder as well as mint and Comté lollipops.
“The House of Cheese corner has been a resounding success” said Marie-Laure Martin, International Project Manager, CNIEL.
“We participated to the Cheese Fest to demonstrate the diversity and depth of French cheeses. Dubai foodies have an unrelenting thirst for the latest trends, and we wanted to showcase that cheese can be eaten anytime, anywhere, anyhow,” she added.