Launched in 2019, the Abu Dhabi Culinary Season is a six-week foodie affair featuring consumer events, interactive dining experiences, and city-wide promotions from casual to fine dining, while hosting internationally acclaimed chefs and restaurants for pop-ups across the emirate.
The Season, created to highlight the wide variety of culinary offerings in the UAE capital, will be back for its second edition from 1 November to 15 December 2020.
2019 Season in a Nutshell
The inaugural Abu Dhabi Culinary Season attracted over 100,000 residents and international visitors alike, as well as more than 300 participating restaurants across the Emirate.
Shedding light on the diversity of dining options throughout Abu Dhabi, from street food to haute cuisine with some of the world’s most renowned chefs, the Season launched Chef’s Table and Tastemasters, two dining series which activated several of the city’s finest restaurants with interactive dining experiences and Michelin-starred Chefs’ menus.
At the Tastemasters Series, diners were able to enjoy bespoke signature menus and interact with the culinary geniuses behind their meal. Some of the renowned chefs who showcased their skills included Nicholas Isnard and Liu Wai-Yeung (at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri), Andrea Monesi (at the Grand Hyatt), Matteo Rizzo (at Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi) and Paolo Cappuccio (at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche). All culinary masters brought their own signature concepts to the table, from traditional French recipes and unique truffle creations to the tantalising taste of Peking duck.
Taste of Abu Dhabi saw global culinary talent descend on the capital, including Jean Christophe Novelli, an award-winning, multi-Michelin-starred chef, TV personality and published author; Jean Torode, a hugely popular and influential figure on the UK culinary circuit; and Ayesha Al Obeidli, an 11-year-old Emirati girl who was crowned KidZania® Dubai’s 2018 Minichef when she was just nine years old. The three-day event served mini-menus from 10 restaurants such as Namak by Kunal Kapur, La Brasserie, Butcher & Still and Todd English’s Olives.
Mega Mela, a flagship festival held on Yas Island, celebrated the culture and lifestyle of sub-continental Asia. The three-day event hosted a range of signature activities in the largest cultural gathering of its kind in the UAE. As part of the festival, Taste of India featured activations and demonstrations by two of India’s favourite chefs, Vicky Ratnani and Sandeep Sreedharan.
World of Food Abu Dhabi provided five days of outdoor fun for families and friends in Umm Al Emarat Park, offering creative street food from various savoury and sweet dishes to eye-catching, Instagrammable bites, as well as breaking the Guinness World Record by serving the world’s largest variety of desserts, which consisted of 2,586 sweet treats.
The Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Awards named 64 winners across 22 categories of F&B outlets across the Capital. Raffles, promotions and competitions completed the feast, allowing visitors and residents to explore great deals and hidden gems across the city.