What We Are Eating Today: Baking Bouquet

What We Are Eating Today: Baking Bouquet
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Updated 25 October 2021

What We Are Eating Today: Baking Bouquet

What We Are Eating Today: Baking Bouquet

Baking Bouquet is not your typical local bakery. Owners and professional bakers Shatha Engawi and Baraa’ah Mullah wake up every day to create a perfectly balanced and probiotic-rich sourdough.

Engawi began her sourdough business back in 2016 from the comfort of her own home, honing her skills until 2019 when she and Mullah opened their first bakery in Jeddah.

Despite the four-day long process of creating the perfect sourdough, Baking Bouquet offers a variety of goods apart from bread, from regional favorite maamoul and even delicious and gut-friendly waffles.

The time and effort it takes for the two bakers to make the homemade rising agent for every single baked good justifies the price tag on their products. Making sourdough bread is a highly complicated process and requires years of practice.

Believed to have originated from ancient Egypt, in 1500 B.C, the long fermentation process using natural yeasts and friendly bacteria gives the dough its mildly sour taste and distinctive chew.

Engawi and Mulla are striving to create public awareness of the meticulously baked sourdough’s overall health and gut benefits. The cozy ambiance and the aromatic scent of freshly baked dough are guaranteed to give customers a one of a kind experience of an artisanal bakery.

To learn more, find them on Instagram @baking.bouquet.


Salt Bae’s Nusr-et restaurant promises and delivers in Riyadh

Salt Bae’s Nusr-et restaurant promises and delivers in Riyadh
Updated 25 November 2021

Salt Bae’s Nusr-et restaurant promises and delivers in Riyadh

Salt Bae’s Nusr-et restaurant promises and delivers in Riyadh
  • Items on the menu like the porterhouse bring Salt Bae himself to the table
  • As of 2021, the chef has branches in Turkey, Greece, the US, the UK, the UAE, Qatar, and now Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: When you think about the restaurant Nusr-et, what comes to mind is salt, meat and a great show. And this is what you get when visiting Nusr-et in Riyadh U Walk, an area known for its high-end dining experiences.

Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gokce, better known as Salt Bae, opened his first restaurant branch in the Kingdom last week and his 28th overall. 

Arab News paid a visit to see what he had prepared.

Customers are met with a warm and inviting atmosphere upon entering, with friendly and smiling staff. Walking through and looking around, there are golden, embossed and emblazoned items everywhere. The walls, the furniture, the bar, and even some items on the menu tell you exactly whose restaurant this is.

“It’s marvelous, the food, the show, everything. The guy (Nusret) performs, he’s a phenomenon,” Guillaume Rochette from France told Arab News. “Only he could warrant SR1,000 ($267) a head for one dish, but it’s fantastic. I ordered the ribeye, mashed potato, the Nusr-et signature salad and, of course, the baklava.”

When going to a restaurant famous for its meat, vegetarian dishes would not necessarily be thought of as its forte. But Nusr-et’s signature salad fared well, dressed with walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette, ticking all the boxes and filling you up just enough to prepare your stomach for the star of the show.

Tender, juicy and rich with fat that flavors the beef, the Wagyu porterhouse steak is the one to order. At a steep price point of SR1,500, the portion size is large and can be shared between two or three people.

Items on the menu like the porterhouse bring Salt Bae himself to the table, where he showcases his knife skills on your steak and, of course, executes his signature salt sprinkle at the end.

Some of the other popular meat dishes include the meat sushi, the meat spaghetti, and the Ottoman steak, with the cook on all prepared to the liking and taste of the customer.

In addition to preparing and seasoning the meat, Gokce also likes to take pictures with diners, which makes for a more special experience.

The name of the restaurant chain is a play on his own name and the word “et," meaning meat in Turkish.

As of 2021, the chef has branches in Turkey, Greece, the US, the UK, the UAE, Qatar, and now Saudi Arabia.

The restaurant has received mixed reviews since it opened in London and divided people on its prices.

Rochette, who co-founded his own hospitality company, said: “The whole key (concept) Nusr-et has achieved here is driving sales by delivering quality. Sure, it’s expensive but it’s quality.”  

The atmosphere at Nusr-et is classy during the day, with movie-themed soundtracks like “The Godfather” playing in the background. At this time, you can expect a quieter and more intimate experience before it starts to get busier around 7:00 p.m.

“Saudis like going out late, it’s always more exciting at night,” Rochette said. “It’s not a place you want to be early for, I think you want to enjoy the buzz later on.”

After the lights dim, around 8:30 p.m. and more people have arrived, the place comes alive.

“It was my first time here at the Riyadh branch and it was very enjoyable, very good meat. It’s a great experience everyone should try at least once,” the Frenchman said.


New York’s French chef Daniel Boulud voted world’s best

French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud works in the kitchen of his restaurant 'Daniel', in Manhattan, New York city on November 19, 2021. (AFP)
French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud works in the kitchen of his restaurant 'Daniel', in Manhattan, New York city on November 19, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 23 November 2021

New York’s French chef Daniel Boulud voted world’s best

French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud works in the kitchen of his restaurant 'Daniel', in Manhattan, New York city on November 19, 2021. (AFP)

NEW YORK: French chef Daniel Boulud, who has been living in New York for almost 40 years, was named best restaurateur in the world by Les Grandes Tables du Monde on Monday for his flagship restaurant “Daniel.”
The association of 184 top restaurants worldwide said that the Lyon native, who moved to New York in 1982, “embodies, for many North Americans, French gastronomy, or even gastronomy, period.”
Boulud, 66, defines his cuisine as French in its cooking and textures but with American products and flavors. Besides “Daniel,” which has two Michelin stars, in New York, the chef has other restaurants in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Singapore and the Bahamas.
Boulud told AFP after the news broke that this latest in a long list of honors represented a “professional dedication and really a sign of friendship and support from colleagues” in an environment widely seen as extremely competitive and high-pressure.

French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud works poses for a photo at the bar of his restaurant 'Daniel', in Manhattan, New York city on November 19, 2021. (AFP)

Like all New Yorkers, Boulud took a big hit in the Covid-19 pandemic that killed at least 34,000 people in his adopted city, which bore the brunt of the first wave of the virus in the United States in early 2020.
Some of his establishments closed, but “Daniel” kept going, setting up a terrace of covered shelters on the sidewalk “with heating in the winter and air conditioning and music in the summer” for die-hard fans.
Emerging from the pandemic, Boulud thinks New York will remain “one of the five most attractive cities in the world” and will always enjoy a prominent place in French gastronomy.

French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud displays a sea bass dish in the kitchen of his restaurant 'Daniel', in Manhattan, New York city on November 19, 2021. (AFP)

The economic and cultural capital of the United States and a cultural mosaic of 8.5 million inhabitants, New York is home to 183 French restaurateurs, according to the French consulate.
“In love” with New York and now an American citizen, Boulud still boasts of being “the most French of all French chefs in the United States” thanks to a “cuisine which has its French references” but which “never stops innovating.”
The price of one of his “exceptional” dinners runs to about $300 a head including wine and service, according to the restaurateur.
“Customers want to have fun, to splash out on wines, they go out a lot. We see them with a regularity and a loyalty that reassures us,” said Boulud, who is now looking forward to the return of visitors from Asia and Europe.
 


Riyadh, Dubai celebrate World Week of Italian Cuisine

Along with signature Italian dishes, the dinners will feature a display of excerpts from the virtual exhibition “Caruso, Di Stefano, Corelli. The legendary Italian voices. (Twitter: @ItalyinKSA)
Along with signature Italian dishes, the dinners will feature a display of excerpts from the virtual exhibition “Caruso, Di Stefano, Corelli. The legendary Italian voices. (Twitter: @ItalyinKSA)
Updated 22 November 2021

Riyadh, Dubai celebrate World Week of Italian Cuisine

Along with signature Italian dishes, the dinners will feature a display of excerpts from the virtual exhibition “Caruso, Di Stefano, Corelli. The legendary Italian voices. (Twitter: @ItalyinKSA)

ROME: The Italian embassy in Riyadh is celebrating the World Week of Italian Cuisine from Nov. 22-28 with a series of themed dinners celebrating the country’s famous dishes.

The selected audience includes individuals from the Saudi political, cultural and entrepreneurial scenes, the diplomatic corps in Riyadh and the Italian community living in the Kingdom.

Along with signature Italian dishes, the dinners will feature a display of excerpts from the virtual exhibition “Caruso, Di Stefano, Corelli. The legendary Italian voices.” The project by Italy’s foreign ministry was produced by the Teatro alla Scala Foundation and Museo Teatrale alla Scala in Milan, and directed by Mattia Palma.

It celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of world famous tenor Enrico Caruso and the birth in the same year of Giuseppe Di Stefano and Franco Corelli, two unforgettable protagonists of the national and international opera scene.

The exhibition can be viewed online on teatroallascala.org and italiana.esteri.it, the portal of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dedicated to the promotion of Italian culture, creativity and language.

The events will also celebrate Dante Alighieri on the 700th anniversary of the most prominent Italian poet’s death. The “Divine Comedy” author’s prodigious life and work will be highlighted by an installation, which will showcase the key messages of the Florentine poet’s literary immense production that still resonate to this day.

The dinners will all be hosted at the residence of Italian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Roberto Cantone.

They will also feature an exhibition by several Italian companies operating in the Kingdom, such as Montegrappa, Versace, Ferragamo and Etro.

In Dubai, a special cooking class dedicated to authentic Italian food culture — organized by the Italian embassy in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency and the local General Consulate at La Scuola Italian cooking school at Eataly in Dubai Mall — recorded a significant turnout.

The celebration of traditional, authentic Italian food was held on Nov. 21 and focused on the iconic dish ravioli pummarola and burrata. A question and answer session was also held on the techniques and ingredients used the dishes, before attendees sat down to enjoy traditional Italian aperitivo.

Renowned for its sustainable, traceable and responsible models of consumption and production, the Italian food cultivation industry employs 1.4 million people. Italy has the largest number of certifications of origin of agri-food products in the EU.

The country’s top exported products are olive oil, coffee, pistachios, cheese, wine, pasta, processed vegetables, fish and meat.

Other popular items include free-from products, coffee, juices, dairy products, chocolates and sauces.

“Italy is known across the globe for its unique and top-quality products, and I’m also delighted to see that the Mediterranean diet is also becoming more widely recognized for its health benefits,” said Italian Ambassador to the UAE Nicola Lener.

“Italy has one of the most dynamic and advanced food and beverage industries in the world. This is thanks to our long-standing tradition in production, as well as our focus on cutting-edge technologies in the traceability of products, sustainable manufacturing and environmental protection. In fact, I’m proud to say that Italy is now home to 60,000 organic farms.”


Revolutionary type 2 diabetes pill introduced in Saudi Arabia

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 November 2021

Revolutionary type 2 diabetes pill introduced in Saudi Arabia

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
  • GLP-1 RA controls blood sugar through 4 key mechanisms, removing the need for injections

JEDDAH: In Saudi Arabia, one in five people are diagnosed with the chronic progressive disease type 2 diabetes. This figure is double the global rate, meaning that the disease represents a serious public health issue for the Kingdom.

If ignored, the disease can cause serious medical complications. The usual treatment for controlling blood sugar is regular insulin injections.

Leading global health company Novo Nordisk recently launched the first-ever oral medicine to control blood sugar for type 2 diabetes patients. It is now used in the Kingdom and across the Arab world.

The announcement was presented in a press conference in Jeddah with the presence of elite international and local endocrinologists, family medicine consultants, media and press representatives, and health specialists.

The pill, GLP-1 RA, is certified by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. The importance of this revolutionary treatment lies in its pill form. Medical director and quality manager of Novo Nordisk, Motaz Yahya, told Arab News: “The treatment of GLP-1 RA has been there in the market a long time ago in injection form, but our team created this innovative pill to help patients with diabetes to have a normal lifestyle.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Kingdom approves pill form GLP-1 RA type 2 diabetes medication.

• Almost 70 percent of type 2 diabetes patients in the world cannot reach the required levels of control.

• GLP-1 RA pill will help people with type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar and lose weight.

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. Like other treatments, it also helps patients control the disease at an early stage.

How does the GLP-1 pill work?

Patients with type 2 diabetes have to learn to live with the disease and control it for their whole lives. One of the panelists at the press conference, Dr. Ashraf Ameer, family medicine consultant and CEO of executive medical services at the International Medical Center, said that GLP-1 RA works in the body through four main mechanisms, describing it as a “qualitative leap” in the world of type 2 diabetes medication.

It is administered once daily, Ameer said. “GLP-1 works through four mechanisms, including preventing the liver from secreting the complex glucagon that is secreted in the blood and causes high sugar levels dramatically.

“The second mechanism works to stimulate the cells of the pancreas, the beta-cells, to secrete an amount of insulin, and when this amount is secreted into the blood circulation, it breaks down all the sugars, thus it helps the first mechanism in lowering the level of sugar in the blood.

“The third mechanism helps to empty the stomach by keeping the food in the stomach for a longer period, giving the patient a feeling of early satiety.

“As for the fourth mechanism, GLP-1 stimulates the satiety centers in the brain, which gives the patient a sense of mental satiety,” Ameer said.

These four mechanisms facilitate the prevention of hypoglycemia. It also aids weight loss, therefore improving insulin resistance in the blood.

“Patients of type 2 diabetes need to reach a good level of awareness about following a healthier lifestyle to be able to control their blood sugar levels. This requires a positive interaction with the disease and a sort of medical commitment,” Ameer said.

According to the latest report by the Saudi Ministry of Health, about 4.3 million adults with diabetes were recorded in the Kingdom, leading to high recorded prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes in about 25 percent of the population. The figure is expected to reach 50 percent by 2030.

Yahya told Arab News that the innovative drug’s clinical trial program was tested on 9,543 adults with type 2 diabetes in the Arab region, but none from the Kingdom. However, he added: “In 2022, clinical studies and trials will be conducted in Saudi Arabia and will include Saudi investigators, doctors and patients from the Kingdom.”


Yoga pioneer wants to improve Saudis’ mind, body, and soul

Though undermined and misunderstood, yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. (Supplied)
Though undermined and misunderstood, yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. (Supplied)
Updated 15 November 2021

Yoga pioneer wants to improve Saudis’ mind, body, and soul

Though undermined and misunderstood, yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. (Supplied)
  • Nouf Al-Marwaai wants to capitalize on the emerging popularity of the practice

JEDDAH: After nearly 20 years of teaching, training, and promoting yoga in the Kingdom, the new Saudi Yoga Committee president promised that now is the time to take the practice of yoga to a new level.

“We are working on a strategic plan to promote yoga and encourage the society to participate in yoga activities,” Nouf Al-Marwaai, the first certified yoga instructor in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News.
“We want to learn more about yoga for health and well-being as it’s suitable for people of different ages.”
With an outpouring of support for yoga in the Kingdom over the past few years, both practitioners and apprentice yogis have established themselves well in the community as Al-Marwaai wants to ride that momentum.
“We are living in a time of real change,” she said. “I’m more motivated than ever to be a productive and a proud Saudi woman and therefore, I am looking forward to serving my society. I want to be an active part of the changes that are taking place in my country. I am sure many other women in many fields and sectors are also motivated and hopeful as well.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Nouf Al-Marwaai started practicing yoga in 1998 when she was 18 years old to cope with Lupus, an autoimmune and rheumatic disease that attacks your body tissues and organs. The inflammation can affect joints, skin, blood cells, and other organs.

• Not only did Al-Marwaai recover from Lupus, but she also returned to school and finished a degree in clinical psychology. After school, she established herself as one of the Middle East’s foremost yoga experts with 20 years of experience on the mat.

• She began teaching yoga in 2004 and her success continued to build. By 2012, Al-Marwaai had trained more than 300 yoga teachers from different regions all over the world and taught 3,000 people how to practice yoga.

Though undermined and misunderstood, yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
Al-Marwaai started practicing yoga in 1998 when she was 18 years old to cope with Lupus, an autoimmune and rheumatic disease that attacks your body tissues and organs. The inflammation can affect joints, skin, blood cells, and other organs.
“Yoga helped me lead a healthier and active life,” she said. “For this reason, I wanted people to know about it and use yoga as a lifestyle.”

In 2018, Al-Marwaai was named the winner of the Padma Shri Award by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. She was given the award because of her efforts to make yoga accepted as a sports activity in Saudi Arabia.

Not only did Al-Marwaai recover from Lupus, but she also returned to school and finished a degree in clinical psychology. After school, she established herself as one of the Middle East’s foremost yoga experts with 20 years of experience on the mat.
She began teaching yoga in 2004 and her success continued to build. By 2012, Al-Marwaai had trained more than 300 yoga teachers from different regions all over the world and taught 3,000 people how to practice yoga.
Following stints in Australia and India, she assumed the role of “Yogacharya” — a title of respect given to a teacher of yoga — and then set up the Saudi Arabia Yoga School. It was later renamed the Arab Yoga Foundation.
In 2018, Al-Marwaai was named the winner of the Padma Shri Award by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. She was given the award because of her efforts to make yoga accepted as a sports activity in Saudi Arabia. The event was held in New Delhi at the president’s house.
Al-Marwaai said the Saudi Yoga Committee was established on May 16 with the help of 26 other federations, committees, and leagues by the Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee. The committee was established as the Kingdom’s leadership placed great importance on mental and physical health following the Saudi Vision 2030 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“This will help to prevent mental and physical health threats,” Al-Marwaai said. “As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, different sports initiatives took place virtually and were supported by Saudi federations. The Ministry of Sports put an emphasis on health and well-being during that difficult time.”

We are living in a time of real change. I am looking forward to serving my society.
Nouf Al-Marwaai

While yoga continued to gain popularity in the Kingdom, the demand grew and was later recognized by relevant health and sports authorities.
“I met Princess Reema bint Bandar in February 2017 and we spoke about yoga recognition and she welcomed the idea,” Al-Marwaai said. “She immediately connected me with a team of experts in the Ministry of Sports to work on the regulations and standards and then yoga was listed as a sports activity in the Ministry of Commerce.”
The Saudi Yoga Committee continues to spread the awareness of yoga through organized activities and events, Al-Marwaai said.
“We are working in the Leadership Institute on yoga standards and a memorandum of understanding to be signed with the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, and Homoeopathy out of India,” she said.
“In addition, we are also participating in the Asian Games second edition event in November sponsored and organized by Saudi Arabia.”
Al-Marwaai affirmed that Saudis are becoming increasingly more health-conscious, which has resulted in a growing demand for a broader range of yoga centers across the Kingdom. In line with this, yoga is becoming one of the most popular physical activities in Saudi Arabia, especially among women. It has created a communal focal point where people can engage in, practice, and experience for themselves the power of yoga and realize the benefits of this ancient technique to improve mind, body, and soul.