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


What we are eating Today: Praze the Taste

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Updated 24 May 2022

What we are eating Today: Praze the Taste

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  • Praze the Taste is located at the Suheili Center on Prince Sultan Road in Al-Nahda in Jeddah. Its interior design colors match its logo, red and yellow

If you’re looking to try out a completely brand new culinary experience, then Praze the Taste will provide that for you with its US-Lebanese concept.

Their cross-cultural menu has everything from fattoush (a typical Levantine salad usually made with tomatoes, toasted pita bread chips, lettuce, and radish), to buffalo wings served with many sauces: Korean BBQ, dynamite, maple sriracha, I Dare You, honey glazed, buffalo, or simply plain fried.

Praze the Taste’s salad options make healthy eating much more fun with flavorful dishes. My favorite is the chicken kale salad. It contains fresh kale, Lollo Verde, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, and cranberry dressing. The sweetness of the cranberry dressing combined with the fresh flavor of the leafy greens made it such a refreshing option.

And who doesn’t love good garlic bread? The restaurant makes its own garlic aioli sauce, mixes it with cheese, and spreads it on a baguette. This option is great for sharing because the baguette is cut into squares. It is my favorite appetizer.  

I like the flexibility and variety of the menu as there is something for everyone, whether you are in the mood for a tasty burger like their flavor-packed maple sriracha burger or a lighter option such as the grilled chicken with Lebanese bread and fattoush. Praze the Taste has flavors worth praise.

Praze the Taste is located at the Suheili Center on Prince Sultan Road in Al-Nahda in Jeddah. Its interior design colors match its logo, red and yellow.

Keep up with the restaurant on its Instagram @prazethetaste.


Famed Chinese restaurateur Michael Chow to offer art in Dubai, fine dining in Riyadh

Famed Chinese restaurateur Michael Chow to offer art in Dubai, fine dining in Riyadh
Updated 23 May 2022

Famed Chinese restaurateur Michael Chow to offer art in Dubai, fine dining in Riyadh

Famed Chinese restaurateur Michael Chow to offer art in Dubai, fine dining in Riyadh

DUBAI: Sotheby’s Dubai will close out May by hosting what might at first seem a surprising event: a solo exhibition of paintings by Michael Chow, the famed Chinese restaurateur-turned-artist who has recently taken up painting after a 50-year break at the age 83.

Known as “M” from May 30, Sotheby’s Dubai will present a series of the artist’s abstract expressionist paintings and works on paper that will run until July 1.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s Dubai

Chow, who is the son of Chinese national treasure and legendary Peking Opera Grand Master, Zhou Xing Fang, has brushed sleeves with artists such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Jean-Michel Basquait. During his youth, Chow moved to London to study architecture at Saint Martin’s School of Design. On Feb. 14, 1968 he opened his first restaurant in Knightsbridge called MR CHOW, which became an instant celebrity and artist magnet. Restaurants in Beverly Hills, New York, Miami and Las Vegas followed.

“I was born into a very cultural family, and I definitely believe in destiny,” Chow told Arab News. “I have always been in the right place at the right time: from the Swinging Sixties in London, alongside Hockney and the Rolling Stones, to my life here in LA. And so, my motivation has always been very international, and I like to think there are no borders to what I do.”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s Dubai

Throughout his life, the famed restauranteur has participated in many forms of creativity — from architecture, to food, installation, film, and poetry — and the best examples are his restaurants, which he designed himself with a modern twist, and which serve as an amalgamation of his various creative pursuits.

“I first started painting in the late 1950s, and continued to do so for around 10 years,” he told Arab News. “I took it up again recently, encouraged by Jeffrey Deitch and Julian Schnabel, and haven’t been able to stop since!”

Artworks on the walls in his restaurants include portraits of Chow himself by the likes of Keith Haring and Jonas Wood and Lalique glass doors. During the 1980s, when Giorgio Armani went to MR CHOW in New York, he was allegedly so impressed by Michael’s architectural design that he sent tuxedos for all of his waiters to use. In return, Chow designed Armani’s Rodeo Drive Boutique in 1987.

“I believe my strength lies in spontaneity and instinct, particularly given that I am self-taught so every element of my craft and technique was built myself and is unique to me,” he told Arab News. “My works on paper in particular are painted very fast, in line with the very Chinese concept of finding perfection in a split second (from calligraphy to martial arts to even cooking).”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s Dubai

Chow has already debuted his artworks in China. His upcoming show at Sothbey’s Dubai constitutes the artist’s first exhibition in the Middle East and in the Gulf region — a part of the world he is venturing into also with his restaurant business. He’s recently announced that his restaurant MR CHOW will open in Riyadh next year.

“It is so exciting to be making my artistic debut in Dubai as I truly sense a hunger for art in the Middle East, which echoes my own pursuit of creativity in all aspects of my life,” he said. “I am very much looking forward to visiting Dubai again, and hopefully exploring a little more of what the UAE cultural and dining scene has to offer!”


Where We are Going Today: Asrar Al-Nakha

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Updated 22 May 2022

Where We are Going Today: Asrar Al-Nakha

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  • The most exciting aspect of this restaurant is that it features dishes with authentic tastes that people grew up eating at their mother’s table

Sometimes you long for the food that your mother used to prepare when you were growing up. Luckily, Asrar Al-Nakha restaurant in Jeddah will transport you back to those days.

Hijazi mothers manage Asrar Al-Nakha, and every meal they serve is like a warm hug.

The restaurant specializes in homemade saleeg, a well-known dish in Saudi Arabia that consists of rice mixed with milk and boiled chicken.

Biriyani, the traditional Indian dish made from rice and chicken, is also on offer.

Asrar Al-Nakha has an unmissable dish consisting of steamed potato balls with a crispy texture and served with distinctive sauces.

There is also a selection of samboosas suitable for gatherings, such as beef, cheese, chicken, and spring rolls.

Of course, stuffed and rolled vine leaves are another familiar favorite dish from the region and at Asrar Al-Nakha they are a must-try.

The restaurant serves musakhan, a Palestinian dish made of sumac chicken and caramelized onions that look like spring rolls. This appetizer is a winner.

Desserts are not available, but on seasonal occasions like Eid, the restaurant has a special Hijazi sweet treat called debyaza made from nuts and qamaruddin.

The most exciting aspect of this restaurant is that it features dishes with authentic tastes that people grew up eating at their mother’s table.

And its slogan - “The secret of luxurious taste in the hands of women” - is no lie when it comes to the taste of its traditional plates.

The team specializes in buffets and can serve hearty spreads for any home event.

Another distinctive feature of the restaurant is its express and singular nature. It has no tables, only does takeout, and only has one branch in Jeddah in the city’s Al-Marwa district.

For more information about the restaurant, find it on Instagram @flavors_secrets.


What We Are Eating Today: Crepe and Waffle 

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Updated 20 May 2022

What We Are Eating Today: Crepe and Waffle 

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  • They are offered with all the sauces mentioned above, in addition to Oreo, Mars, Snickers and Ferrero Rocher biscuit toppings, as well as banana and strawberry toppings

Crepe and Waffle is a small, family-run dessert shop that has branches in many districts of Jeddah.
The shop offers a wide selection of crepes, waffles and pancake batter, as well as sauces.
The crepe section includes lotus, the house special (Nutella, pistachio and biscuit flakes), crunchy, Galaxy, white chocolate, Nutella, Belgian chocolate, pistachio, and Kinder.
You can order crepes that come in a sushi roll form, or in the classic triangular form.
They offer the same sauces for the waffles as well, and have a classic Dutch waffle option too.
Crepe and Waffle have an incredible mini pancake selection, with boxes that offer from 15 up to 50 pieces, which are an excellent option for gatherings.
They are offered with all the sauces mentioned above, in addition to Oreo, Mars, Snickers and Ferrero Rocher biscuit toppings, as well as banana and strawberry toppings.
They also offer what is called the “Sushi Box” which contains six different types of sushi crepe fillings: Marshmallow, brownies, cake, strawberry, banana, and Kinder along with four different dipping sauces of your choice.
Crepe and Waffle also have branches in Makkah and Taif.
They offer hot and cold drinks, from mojitos and iced teas to all kinds of coffee.
I treated myself to a crepe with Galaxy sauce and a cappuccino. I was more surprised by how good their coffee is than their main products.
Their slogan is “made with love,” and I can taste that through the high quality of their dough and generous sauce portions.
The branches in Jeddah can be found in the districts of Al-Ruhaili, Al-Hamdaniyah, Al-Waha, Al-Rawdah, Al-Nahda, Al-Marwa, Al-Fayhaa, Al-Sanabel, and Al-Waziriya. For more information, visit their Instagram page
@crepewaffle_ksa or website www.crepeandwaffless.com


EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe
Updated 19 May 2022

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

LONDON: A handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.
The outbreaks are raising alarm because the disease mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.
Here’s what scientists know so far.

’Highly unusual’
Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10 percent mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of more like 1 percent of cases. The UK cases are least have been reported as the West African strain.
“Historically, there have been very few cases exported. It has only happened eight times in the past before this year,” said Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who said it was “highly unusual.”
Portugal has logged five confirmed cases, and Spain is testing 23 potential cases. Neither country has reported cases before.

Transmission
The virus spreads through close contact, both in spillovers from animal hosts and, less commonly, between humans. It was first found in monkeys in 1958, hence the name, although rodents are now seen as the main source of transmission.
Transmission this time is puzzling experts, because a number of the cases in the United Kingdom — nine as of May 18 — have no known connection with each other. Only the first case reported on May 6 had recently traveled to Nigeria.
As such, experts have warned of wider transmission if cases have gone unreported.
The UK Health Security Agency’s alert also highlighted that the recent cases were predominantly among men who self-identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men, and advised those groups to be alert.
Scientists will now sequence the virus to see if they are linked, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week.

Why not?
One likely scenario behind the increase in cases is increased travel as COVID restrictions are lifted.
“My working theory would be that there’s a lot of it about in west and central Africa, travel has resumed, and that’s why we are seeing more cases,” said Whitworth.
Monkeypox puts virologists on the alert because it is in the smallpox family, although it causes less serious illness.
Smallpox was eradicated by vaccination in 1980, and the shot has been phased out. But it also protects against monkeypox, and so the winding down of vaccination campaigns has led to a jump in monkeypox cases, according to Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA in California.
But experts urged people not to panic.
“This isn’t going to cause a nationwide epidemic like COVID did, but it’s a serious outbreak of a serious disease – and we should take it seriously,” said Whitworth.