There’s not much one can say when Chef Jenny Morris is the midst of giggling. The South African celebrity chef and radio personality, who has taken ‘The Giggling Gourmet’ avatar of hers to new heights, is returning to the UAE for another go at this year’s Taste of Dubai.
The weekend event, which runs from March 7 to 9 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, will see Morris brandish her cooking skills at the chef’s theatre. And when she has time to spare, Morris won’t hesitate to jet off to sample at kebab or three at Dubai’s most famous eateries.
Gulf News tabloid! chatted up with Morris ahead of her Taste of Dubai appearance.
Tell us about this year’s Taste of Dubai and what are you going to be doing at the event?
I will be cooking some of my signature dishes in the Crate and Barrel Chef’s Theatre. I’ll also be conducting baking masterclasses and judging competitions in The Jif Big Baking Tent and the Al Ain Farms & Kibsons Cooking Challenge.
From all the celebrity chefs attending, who are you most excited to meet?
Without a doubt, Chef [Masaharu] Morimoto — he is a legend. It is always great to reconnect with [chefs] Tarek Ibrahim and Mohammed Orfali. This year, I’m also looking forward to touch base with [MasterChef Australia judge] Matt Preston again.
Describe the UAE food scene in 3 words…
Exciting, current and on trend…If I could add a fourth one, it would be delicious.
Which is your favourite UAE restaurant?
A trip to Dubai would not be complete without a visit to Special Ostadi Restaurant also known as Al Ustad Special Kabab located in Al Musallah Road, Bur Dubai. Another hidden gem is the Daily Restaurant, which serves the most delicious Pakistani and Indian cuisine.
Your thoughts on the ‘Giggling Gourmet’ tag?
I received the tag back in the day when I had started doing my radio shows and because of all the laughs my colleagues started calling me the Giggling Gourmet and that was it, we registered the name and the rest as they say is history.
Is there one thing you’d like to eat that you haven’t tried before?
Puffer Fish — the thought of it frightens and excites me at the same time.
As a published author, is it easy to come up a recipe book?
When I write a recipe book, it takes me about a year to do so. I am always developing new recipes for my business and clients which have to be tried and tested and the ones that receive the maximum applause make it to the book. I need to be inspired by fresh ingredients and then the ideas just flow.
I’m always working on a new recipe book, and right now there is possibly a new cooking show in the pipeline as well.
Are you looking to expand your brand in the UAE or the Middle East?
Yes and I have already made a small start; I have curated four different DIY Recipe Boxes for Kibsons.
There has been talk of late that the UAE is prime for a Michelin guide. Your thoughts?
It wouldn’t surprise me if PierChic was the first to receive a Michelin star. The culinary standard in Dubai is extremely high.
Don’t miss it!
Taste of Dubai runs from March 7 to 9 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The first day kicks off at 4pm, with the event starting at noon on the second and third days. Standard tickets are priced at Dh95, while VIP tickets start at Dh285. Full schedule on Tasteofdubaifestival.com