Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone is to make his first visit to the United Arab Emirates next week to play a starring role in the 10-day Gourmet Abu Dhabi culinary odyssey, which features the Arabian Gulf's largest-ever single gathering of Michelin-star masterchefs and epicurean experts.

Stone, the host of the US's most popular reality TV cooking show, Take Home Chef and the author and presenter of Australia's highly successful cooking lifestyle programme Surfing The Menu, says that he's excited about his trip to the UAE.

"I can't wait to get there and I can't wait to discover the flavours and culture of Abu Dhabi first hand," said Stone, who trained in London under the legendary chef Marco Pierre White and rose to fame during stints at London's Café Royal, Quo Vadis and Chelsea's Bluebird Club.

Up to 150 food lovers and connoisseurs will have the chance to sample Stone's creations in a one-night only Evening With Curtis Stone celebrity dinner at the Shangri-la Hotel Qaryat Al Beri on February 11. Curtis plans, he says, to demonstrate why cooking is "one of life's great pleasures".

The Evening With Curtis Stone is one of 40 events in the Gourmet Abu Dhabi programme, which runs throughout 13 premier venues across the UAE capital from February 5-14. It is aimed at positioning the emirate as a global gourmet destination and in prompting greater cross-cultural culinary dialogue.

Gourmet Abu Dhabi features celebrity dinners, master classes and a food & beverage forum with tickets available online at