NAT 191220 Culinary Season-1576844093030
Participating restaurants of the Tastemasters Series and Chef’s Table are acknowledged by Ali Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi as part of the Abu Dhabi Culinary Season Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: The recently concluded inaugural Abu Dhabi Culinary Season was deemed a resounding success by its organisers The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi, this week.

The six week foodie affair that ran from October 31 to December 14 featured three consumer events, hosted Michelin-starred celebrity chefs, showcased interactive dining experiences, and offered promotions from casual to fine dining outlets across the emirate.

“We are delighted with the results achieved this year by the inaugural Abu Dhabi Culinary Season,” said Ali Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “Our aim was to put the capital on the global food map, which we achieved by hosting a series of internationally acclaimed chefs and attractions, enabling over 100,000 visitors and residents to enjoy a range of gastronomic delights. We would like to thank all our partners and each and every ‘foodie’ who participated and made the season a resounding success.”

The Season’s highlight, the Tastemaster Series, celebrated Abu Dhabi’s food scene by hosting Michelin-starred chefs from around the world at some of the city’s best restaurants. 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.

Also designed to elevate the capital’s food scene, the Season’s Chef’s Table programme provided spectacular dining opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Twenty seven of the city’s finest restaurants covering a range of cuisines, including Coya, Teatro, Oak Room, Sontaya, Roberto’s and Tean, offered interactive dining experiences and bespoke menus. Each restaurant provided a different approach to the programme, from interactive chef experiences to special set menus and masterclasses, resulting in unique immersive dining experiences for all gastronomy enthusiasts.

Three unique consumer events were rolled out for Abu Dhabi audiences, including Mega Mela, Taste of Abu Dhabi and World of Food Abu Dhabi – all of which showcased the capital’s culinary offerings, attracting both residents and visitors alike.

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.

Unique initiatives also gave customers a chance to discover the city’s restaurants from the casual to fine dining categories at special prices, with a total of 300 participating restaurants offering the chance to win Zomato vouchers.

For more information visit: