The 26th edition of Gulfood, the first major live, in-person F&B industry event since the pandemic first shook the world opens today Sunday at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The event will run from February 21 to 25.
Gulfood 2021 will see the show’s first ever blockchain-based dairy exhibitor: Ingredia from France, while Amul, a global dairy company, will come to the emirate after recently launching 33 products in a single quarter.
Running from February 22 to 24, the Gulfood Innovation Summit will unite some of the world’s top chefs, food scientists and even government officials to discuss the future of food. It will touch on governments’ role in the future of food; healthier food options; sustainability; marketing; food’s relationship to tourism and retail; and the emergence of new technologies set to boost the industry.
“As the most competitive global sourcing platform and the first live F&B event for almost 12 months, the return of Gulfood marks the only platform for F&B professionals to reconnect with partners, explore big business opportunities and start the year with confidence,” said DWTC events management executive VP Trixie LohMirmand.
Those attending Gulfood will get a chance to meet some of their own gastronomic heroes. Renowned chefs, authors and F&B decision-makers to take to the stage to reveal their own experiences in the business and any future projects they are working on.
Chef Talks Stage in Hall 8 from February 21 to 24 will see personalities such as Heather Mills speak on February 21 at 1PM GST.
Meanwhile, ME Dubai executive chef James Knight-Pacheco and Masterchef’s Tarek Ibrahim will hold the mic on February 21 and 23.
Also, Italy’s 3-star Michelin Star chef Norbert Niederkofler will deliver a session titled ‘Fine Cuisine with Ingredients from the Wilderness’, while Gal Ben-Moshe, the third Israeli chef to be awarded a Michelin Star, will explore ‘Chefs Without Borders and Beyond Recipes’.
On day, two of Chef Talks is the ‘Launching of the Gulfood Chef’s Club’; where 30 top UAE chefs will collectively create a bespoke menu live at the event. Meanwhile, Gulfood visitors will get the opportunity to try out Dubai’s best eateries with pop-up restaurants from Zuma, Boca and Roberto’s appearing over the event’s duration.
Gulfood’s First in Food Workshops learning sessions to be held on February 21, 23 and 24 in Hall 2, will offer insights into the future of F&B. This year’s programme features live sessions on topics ranging from food safety and innovation to sustainable dining, food safety and F&B design.
Greg Ohannessian, founding partner of Soma Mater, a consultancy firm focusing on building sustainability in the GCC’s food, water and energy nexus, will deliver a 60-minute session on sustainable dining alongside Roha Daud, a food and wellness brand consultant and the founder of Cause’ Kitchn.
The programme will also include workshops devoted to kosher certification, taking professionals through levels of certification for the food production and service sectors, and processes and opportunities in the international kosher industry with Rabbi Joel Weinberger, head of India, South Asia operation at the US-based Star-K Kosher certification agency.
Masterclasses with celebrities
Some 31 renowned culinary creators, including five Michelin Star chefs from Germany, Italy and Portugal will take part in activations including masterclasses, acrobatic pizza, pastry art, and the secrets of the flour kitchen at Gulfood’s ‘Tastes of the World’, which will take place in Hall 8 across five days.
Taking part in the ‘Creative Cuisines’ experience – which is an interactive platform designed for Michelin starred chefs to explain their cuisine philosophy through a signature dish – are Norbet Niederkofler (3 Michelin Stars), whose restaurant St Hurbertus sits at the base of Italy’s Dolomites and is famed for only using ingredients produced in the Italian mountain range; Marco Sacco, the man behind Piccolo Lago – the restaurant perched over Italy’s Lake Mergazzo; Germany’s René Frank, head chef and co-owner of Berlin’s CODA, the world’s first dessert restaurant to receive 2 Michelin Stars; Portugal’s Rui Silvestre and Israel’s Gal Ben-Moshe, whose Berlin restaurant Prism was awarded a Michelin Star in 2020.
Highlight sessions include the ultimate commercial kitchen technology; the best plant-based meat fish and dairy free alternatives; a 3D printed plant-based meat – a new vision for a sustainable F&B industry from Israel; zero waste sustainable fine dining and a signature dish from one of the Dubai’s top chefs.
This year’s Gulfood Innovation Awards will celebrate and reward excellence across brands and products. This year’s 10 competing categories will be judged by a panel of industry leaders, vetting 250 global entries received from 44 countries.
DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols. This is evidenced by the recent GITEX Technology Week, the only live in-person tech event in 2020. Held in December, the event welcomes tens of thousands of visitors, with 96 percent of attendees recorded a ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ experience.
Gulfood 2021 will be held under strict safety and hygiene protocols. Wearing masks will be mandatory, with social distancing in place to ensure the wellbeing of all delegates. On-site registration will not be available; registration must be completed in advance.