Ahead of it opening this Thursday afternoon, we take a look at what this annual gathering has in store for visitors…
That’s often the best advice given to us in the past when stepping into the food-themed extravaganza that is Taste of Dubai.
This yearly fixture of F&B fun brings together some of the city’s finest and often most popular restaurant players for three days and nights in Media City Amphitheatre.
It gives a chance for venues to show off their best side – and for us to sample budget-sized portions from places we’ve maybe yet to try.
One of the big draws for true food fanatics, of course, is the ‘celebrity chef’ element.
You can expect demonstrations of culinary skills and instinct from Michelin star chefs David Myers, and Masaharu Morimoto, Nick Alvis, folly masterminds Nick Alvis and Scott Price, Simon Rimmer – the Liverpool brains behind The Scene at Pier 7 and Yas Marina - meat and grilling expert Tarek Ibrahim, South Africa's Lorna Maseko, Arabic and Aleppian specialist Mohammad Orfali, the Arab world's first pit master Hattem Mattar and Jenny Morris, aka the Giggling Gourmet.
With baking now a global obsession, watch out for Master French Pâtissier Eric Lanlard. He’ll be running a series of baking masterclasses for the first time in Dubai at the ‘JIF Big Baking Tent’
You have the chance to cook alongside the celebrity chefs at the Al Ain Farms and Kibsons Cooking Challenge.
The chefs will also showcase their skills, techniques and discuss the latest trends in culinary arts at the Crate & Barrel Chefs’ Theatre - a lucky few will get to taste the resultant creations at the chef’s table.
There’s also a live music stage with its own menu of entertainment.
Opening night – this Thursday – this is headlined by former Spandau Ballet star Tony Hadley, performing hit songs such as ‘Gold’ and ‘True’ as well as some of his solo sonic exploits.
Also expect to hear from the likes of Mark Zitti ei Fratelli Coltelli, 4 The Musics, DJ Sheps, Sam Tring and Stephanie Goudie.
Legendary global Japanese restaurant Nobu will be serving up black cod uno mizo while fellow Atlantis The Palm dining destination Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen will also return to Taste, delivering the motormouth chef’s legendary beef wellington.
Expect contemporary Asian gems from Wakame, authentic Italian at GIA, gourmet Turkish food from Kaftan, contemporary South American at Andes and delicacies from French bistro Couqley.
The Blacksmith Smokehouse will serve authentic Southern American style food, Seville’s has Spanish tapas selections, there’s Greek street food at Go! Greek, enticing Italian flavours courtesy of Certo and Asian classics via Asia Tang.
MasterChef, the TV experience, has an exclusive pop-up with a menu from past winners of the hit TV show, ahead of opening its debut restaurant in Dubai.
And on Saturday, for the first time in Dubai, MasterChef Australia’s impeccably-attired Judge Matt Preston will host a MasterChef, the TV Experience ‘Mystery Box Challenge’.
Brave visitors will get a chance to cook and get their dishes judged by Matt who’ll also be joining the judging panel at the Chefs’ Theatre as Chef Margarita - from the world’s first MasterChef, the TV Experience restaurant - takes to the stage.
The finals will be judged by Cake Boy, Chef Eric Lanlard and ICCA Pâtisserie Chefs.
Up for grabs is a AED25,000 baking and pâtisserie course at the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai.
Other aspects to look out for are the first augmented reality (AR) experience of its kind in the UAE.
This is courtesy of Taste of Dubai's partnership with VisitBritain and Wego.
State-of-the-art tech will enable users to take a journey through Great Britain, meet the Royal Guards at Buckingham Palace, play with a royal corgi, zipline through a countryside adventure, score a goal at the football in Manchester, and experience fine dining with views of the River Thames.
TIMINGS for Taste of Dubai are Thursday, 4pm to midnight;Friday, 12pm to midnight;Saturday, 12pm to 11pm.
BOOK your tickets in advance - standard tickets start from AED95 - and save on ticket prices on the door by visiting www.tasteofdubaifestival.com
THERE you will also find details of the full schedule of entertainment, cooking challenges and celebrity chef masterclasses to plan your weekend.
TASTE has organised for visitors (travelling only to the event) to receive a special 50% discount code courtesy of Careem - use promo code TOD.
TO find out what’s happening and get up to the minute notifications direct to your phone download the Taste app from iTunes and Google Play and vote for your favourite restaurant in the People’s Choice Award to crown the best restaurant.
UNDER 12s have free entry to Taste and the OMO Kids’ Zone will include face painting, food-based games and competitions for kids, as well as cupcake decorating station.
VIP ticket holders get fast-track entry to the festival, unlimited access to the Cleartrip VIP bar and lounge. plus two complimentary drinks and three food vouchers to sample dishes from any participating restaurants. VIP tickets start at AED285.