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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Chef Vladimir Mukhin (#15 in the World’s 50 Best)

What Mukhin calls a “concrete jungle” is now home to his newest creation and passion, Crab Market. Dubai has always been his dream city, and how better to treat your loved one that to give it everything you’ve got?

Dubbed “the vanguard of young Russian culinary talents”, Mukhin owns one of the best restaurants in the world, White Rabbit (#15 in the World’s 50 Best), and was most recently the subject of a one-hour episode of the 2017 series of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

We had an exclusive sit down with the award-winning star.

Chef Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit & Crab Market)
Chef Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit & Crab Market)

A big fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, the Russian chef sure knows how to spoil his own taste buds as he finds comfort – and at times, inspiration – in shawarma, hummus, baba gannoush, and all sorts of mezze. “It’s holy,” he says. He speaks of traditional Levantine food as if they’re his own, firmly believing they should remain untouched, un-modernized.

He isn’t one to go all fancy, mixing foreign ingredients like truffle and Asian components just to look extravagant, as he says many other Middle Eastern restaurants are venturing into, to eventually fail.

© Crab Market DXB - 2018
© Crab Market – 2018
© Crab Market DXB - 2018
© Crab Market – 2018

He likes his ingredients local and fresh, and most importantly, homogeneously married together. After purchasing and running seven farms back in Russia, his home country, Mukhin advises all Dubai restaurateurs to “grow their own produce.”

And to keep it all fresh, he’s aiming at dubbing Crab Market a “seasonal” restaurant, with Russian Kamchatka Crab and sea urchins, amongst many others.

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© Crab Market – 2018

Not a first-time visitor to Dubai, Mukhin is proving his expertise in the local markets is quite brilliant. “You have to go at 5 A.M. [to local markets] before all the good things are sold,” he says as he explains how he got fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables just a couple of hours ago.

“I really like mezze as a style of dining,” he adds, while mentioning how hummus is “the closest food inspiration to Crab Market’s dishes.”

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© Crab Market – 2018

With a menu based on goods from the deep blue, you are sure to experience all sort of seafood dishes “just like you’re eating Middle Eastern mezze.” It’s that simple.

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20 of NYC’s Fast-Food Giants

In a nation where not all burgers are created equal, Espresso Patronum decided to find out where animal style continues to reign supreme, particularly in the big apple: NYC.

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In-N-Out Burger has once again topped Market Force’s annual customer survey of the nation’s top quick-service restaurants; a beloved California-based burger joint, earning a 76% rating in customer loyalty. That’s higher than any restaurant in any category, even though the chain is famously limited to only the West Coast.

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It’s a redemption of sorts for In-N-Out, which added its first new menu in 15 years earlier this year. While In-N-Out Burger won the Market Force survey last year, Five Guys bested it in a separate Harris Poll last year. Chick Fil-A came in second in the overall rankings, with 73% customer loyalty. Other big winners included Raising Cane’s, which specializes in fried chicken.

Missing from the customer loyalty survey were the biggest national chains: McDonald’s and Subway. The 2 chains were completely left behind in favor of regional favorites.

Consumer Reports asked its subscribers what fast-food restaurant had, in their opinion, the tastiest food. A trend soon emerged where the biggest fast-food restaurants ranked the lowest in customer preference. For example, KFC was voted last for chicken, Taco Bell was the least liked for burritos and, sorry Jared, but Subway’s sandwiches were only beat by Au Bon Pain as least favorite among the American public.

As for McDonald’s? Americans are seriously not “lovin’ it.” “McDonald’s own customers ranked its burgers significantly worse than those of 20 competitors, including Hardee’s, Shake Shack and Wendy’s. No other house specialty scored as low,” Consumer Reports noted, as reported by NBC.

Here are the winners in some of the top food categories, in alphabetical order:

  1. Burger King 1200x-11-e1466675698479.jpg
  2. Chick-Fil-A CFA-Sauce.jpg
  3. Chipotle Mexican Grill 48200183-15277840564061399_origin.jpg
  4. Cinnabon cinnabon1.jpg
  5. Cold Stone Creamery cold-stone-creamery.jpg
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts '.jpg
  7. Five Guys dedf512d1afb037fe1c816dea70b4841d69494950a87518b7726d79fddedaec9.jpg
  8. The Halal Guys 29571207_1877157452309109_4509108115938541807_n.0.jpg
  9. Hardee’s burger.jpg
  10. In-N-Out Burger
  11. Johnny Rockets johnnyrockets.jpg
  12. KFC kfc-now-has-a-food-truck-48139-2.jpg
  13. Krispy Kreme gettyimages-540031879-1.jpg
  14. McDonald’s fl-bz-mcdonalds-ubereats-40-piece-chicken-mcnuggets-super-bowl-deal-20170131.jpg
  15. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers 9eb751def41dfbc0856f37c56a7f98d1.jpg
  16. Shake Shack Shake_Shack2.0.jpg
  17. Starbucks
  18. Subway11.jpeg
  19. Taco BellInternational-Hero.jpg
  20. Wendy’sFREEWENDYSNUGGEST0417_01.jpg

Although America may be dubbed the “Fast Food Nation,” recent reports show that New Yorkers are more concerned with the quality of food than the convenience of the location. Despite how the world views the U.S, Americans & New Yorkers in particular actually want to eat good quality food.

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#SLYTHERINPRIDE: The Magical Weight-Shredding Potion

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU?

Well, you could just start with this.

#SlytherinPride is my secret cleansing potion, to wash off all the holidays’ calorie excess… Wanna get on it? Check how you can do it below.

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This recipe was perfected with Bosch MES4000GB Juicer, now available during the Dubai Shopping Festival.

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ZOMATO SCANDAL: A Lesson to Brands on How to Handle Crisis Management & Brand Sustainability

A couple days ago the world of Zomato (the food Empire) was shook by a video of a delivery executive in a Zomato t-shirt, carrying a Zomato delivery bag, eating food out of boxed orders and replacing each one after resealing them, back into the delivery bag. The video suggests that he consumed some of the food meant for delivery to users, on his way to the drop points.

The internet bombarded Zomato with furious comments after the video went viral in a few hours. An internet user wrote along with the video: ‘It’s really shocking how these reputed food delivery companies are functioning. People order food online expecting basic hygiene and this is how it is delivered? I am definitely not gonna encourage my kids to order food online, I suggest even you guys don’t!’

The uproar on social media led Zomato to release a statement, acknowledging the incident and calling it “a human error in judgment”.

Below is how the professionals at one of the world’s fastest-growing Delivery & Restaurant review app have responded:

“We want our users, restaurant partners and all stakeholders to know that –

1. We take these kinds of reports extremely seriously and upon thorough investigation, we’ve found that the video was shot in Madurai. The person in the video happened to be a delivery partner on our fleet. We have spoken to him at length – and while we understand that this was a human error in judgement, we have taken him off our platform.

2. We would like to iterate that given our multiple communication channels with users, who expect the highest standards from Zomato and highlight the smallest of deviations to us as soon as they receive their orders, this is highly unusual and a rare case.

3. Unfortunately, this also highlights a real possibility for tampering with the food on the way to delivery from a restaurant. We take this very seriously and will soon introduce tamper-proof tapes, and other precautionary measures to ensure we add an extra layer of safeguard against such behaviour. Additionally, we will educate our delivery fleet of over 1.5 lakh partners to highlight or escalate any such deviations to us, while also encouraging our users — the custodians of our platform — to highlight the smallest of anomalies to us.

4. And finally, our delivery partners are the face of our brand, and the heart of our success in growing to become the largest food delivery platform in the country. Our food delivery business has grown immensely over the last year on the back of our large delivery partner fleet that work very hard to ensure that Zomato translates to a high quality food experience. We thank them and the strong support and trust from our restaurant partners, consumers and investors.

Zomato maintains a zero tolerance policy for tampering of food. This particular incident, while unfortunate, only makes our commitment to fleet training, scheduling and process even stronger. We stand behind our extensive fleet who do the right thing across many hours of the day.

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3-Ingredient Cran-Brie Bites

Flaky puff pastry, creamy brie and tart cranberries—that’s all you need to pull together these fancy appetizers. We guarantee no one will believe you when you tell them how easy they are to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package (17 1/4 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 lb Brie cheese
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce (purchased or homemade)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the sheets into approximately 3 inch x 3 inch squares. Press each square into a muffin cavity.

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  • Cube the cheese – about a 3/4 inch cube for each (you may have a little cheese left over). Place a cube of brie in the center of each puff pastry square. Top the brie with a small dollop (about 2 tsp) of cranberry sauce.

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  • Bake about 10 minutes or until puff pastry corners are toasted lightly brown.

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  • Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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These yummy bites might look fancy, but don’t let that fool you. (Definitely let it fool your friends, though.) I fell in love with these little Cranberry Brie Bites appetizers this fall when a friend brought them to our bi-monthly gourmet club. And when I said that I swooned, I meant that I tucked into more than my fair share. In fact, I can’t be sure anyone else actually had any. Melty cheese makes me a bit weak in the knees – the addition of a little fruit, the puff pastry and that’s about all I need. (Dinner, schminner! Where’s the Sauvignon Blanc!) Once I learned how easy Cranberry Brie Bites were to make, I wanted to share them with you! I was a bit intimidated by the puff pastry, having never worked with it before. This recipe requires no additional rolling (I don’t know about you, but the rolling pin is my nemesis . . .). Just thaw the frozen puff pastry, and cut with a pizza cutter. Easy! Allow these golden bites of brie cool for a few minutes before serving and devour!

 

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This recipe was first featured on Tablespoon.

 

 

AFFORDABLE LUXURY: DUBAI’S POCKET-FRIENDLY MICHELIN-STARRED DINNER

Dubaians, take a moment to thank the Italian cuisine & wines world summit, for introducing us and the team at MATTO Dubai to Italian Michelin Chef Vincenzo Guarino, #43rd Best Chef in the world & risotto expert.

Born in Vico Equense (Naples) in Italy on the 4th of April 1977, Vincenzo fell in love with the culinary art at the tender age of 14 and the idea of becoming a chef began to mature within him.

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After embarking on a path of specific studies at the State Professional Institute for hotel services and catering of Roccaraso (Aquila) in Italy, from where he has received his diploma in 1998, he began his journey of unpaid internships in some of the world’s most popular locations such as Lausanne, Zurich, Naples and Milan prestigious starred Chefs of national and International fame, such as Fredy Girardet, André Jaeger and Davide Oldani.

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This specialized savvy in confectionery (Low- calories desserts, Panettone, Pandoro and liqueur Chocolates) as well as preparation of risottos and Finger food, is now taking full control of the kitchen down at MATTO, The Oberoi Hotel on the 21st, 22nd & 23rd of November.

Enjoy the four-course menu below, and the chance to meet a world-renowned Michelin Starred chef for AED 325 per person at MATTO Dubai. Book your affordable Michelin-starred dinner on: +971 4 444 1335

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“When food brings glorious sparks to reality, that’s the MATTO side of art”

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PREVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

“I want to know who I am,” Credence Barebone says in the newest trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of GrindelwaldIt’s a question fans have been asking themselves for over a year now: what is Credence’s connection to Grindelwald?

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Film fans are returning to the world of Harry Potter once again this November 15, with the arrival of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in worldwide theaters.

The highly-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them promises to be one of the biggest family films arriving over the festive period.

Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander is returning to the fold, along with his creature companions and a few familiar faces from the Potter universe.

If you can’t wait until the film is out to get your next Potter fix, and you’re not invited to the fan premiere such as myself (shoutout to the Warner Bros/Shooting Stars teams for this), here’s where you can find a preview of the magic.

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Beirut’s Best Dining Spot: Now Serving Faqra.

It’s only been a year since I’ve elected this place Beirut’s Best Dining Spot, & Bar Du Port does nothing but impress.

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Once dubbed the Capital’s newest SoHo-style restaurant, BDP took this same experience to the slopes of Faqra to serve its cautiously well-thought-out menu to the hippest clientele there is.

And I’ve said once, and here it is again, when BDP’s good, it’s brilliant.

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Dive right into this selection of shots from the newly acquired location in Faqra Club, and experience 3 different cuisines in the hub of Lebanon’s busiest area of the year.

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Want more reasons to take refuge at BDP Faqra on a hot summer night? This gastro-bistro is so upright and warm, it’d be a perfect spot to wine and dine a hot date.

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Bar du Port is a next favorite destination for both locals and global wanderers who pride themselves on being in-the-know.

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People – Faqra, Kfardebian, Lebanon | Phone: +961 71 444 007

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MAMMA MIA! HERE THEY GO AGAIN!

MAMMA MIA! HERE THEY GO AGAIN!

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Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61, CNN Says

Anthony Bourdain was found dead Thursday in Paris as the result of suicide by hanging, CNN reported.

New York (CNN) Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who took CNN viewers around the world, has died. He was 61.

 

“There’s no place else every remotely like it. Everything great — and all the world’s ills — all in one glorious, messed-up, magical, maddening, magnificent city.” Anthony Bourdain, Beirut 2015

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CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series. His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
Bourdain was a master of his crafts — first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
Along the way, he received practically every award the industry has to offer.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.” “He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs.”
In 1999 he wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” that became a best-selling book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”
The book set him on a path to international stardom.
First he hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, then moved to “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. “No Reservations” was a breakout hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013 both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines. Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime time schedule.
Season eleven of “Parts Unknown” premiered on CNN last month.
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
Bourdain’s death happened after fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday. Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.
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FAR EATS: So Punny. So Good!

Come 2017, and the financial hangover of the previous five years is starting to wear off, the now-called Addmind Hospitality Group switched their focal point from lounges & clubs to expanding their F&B division with several additions the likes of Bar du Port French fusion restaurant/world bar, MATTO Italian restaurant, Mezcaleria Mezcal bar & restaurant, & Zuruni Lebanese restaurant.

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Located at the newly opened Zero 4 project in Antelias, Metn, Far Eats offers a fresh, honest approach to Asian street cuisine. I’m not going to dwell on how creative the name itself is, but I’m definitely going to do so on one of their hero items down below.

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No offshoot of any previous brand or even close to being a thought inside any Beiruti’s head, Far Eats is a stylish urban Asian eatery, rumored $1 million build-out, featuring a bar area, sushi bar, a dining area, and a huge outdoor wrap-around patio with a cocktail bar.

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The menu’s also had an all-points overhaul. From soups, salads, the cheesy Chinese starters the likes of spring rolls and crispy rice dishes, to fresh baos, donburi bowls, gyozas & sushi selections. But there’s one-bowl wonder that’ll make you reconsider your spelling & grammar lessons, the infamous bibimbap.

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BIBIMBAP

Let’s start with the basics: bibim [mixed] and bap [rice]. A one-bowl wonder of steamed rice, vegetables and (usually) a fried egg, all mixed up together. Now the real wonder, is the way to eat this dish. You don’t just dive in. It’s definitely more interactive than that.

You first let it sit for a minute or two to let the rice crisp up nicely against the sides of the pot, then booze in as much or as little of the chilli paste as you like. You won’t awaken a dragon even if you use the whole lot. The dish will only remain mild-to-moderately spicy. Now take your spoon… yep, this dish is way too wholehearted to eat with chopsticks – plunge it in and give the entire dish a freaking good mix. The pierced egg will cook as it is scattered through the rice.

Now you can eat. And eat. And eat. Till you can no longer spell bibimbap.

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Source: https://bit.ly/2xr3RjK