FOOD & DRINK
Dubai Chef: Mohammad Ramadan Fergany
Words by Nathan Irvine
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The Bab Al Shams chef de cuisine tells us about his favourite dishes, inspiration and more
This week's Dubai Chef features chef de cuisine of Al Hadheerah, Bab Al Shams, Mohammad Ramadan Fergany.
With a passion for food that has carried him from the kitchens of Cairo to Dubai, chef Fergany prides himself on his creativity. So expect exciting new dishes when you book a table at Al Hadheerah.
Falafel. It must have been when I was nine or ten years old, I remember being in the kitchen with my mum having my first attempt at making it. Being the eldest son in the family, I always felt compelled to help my mum out especially when it came to cooking a good meal for the whole family. Every time I make falafel now, it takes me back to that very day and kitchen because of the attachment I have to it.
I would have to say Dubai. Working with so many chefs from different countries and cultures nourishes you with knowledge and experience. Dubai has now become one of the food hubs of the world with so many diverse cuisines and names present in the city. I also believe it to be one of the few places in the world where most ingredients are easily available.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, having to cater to so many diverse nationalities. The food scene here is quite big and differs from country to country. For example, Arabic dishes in the region have commonalities but they differ in each country. The challenge when serving those dishes is that everyone is used to it being prepared in the manner of their home country, so they have different expectations.
It has changed quite a lot. When I first started out in the dining scene here, there were more traditional restaurants where French cuisine took the lead. Chefs tended to be more "by the book" as opposed to taking risks with the dishes. Restaurants have now become more affordable to eat in and there is far less formalities when it comes to dining. People today want good value for their money. Foodie-ism has also become more popular and now, thanks to social media, people are more knowledgeable about food, ingredients and different cuisines in the world.
It’s not just about the ingredients, it’s putting your heart and soul into those dishes. In terms of edible ingredients, I would say anything that is local, fresh, hormone-free and wild caught are key ingredients.
I would say hummus. It’s a four-ingredient dish that is so simple but can be so versatile that anyone can make it and create their own version of it.
Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort is open for the al fresco season and has live entertainment to enjoy. For more information visit babalshams.com
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