Piping hot Meat Mishkak with rocket salad, aromatic Omani Shuwa with Qabooli rice, delectable Mini Camel-meat Shawarma, delicious Omani Lobster Sliders, steaming hot Harees…could you ask for more, when tucking into the gastronomical delights that scream ‘Oman’ all the way!
If Dubai’s six-month-long Expo 2020 (which opened on October 1) is a shopping, trade and cultural extravaganza like never before on planet Earth, it also is an opportunity for the earthy culinary wonders, stemming from the scorching sands of Arabia, to be showcased to fine diners from the seven continents. And present at this much-touted bonanza in the Gulf is a super chef from Oman – Nader al Aisari – who is at the Rising Flavours restaurant with a few camels up his culinary sleeve.
Nader, a rather unsung culinary hero of Oman who had been one of 15 Arab contestants on Top Chef Middle East (an Arabic adaptation of the popular culinary tele-series) in 2016, hails from Ibra and is son of an aeronautical engineer. Despite having a degree in Human Resources and done a few stints in corporate giants, Nader, however, always had his heart and soul in food – authentic Omani cuisine.
Owner and senior head chef of Tanzanite, his very own fine-dining restaurant where traditional Arab dishes are served with a modern twist, chef Nader is always on the lookout to propagate Omani cuisine. He said his participation in the Dubai Expo is purely for one cause – to get people acquainted with genuine Omani cuisine.
Confirming that he was not part of the Omani pavilion, Nader said, “I’m on my own, handpicked and selected as a self-made entrepreneur and chef. My menu comprised elevated comfort food with an Omani twist. They are my secret recipes.”
Nader will be camping in Dubai over the six-month period of the Expo and will be hosting three special nights called the Chef’s Table wherein only elite diners will be invited. He is there with his Demi chef from Oman and hopes to make the most of the Expo to give his food the much needed international exposure.
“This is, indeed, a learning experience and I am thoroughly enjoying it,” says Nader who also strongly supports the Omani belief that ‘food brings people together’. In this mission of letting food connect cultures, Chef Nader will be frequently featured at Rising Flavours where he is raring to go with his secret recipes of Omani cuisine.
The Expo is a time for foodies and gourmands to rejoice, savour gastronomic delights and fuel their appetite for culture with a culinary extravaganza with award-winning chefs and never seen before dining concepts across over 200 eateries. It provides non-stop openings of the world’s greatest food concepts and visitors can try everything, including local cuisine, authentic street food and fine dining experiences.
An Expo release says, “Expo’s curated concepts, pavilions and outlets include the best food and drinks the world has to offer. Expo 2020 Dubai is a stage for the globe’s hottest chefs, with a stellar cast featuring the most talked-about restaurants and buzziest bars. Cleanse your palette and join us to eat your way around the world.”
The Rising Flavours Food Hall is inspired by the countries of the GCC, shining a light on the region’s cultures and unique take on international cuisines. The three-storey dining hall highlights the range and creativity of the Gulf region’s vibrant and ever-evolving food scene and celebrates the talent born or nurtured in the GCC.
Each chef-led pod represents 9 countries, with rotating guest chefs and live cooking shows led by eminent names. Conceived by industry figureheads from the region, the ground floor is home to a regularly rotating line-up of culinary pods, featuring chefs and restaurants that demonstrate the gastronomic variety of each GCC country, including concepts from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. (Location: Jubilee, Food Hall 1)