Galeries Lafayette Gourmet Festival 2013.

It’s been a little over two months that we made Dubai our home. There are times when I feel that I have been living here forever. You know how it is when regular work, home and school schedules begin and you forget about all the packing, unpacking and setting up you’ve been doing ever since you decided to change your postal address.

It begins to feel like you are finally home. This is my home. After all, home is where the heart is. And my heart is divided between my love for family and food.
Food. The very thought of how much there is to explore in this new city for the three of us makes me giddy with excitement. Each weekend looks promising. You know how it is when you have been living in a city forever (Read: eight years) and you’ve already had a taste of a LOT of places and figured out your favorites; the comfort of going to the same place because sometimes that’s all you want to do. That started happening to me. It is nice to know where you’d like to have your cup of coffee and where you’d like to dig into that creamy risotto or that prawn curry that sets your tongue on fire.
And this move to Dubai has taken that all away from me. In a good way. I am clueless. And that’s the part that I love about our move the most.A whole new world. For DH and my little chefling.
As soon as we landed here we got a Taste of Dubai (pun intended).And just last week I had the lovely opportunity of attending the Galeries Lafayette Gourmet Festival that was on from the 8th to the 12th of May 2013.


Much as I like going to the hidden gems in the city (Thanks Ishita for your post on Bu Qtair; we loved it) I also like going to food festivals which give me an opportunity to observe and learn and taste and meet all under the same roof. N times multiplied.

A lot of readers of Orange Kitchens are not from Dubai and so let me first introduce Galeries Lafayette to all of you. Established in 2009, the high end Parisian department store aims to bring the French spirit of fashion, beauty, food and home to Dubai. The interiors are gorgeous and it is massive! You may want to read all about the store here. I obviously am more partial to their gourmet section. Fresh and diverse produce, nine kitchens, interesting products sourced from all over the world and an inspiring Gourmet Culinary Director behind it all.
Chef Russell Impiazzi. I met him a day before the festival started and he was kind enough to give me what he called was his “five dollar” tour:). He is a man who is passionate about his work and who wants more and more people to experience fresh and quality produce and lend their taste buds to simple, traditional and delectable food. And thus was born the very idea of this first gourmet festival at Lafayette.
Bringing the producer to the store floor and connecting them with the audience. Five days of sampling exceptional produce, interacting with the people behind each of the products and of course learning and educating one by attending master classes. That for me was the festival in a nutshell.

Saying hello to fellow Dubai food bloggers whose work I have admired was the icing on the cake for me. 

I also got to taste the liquid pot of gold, Balqees raw yemeni honey…thick and amber and listen to Raith Hamed founder Balqees narrating interesting tales. So what is raw honey? Unlike the commercial honey the raw  honey comes straight from the farms and isn’t pasteurized or processed which means that the nutrients and antioxidants in the honey are all intact.
We also taste ChoCo’a silky and luscious Belgian truffles.Tempered chocolate rolled with hands and coated with cocoa.

We sampled Unifrutti’s organic produce and I find myself liking their mantra of think green, eat green and be green. The red pepper from Netherland was a beauty.


And then I gave my taste buds the chance to experience heritage angus beef. Succulent served with a mild black pepper sauce and a divine mushroom sauce.Its grass fed.

What clearly stood out for me were the three that follow.
The truly exotic and fresh produce from Rungis…purple potato salad, smoked garlic smeared on bread, glazed asparagus, roasted beetroots, multi-hued roasted carrots, watermelon radish, fresh bay leaves, heirloom tomatoes and more all explained by Tony Colley himself and how the chef at the station made the vegetables shine.




The exceptional almost velvety hand cut smoked salmon by Al Fumo and very endearing Bahir Keldany who had the enthusiasm of a child and the wisdom of his many years of experience behind him. The fish that he sources is from the very best of the Northern Atlantic waters and yes he refuses to share his secret spice mix:)


And of course my master class on cheese where I ended up stuffing myself (Read: Educating) with at least 30 varieties of cheese. The section has over 240 varieties from cow, goat and sheep milk mostly from France, Italy, Spain and England. Over the one hour session Manjeet my tutor for my culinary lesson took me through the origins, the similarities, the differences of over 30 of these. Sharp, pungent, sweet, hard, semi hard, soft..we have it all. Chartreux, Perail, Morbier, Ossau Iraty,Valençay, Brebirousse, Coulommier, L’occitane, Le Roule, Cantal, Fourme d’ambert, Taleggio, Mahón, Oveja, San Simón, Manchego and more. You can see that I take my classes very seriously!





Big thanks to Chef Russell for taking out the time to meet me. Thanks to Cynthia for the invitation. And to the entire team at Lafayette for putting it all together. Another round of thanks for Soul Communications for their hospitality.

Disclaimer: All views expressed here are my own and I wasn’t asked to write any of it by either Lafayette or Soul Communications. I had such a great time there that I just had to share with all of you here. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

Image: Personal Album. 
While you enjoy reading this post with visuals.Please do not use them without asking. They belong to Orange Kitchens unless otherwise stated.

10 Responses to Galeries Lafayette Gourmet Festival 2013.

  1. orangekitchens May 16, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Thanks for dropping by Orange Kitchens Ishita. Yup it was a beautiful event. We had a great time at Bu Qtair and we landed there at about 7 and were stuffing ourselves silly by 8. So one hour:)

  2. IshitaUnblogged May 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    A great narrative with beautiful photography – a reminder of how much I must have missed out as I had to rush. Reading your post was like visiting the festival itself!

    Thank you so much for the shout out. I'm glad that you did enjoy Bu Qtair. Very curious, how long was the waiting time to reach the counter?

  3. orangekitchens May 15, 2013 at 4:33 am #

    Hi Arwa…same here…it was nice meeting you. Glad you liked the post.

  4. Arwa - LaMereCulinaire May 14, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    It was great to meet you at Lafayette!
    Interesting read about the festival oh and welcome to Dubai!

  5. orangekitchens May 14, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    Shanthi: Always a pleasure to hear from you. Chef…hmm…some day some day:))) For now I am just happy being surrounded with and writing about food:)

  6. orangekitchens May 14, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Francine, so good to see you here. It sure was. It was nice bumping into you. I have said this earlier and saying it again I loved the personal bit in your you used the produce. Oh and I was on your blog getting to know you more..and just discovered you are from Holland. Having worked for a dutch company for two years…Holland and its people are close to my heart.Welcome to Orange Kitchens.

  7. Shanthi May 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    This must have been such a wonderful experience. Soon you will be a world famous chef Prachi !Oops did I use the wrong word Chef?

  8. Life in the Food Lane May 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Mouthwatering photography, really does it all justice. And yes, what a fabulous food festival that was!

  9. orangekitchens May 13, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for your kind words Chef. Great to see you here.It was a pleasure meeting you.

  10. Russell Impiazzi May 13, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Thank you very much for visiting us and writing about Lafayette Gourmet, great photos, very well portrayed and very interesting to read.

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