I’m just back from two weeks away, teaching in Dubai and vacationing in Egypt. I have so much to say about this trip and the foods I ate but I will try to condense it into a few paragraphs:
This city is a non-stop party for food writers and bloggers. There are dozens of publications to write for, and bloggers get invited to such events as champagne tastings and high-end restaurant openings.
My most scandalous moment came during an interview with Sophie McCarrick, deputy editor of BBC Good Food Middle East, when I dared her to order a dessert called “12 Inches of Pleasure” at Fume, a fancy marina restaurant.
I wanted to try Iraqi food and met up with a few of my students from my last trip: Sally Prosser of My Custard Pie, Samantha Wood of FooDiva, Debbie Rogers of Food e magazine Dubai, and Prachi Grover of Orange Kitchens. We gathered at Samad Al Iraqi, an enormous restaurant of gleaming tile and wood and enjoyed masgouf, piles of freshly-baked pita, and salad.
Oh, I didn’t mention the reason for my trip: over three days I taught two four-hour workshops about food writing and publishing (see this story about it in the daily paper), gave a talk on blogging at the World Trade Center, and coached several students privately at the spectacular Dubai International Writers’ Center.
A highlight, aside from tours to awe-inspiring temples and pyramids, was dinner at two restaurants chosen by Marigo Gharbawy, a young and beautiful chef who is a colleague of Bethany Kehdy. Our first stop was Zooba, a cheerful casual restaurant serving Egyptian foods like kushari, owned by an Egyptian-American member of Slow Food. Another night we feasted at the gorgeous old-style Abu El Sid, where pigeon stuffed with rice wowed us.
I could go on, but mostly I want to thank the Dubai International Writers’ Center for making this amazing trip possible. I’ve got another international workshop coming up later this year in Turkey. Life is very very good!