Monday, February 18, 2019

Taste Buds

I can't start to tell you how excited I was to be invited to Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa to spend some quality time in their famous kitchen. I have always wanted to visit the resort but never had the opportunity to do so, so yesterday was a big day for me. I was out of bed early and headed up the Al Ain Road looking forward to the rest of the day. I was not disappointed ....

Arriving at The Resort for the first time is so exciting, once you come off the Al Ain Road it is a good 20 minute run to the actual Resort, which quite literally is in the "middle of the desert". We arrived and were greeted by our host for the day Chef Sebby, a lovely lovely Kenyan man with a huge heart which he wears lovingly on his sleeve. We headed off to the kitchen and were kitted up in fabulous aprons and hats. After a quick explanation about how the compact, yet functional kitchen runs we headed into the cold kitchen to whip up some crab fishcakes. Chef David knows I have tried to make these in the past and failed, I know how to make them now! Chef Thaya lovingly showed us how with some very simple ingredients and a bit of patience you can make the perfect crab cake. Preparing good food is not about the quantity of ingredients, but quality and freshness of simple ingredients.

From the cold kitchen we were ushered into the hot one where we met the lovely Chef Nipu. He showed us how to make the perfect risotto, a dish I have never been overly keen on but I am definitely going to make it at home as I really enjoyed it. We then went onto how to cook Fish and King Prawns perfectly, yet again it is not about how many ingredients were used, just straight forward simple food. Chef Nipu had created a marination from mainly coriander and a few other spices which was painted onto the Sea Bream before the fish was gently fried. The King Prawns were expertly cut into a butterfly shape, the marination painted on they were shallow fried before being popped into the oven for a further 5 minutes. Plain, simple, perfect. Needless to say they were eaten!!

You can't visit a kitchen and not check out the Dessert Kitchen, we weren't disappointed to find Chef Anas preparing Creme Brulee with Pink Grapefruit, one of my favourites, it was turning out to be a better day than I could ever have anticipated!!! With the aroma of vanilla pods and shortbread biscuits in the oven! Chef Anas talked us through how to make a perfect Brulee, and how to whip up tasty shortbread in just five minutes. Whilst the brulee's were cooking we took a look outside and checked out the restaurant with Chef Sebby. Chef Sebby also gave me a quick peep at one of the Bedouin "Tents" where guests stay, but I am going to tell you more about that when I stay at Al Maha. By then the brulee's were ready, the BEST brulee I have had in a long long time, smooth, rich, creamy, just delicious.

Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa truly is a little slice of heaven in the middle of a Desert, the views from the terraces are spectacular. I can only imagine what it must be like to spend a sunset sat on that terrace watching the natural beauty of the desert turn into darkness. I have taken alot of photographs of the day which you can find by clicking here.

All it takes now is for me to thank all of The Team up at Al Maha for just the most amazing morning ever, I didn't want it to end but sadly reality called and I had to head back to Dubai and return to being a Mum, but thank you for making me feel like a Chef for just one day. I will be back with my apron soon!

You can find Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find my Facebook page here.

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