Preparations have been underway for weeks, with the club's executive chef Mathew Goodlet working in conjunction with chef Frank Camorra, owner of the critically-acclaimed MoVida restaurant in Melbourne, and Emirati celebrity chef Khulood Atiq, to create exclusive one-time-only experiences.
All the experiences are open to the public to enjoy the specially-designed themed dinners and menus. Tickets are available now, but will be strictly limited.
Now in its fifth year, Gourmet Abu Dhabi will be bringing the best chefs from all over the world to the UAE's capital. The haute-cuisine festival aims to unite culture and food, while offering an educating and fun experience.
Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat's participation begins on February 11 with Chef Mathew joining forces with local celebrity Chef Khulood for an Emirati fusion dinner. Diners can expect a whole host of traditional dishes using local delicacies, including mini camel burgers, salt fish madrouba and spiced mackerel with mohammar rice.
On February 19, 'Two Chef's Hat' winner chef Frank Camorra will prepare a Spanish culinary experience, one of six 'Chateau Dinners' being held in Abu Dhabi during the festival, with assistance from Chef Mathew. The five course dinner consisting of Spanish dishes, including Mojama - air cured tuna with watermelon beetroot, and Cecina - cured beef with truffle foam and egg, will each be paired with an exquisite vintage Vega Sicilla.
Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat's renowned Sea Lounge will offer a limited edition tapas menu, created especially by Chef Frank. The "à la carte" menu will be available from February 16-19, featuring, amongst an array of tapas dishes, appetizing bites of artisan cantabrian anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet and rabbit filled with sobrassada roasted with honeycomb.
Chef Mathew will also be seen participating in a number of other events during the festival, including the Gourmet Golf Experience. Held at the nearby Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, a showcase of canapés and appetizers, such as foie gras, miang kam and grape spheres, will be presented to players throughout the game.
Chef Mathew has created four courses to contribute to the Gala Opening at the Ritz Carlton, to be held on February 5. Chef Mathew and his team will add to the theatre of cooking with live oyster and live foie gras stations to be set up throughout the dinner, as well as an extra special treat for dessert - a Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat peanut and nougat bar.
The almost month-long festival will come to a close on February 20 with the Awards Gala Dinner at the St Regis. Thirty-six of the capital's best restaurants and chefs have been shortlisted to win one of twelve awards voted for by the public. Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat's signature restaurant Le Deck is up for Best Restaurant of the Year.
Chef Mathew is delighted to be taking part this year, saying, "When we heard we had been chosen to take part in Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2013, we were over the moon. To participate in such a prestigious event in just our second year of operation is an amazing achievement."
"It's an honor to be working with world-renowned chefs, and a real eye-opener. Both Chef Frank and Chef Khulood have incorporated their own personal cultures into the menus, which is what Gourmet Abu Dhabi is all about - uniting culture and cuisine," he added.