B2B Trends in Fusion Cuisine: How Chef Middle East is Meeting the Demands of the Region’s Hospitality Industry
Renowned for its thriving hospitality industry, the Middle East is one of the world’s leading culinary destinations.
Always changing and developing, fusion cuisine is one trend that is continuing to grow across the region’s hospitality scene at a rapid rate.
Filled with exciting flavours, contrasting textures, vibrant spices and diverse culinary traditions, fusion cuisine is designed to appeal to diners of all different tastes and backgrounds.
By constantly assessing and expanding its range of international artisan ingredients and gourmet products, Chef Middle East aims to encourage the emergence of more fusion restaurants, and satisfy the local region’s growing demand for exotic, aromatic and interesting fusion dishes.
After all, the beauty of fusion cuisine is that it is ever-evolving. It transcends borders and cultures, and therefore every premium product from Chef Middle East has the potential to be a source of inspiration for fusion chefs.
Fusion Cuisine in a Nutshell
Fusion cuisine is a broad and all-encompassing term that refers to when ingredients, traditions, techniques and disciplines from different cultures are merged to produce unique, tasty and explosively refreshing new recipes. Fusion menus tend to boast one-of-a-kind flavour combinations, and revolutionary dishes that customers are unable to find anywhere else.
Chefs from multicultural backgrounds can use fusion cuisine as an expression of their own heritage. Adopting the cuisine can also help restaurants stand out from the competition.
Premium quality fusion ingredients
With over 25 years of experience as one of the region’s leading F&B suppliers, Chef Middle East is renowned for its premium-quality, artisan products.
Chef Middle East’s extensive collections of meat, dairy, seafood, beverage, and pastry products are exceptionally popular across the UAE, Oman, and Qatar, and all of them are ideal for incorporating into fusion cuisine recipes.
For example, the Dubai-based, Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Amelia uses many Chef Middle East ingredients in its delicious fusion dishes.
Amelia treats guests to spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa and the city’s striking skyline – the Downtown venue has just been shortlisted for the best Latin American restaurant category at the 2023 Time Out Dubai restaurant awards.
Chef Middle East is proud to supply Amelia with a wide array of special multi-cuisine products that are perfect for health-conscious customers, this includes Japanese Hokkaido scallops, yuzu juice, fresh lobster and crab meat, and authentic Italian Gambero Rosso kitchen staples.
The Middle East’s dining scene is undoubtedly gaining recognition as one of the best in the world. Indeed, the 2022 Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report states that the city boasts over 13,000 cafes and restaurants, the most of any city in the MENA region. Dubai was also declared the world’s fourth-best destination for food lovers in Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Meanwhile, Chinese fusion restaurant Kai’s Songbird in Qatar uses Chef Middle East ingredients in its sophisticated à la carte menu. Located by the beautiful still waters of Corinthia Yacht Club in Doha, Chef Middle East is proud to supply the Kai Songbird’s expert chefs with stocks of fresh Hamachi YellowTail Tuna and Beef Short Ribs. Chotto Matte is another Doha restaurant that excels in creating innovative fusion cuisine. Focused on Nikkei fusion, the stylish brand likes to push boundaries and create memorable dishes that take guests on a journey from Japan to Peru.
What is interesting to note is that there are an increasing number of fusion restaurants choosing to add an authentic Middle Eastern twist to their dishes by incorporating regional plants, herbs and spices such as dates, sumac, zaatar and Emirati honey.
For instance, Omakase fusion restaurant Moonrise, which was awarded 10th position in the prestigious MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2023, serves dishes influenced by the culinary cultures of the Middle East, Europe and Japan. This leads to one-of-a-kind menu additions such as pani puri filled with foie gras, pineapple chutney and date syrup.
Finally, Asian-American fusion restaurant Caramel in Muscat, Oman, also chooses Chef Middle East as its supplier. Boasting a warm and welcoming ambiance, its eclectic menu spans everything from Japanese maki rolls to rich and creamy Italian pastas, delicate beef carpaccio, Mediterranean-style crispy calamari and much more.
Other successful fusion restaurants in Muscat include casual Indian fusion restaurant Farzi Café Oman, and the much-loved casual international fusion restaurant Urbano Bistro, which has several branches across Muscat.
Observing the Fusion Trend in the UAE, Oman and Qatar
Home to dozens and dozens of different nationalities, the multicultural nature of the UAE, Oman and Qatar naturally encourages the emergence of fusion restaurants that specialise in numerous cuisines.
Many of the UAE’s top restaurants are dedicated to fusion cuisine. For example, the award-winning Pan-Asian fusion hotspot Asia Asia has now expanded to open another branch in Business Bay Dubai, and one at Yas Bay Abu Dhabi. It now has plans to extend its reach overseas for the first time, and further boost Dubai’s reputation as a global food and beverage hub.
Fusion cuisine is also becoming increasingly popular in Qatar. According to an article in The Peninsular Qatar, the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry reported a 10 percent increase in the number of new restaurant licenses issued in 2020 compared to the previous year. This growth is partly attributed to the increasing popularity of fusion recipes among Qatari consumers.
Oman’s food and beverage industry has experienced a growing demand for fusion cuisine, particularly in upscale and trendy restaurants in Muscat. According to a survey by the Omani Society for Consumer Protection, 63 percent of respondents expressed a preference for fusion cuisine over other types of food.
This finding is backed up by a global survey initiated by foodservice data analysis company Technomic. This study found that 32 percent of consumers enjoyed dishes that combined two or more global cuisines or flavours into one dish. Interestingly, the majority of this figure was dominated by Millennials, with 53 percent of those aged 27 to 42 seeking out innovative and unique flavor combinations.
Along with allowing chefs to infuse a touch of local culture into their dishes, choosing locally sourced ingredients that have been produced in the Middle East is also a more sustainable option than importing from overseas. After all, with COP 28 UN Climate Change Conference set to be hosted in the UAE later this year, sustainability should be a key issue at the top of every hospitality professional’s mind. Luckily, an abundance of fresh, high-quality products are now available right here in the Middle East. In fact, the UAE aims to source 50 percent of fruit and vegetable produce from local hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic farms by the end of 2023, and 100 percent by 2030.
The future of fusion cuisine
Given the rising numbers of fusion restaurants across the region, Chef Middle East believes that the trend for fusion cuisine will continue to grow over the next few years.
While Asian fusion has long been popular across the UAE, Oman and Qatar, our experts predict that we will see a rise in more unusual fusion combinations such as wafu (Japanese)-Italian, third-culture fusion cuisine created by chefs who were raised in a country that is different to the nationalities of their parents, and the current TikTok trend for ‘Chaos Cooking’, a bold and brash technique that involves combining ingredients that typically don’t go well together.
To find out more about the fusion cuisine ingredients from Chef Middle East, please visit https://chefmiddleeast.com/ or email email@example.com.