The European Union and the French Dairy Board recently organized a series of workshops in Saudi Arabia, held in Jeddah and Riyadh, aimed at enriching the culinary expertise of over 60 junior chefs and F&B professionals from well-known local hotels and restaurants. The workshops provided a unique opportunity for participants to delve into the world of French butter and refine their culinary skills with this golden ingredient.
Chef Dimitri Esposito, the Executive Pastry Chef at Jumeirah Al Qasr Hotel in Dubai, led the workshops and presented several innovative recipes that showcased new techniques and diverse applications of butter. These modernized versions of famous French delicacies included delights like Salted Caramel Eclair, Raspberry and Rosewater Sable Breton, and French Toast Crème Brulé.
Beyond the sumptuous recipes, the workshops offered insights into the journey of French butter, emphasizing the significance of nurturing and nature. Attendees learned about the entire process, from milking contented, grass-fed cows on the farm to the unique churning process, culminating in the butter gracing tables worldwide.
Chef Dimitri expressed his delight in sharing his experience with such an engaging group of budding talent in the Saudi F&B industry. He found it inspiring to witness the passion of the next generation and took pleasure in showcasing the versatility, ease of use, and creative potential of gastronomic butter.
Participating chefs not only savored the dishes they prepared but also received certification from the French Dairy Board, acknowledging their understanding of French butter and its multifarious uses.
One of the workshop attendees, Ghofran al Romaihy, Owner of Sesam for Artisan Pastries, expressed the importance of quality ingredients in elevating flavors, with French butter being a prime example. For novices like Ghofran, learning directly from the experienced Chef Dimitri proved invaluable, as they absorb this newfound knowledge and apply it to their kitchens, fostering culinary excellence within their teams and establishments.
The initiative by the European Union aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030, which emphasizes diversifying the economy and promoting tourism. As the restaurant industry plays a pivotal role, chefs are seeking to hone their techniques and incorporate high-quality ingredients, such as French Butter, to elevate their offerings and meet the growing demand for exceptional gastronomic experiences.
Marie-Laure Martin, International Communication Director from CNIEL, highlighted the region’s culinary development, with customers demanding a plethora of flavors made from the finest ingredients. The French Dairy Board is enthusiastic about collaborating with chefs in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East, supporting them as they flourish within their distinctive food scenes, and what better way to accomplish this than through the art of gastronomic butter.
These workshops have not only expanded the participants’ culinary repertoire but have also cultivated a deeper appreciation for the rich heritage of French butter and its profound impact on elevating gastronomic experiences. As Saudi Arabia’s restaurant industry continues to thrive and gain international recognition, these efforts to nurture culinary talents will undoubtedly contribute to the nation’s journey towards becoming a prominent gastronomic destination.