July 03, 2012

French Culinary Titans Expand into the Middle East

French culinary titans Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy are planning on opening their first restaurants in the Middle East - Qatar.

There has been a rising interest in tapping into the affluent Middle Eastern market. For both chefs, the new openings will be their first in the Middle East. Others have made the move before them, like Chef Yannick Alleno in Beirut with STAY and Sweet Tea in Lebanon's Beirut Souks.

According to the Gulf Times, Savoy will be bringing his Michelin-star powered name to the Pearl-Qatar, the famous Riviera-style, man-made island community built for the world's obscenely rich and famous. Savoy's Middle Eastern outpost will be similar to his eponymous Parisian restaurant, where a set menu costs €360 for dishes like grilled sea bass and sweet spices, artichoke and black truffle soup, and iced poached oysters. The menu is then expected to evolve to offer locally inspired dishes, Savoy said, in the same vein as his international restaurants in Las Vegas and Singapore.

"Qatar was a natural choice for my next restaurant and my first in the Middle East. The country is booming and fast developing into the most happening destination in the region and I'm truly delighted to be here," he told Gulf Times. British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay also has a restaurant at the Pearl-Qatar, Maze by Gordon Ramsay. Meanwhile, though details are sparse, Hotelier Middle East reports that Ducasse will likewise be opening his first Middle Eastern outpost in Doha before the year's end. Ducasse has plans to open the Museum of Islamic Art's first fine dining restaurant later this year. Currently, the only food and drink offering is a small coffee shop. The latest Ducasse eatery adds to an existing restaurant empire that spans Paris, London, New York, Russia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Las Vegas and Monaco.

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