Thursday June 20th, 2024
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This Cairo Food Week Lunch is ‘Bigger Than the Plate’

This collaboration celebrated not just the fusion of flavours, but also the narratives and cultures behind them.

Scene Eats

This Cairo Food Week Lunch is ‘Bigger Than the Plate’

In a vibrant convergence of culinary artistry, chefs Kelvin Cheung and Farah El Charkawy came together for a singular dining experience at Mo Bistro in District 5 by Marakez. The lunch seamlessly integrated the rich elements of Asian and Oriental flavours, elevated by refined techniques and artistic presentation.

Farah El Charkawy, trained under esteemed chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Christophe Michalak, and Karim Bourgi, has distinguished herself with innovative flavor pairings and a sophisticated approach to pâtisserie. Her boutique, Fôu, is renowned for its dynamic menu that redefines traditional pastry in Egypt. Kelvin Cheung, celebrated for his Third Culture Food, brings a unique blend of Chinese, North American, and French influences. Based in Dubai, Chef Cheung is a vocal advocate for wellness, sustainability, and diversity, mentoring young chefs and championing regenerative culinary practices.

Together, El Charkawy and Cheung crafted a menu that transcended cultural boundaries, presenting a dining experience that showcased their combined culinary expertise and the harmonious fusion of diverse traditions. Their vision was to create a lunch imbued with local elements, offering a taste of Cheung's restaurant, Jun's, while introducing something novel to Cairo Food Week.

The meal commenced with a dish inspired by Congee, a Chinese rice soup that Chef Cheung's mother often prepared as a home remedy. Traditionally made with inexpensive fish from the market and served with chilli, Cheung reimagined the dish after a recent trip to India where he was fascinated by daal. He found its counterpart in Egyptian cuisine, lentil soup, or sorbet ads. The result was a yellow daal congee with fish and dried chilli, a blend of comfort and innovation. El Charkawy, venturing beyond her usual repertoire, created a dessert that complemented Cheung's menu. She served a Black Sesame Crumble, Yuzu Lemon Cream, Tropical Coulis, and a Habbet Al Baraka Meringue, perfectly balancing citrusy notes with Middle Eastern tradition.

This collaboration celebrated not just the fusion of flavours, but also the narratives and cultures behind them. Chefs Cheung and El Charkawy transformed the dining experience into a tale of heritage, creativity, and culinary artistry, marking a highlight of Cairo Food Week.

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