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Aarti Sequeira and atul kochhar at Taste of Dubai.

Indian-bred culinary stars from restaurants and television will headline next month's Taste of Dubai food festival.

The international festival, now in its fifth year, has snapped up Dubai-bred Food Network star Aarti Sequeira and UK-based top chef Atul Kochhar to bring a dash of culinary glamour to the proceedings at Media City Amphitheatre from March 15-17.

Sequeira, who was born in Mumbai and raised in the UAE, won the culinary battleground that is The Next Food Network Star competition, winning her own show on the channel, which began airing in the US in 2010. She's now a familiar face thanks to the show, Aarti Party, named after a web-based show she had created in 2008 Sequeira cooks up home-style Indian classics along with American dishes with a subcontinental twist and she'll be preparing those unique dishes live during the event in the Philips Chef's Theatre.

At the other end of the culinary scale is Kochhar, a two-Michelin-starred chef based in London, who is at the forefront of innovative Indian cuisine with his restaurants Benares, Vatika and Ananda. The Jharkhand-born chef started cooking with the Oberoi group before heading to the UK and received his first star while at the Tamarind. He's the author of two cookbooks, with the next, Curries of the World, due to be released this year. Dishes at his flagship Benares include slow cumin-braised lamb with tandoori fork-crushed potatoes and Goan-spiced mackerel with ginger-sesame chutney.

"We are absolutely delighted to host both these culinary greats at Taste of Dubai 2012. To experience the work of Michelin-starred chefs and international television personalities in a beautiful setting is a true gourmand's dream and a treat for most. So our visitors have a lot to look forward to," said Anju Sami, show director.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Aldo Zilli will also attend Taste of Dubai, alongside veterans Gary Rhodes, Vineet Bhatia and Richard Sandoval, while 25 Dubai-based restaurants will showcase miniature versions of their signature dishes.

Those buying tickets for the event on the Taste of Dubai website ( will be entered into a draw to win Dubai's Ultimate Dining Experience -- dinner at the 25 restaurants participating in the festival this year, including Nobu, Seafire, Saffron, Ronda Locatelli, The Ivy, Toro Toro, Zafran, Da Shi Dai, Mahec, EaAC la Turca, Sonamu, Siddharta Lounge, Indego, Times of Arabia, Rhodes Mezzanine and Carluccio's.

When and where to catch them

Aarti Sequeira is in the Philips Chef's Theatre at 5.10pm on Thursday, March 15, and at 3.50pm on Friday, March 16, and will be teaching at the cookery school from 8.40pm on Thursday and 5pm on Friday. Atul Kochhar hosts his demo on Saturday, March 17, at 3pm, and is in the cookery school at 3pm on Friday and 9pm on Saturday. Events are free for ticket holders to attend.

Don't miss it

Tickets for Taste of Dubai are Dh60 in advance and Dh75 on the door.

Taste of Dubai VIP tickets are Dh200 in advance and Dh220 on the door, giving fast-track entry into the festival, access to the British Airways VIP lounge, two drinks, three free dishes and entry into a draw to win prizes from Philips.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 18, 2012
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