Dubai, United Arab Emirates (PressExposure) September 03, 2008 -- The Harbour Hotel & Residence, Emiratesâ city-based hotel located in the Dubai Marina, opens the doors of its new restaurant az-u-r, Dubaiâs first âfarm-to-forkâ restaurant, delivering the kind of food which has made Mediterranean cooking the worldâs most popular dining choice.
az-u-r (read 'as you are') is inspired by the cooking styles from countries around âThe Medâ, from Spain and Morocco in the west to Lebanon in the east. In addition, it serves many of those great traditional dishes for which French and Italian cooking have become famous.
Tony Williams, Senior Vice President, Emirates Hotels & Resorts [http://www.emirateshotelsresorts.com/group/en/] said: "We really wanted to mirror the authentic food experienced in regional Mediterranean towns and villages where local produce is provided fresh on a daily basis, and immediately used in traditional menus, often following family recipes. As a result the food is distinctive, giving guests a tastier, âmade-to-orderâ and homemade âfarm-to-forkâ dining experience.â
Executive Chef, Chris Baker, who put together the culinary team at The Harbour, commented: âThere are several key aspects to Mediterranean cooking, and each one has been tackled with equal passion. The first challenge was to trace authentic, family-tradition homemade recipes. We then met personally with many of the fresh-produce suppliers to small, regional restaurants in the Mediterranean. In doing so, we have uncovered some of the worldâs best organic food producers, and certainly some of the highest quality produce I have seen in years. 'Farm-to-fork' became our motto - we travelled extensively, visiting fruit and vegetable farms, local bread mills and bakeries, and even fish-markets.
"The effort was time-consuming, but certainly worth it. For example, we even source our own wheat and wholegrain flour for the bakery, baking all our own bread every day using fresh eggs and quality butter. Preparing food from scratch makes a huge difference. Our bread is now so popular that we bake extra so that local residents can come and collect their bread at Counter Culture, our deli-style restaurant on the ground level.â
az-u-r is on the pool-deck of the Harbour Hotel & Residence [http://www.emirateshotelsresorts.com/the-harbour/en], and aligned with the Timeless Spa [http://www.emirateshotelsresorts.com/the-harbour/en/the-experience/spa-and-fitness/timeless-spa] on the same level. To complement the Spa, the restaurant offers a range of healthy menus, from cheeses to wholesome salads, which predominantly use organic products. The az-u-r kitchen is open in design, giving guests easy access to the chefs and the experience of a cosy, informal atmosphere.
More than 70 per cent of the produce served at az-u-r [http://www.emirateshotelsresorts.com/the-harbour/en/the-experience/the-harbour-dining/spa-restaurant] has been organically sourced. The staff have been trained by organic expert Dave Friend, who also assisted in the selection of food, sourced according to the seasons. Produce comes from as far a field as Spain, Italy, Lebanon, and France.
An extensive choice of wines and mineral waters accompany the culinary options, with az-u-r offering a selection of over 70 wines, including Vega Sicilia Unico, Tignanello, Sassicaia, Chateau Musar and Chateau Cheval Blanc, alongside a collection of organic wines.
az-u-r has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, integral to the restaurantâs dining offering. An easy place to meet for an aperitif, the venue is comfortable, with direct views of the Marina. From the spacious terrace, guests can feel immersed in the ultimate Dubai experience and al-fresco dining options are available.
About the Harbour Hotel & Residence The 52-storey luxurious Harbour Hotel & Residence, a USD141 million investment for Emirates, opened its doors in November 2007. Located at the gateway entrance to the Dubai Marina, the hotel is set within Dubaiâs most fashionable and sought-after lifestyle districts.
The Harbour Hotel & Residence is part of Emirates Hotels & Resorts, the premier hospitality division of Emirates Airline. The division manages a portfolio of award-winning luxury conservation resorts and spas, as well as a Dubai-based fully-serviced luxury apartment complex.