"Iron Chef" Roy Yamaguchi signs up for the Gourmet Abu Dhabi culinary festival

Chef Roy Yamaguchi, the acknowledged master of Hawaiian fusion cuisine is the latest super chef to sign up for Gourmet Abu Dhabi – the 15-day culinary festival to be held in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, next month.

And the Japanese-American celebrity chef and cookbook author, who fronts his own US television show ‘Hawaii Cooks,’ said his visit to the UAE capital will continue his burgeoning love affair with the Middle East.

Having cooked for 100 diners on the backdrop of Giza Pyramids, experienced the “best meal” of his life in Nazareth and later cooked for a private party in Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, Chef Yamaguchi says the region “is definitely a place where I will continue to travel for years to come.”

His first visit to Abu Dhabi will be in considerable style as Chef Yamaguchi prepares to cook up a real Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ in Sayad, the seafood restaurant at the city’s signature Emirates Palace Hotel.

“I can’t wait to see it,” said Chef Yamaguchi. “I have seen photographs of the hotel which just make you want to go there. I think I will feel quite at home because the Hawaiian and Arab culture have much in common – respectful traditions with a spirit of unfettered hospitality and welcome and a love of fish and seafood.”

Chef Yamaguchi, who is renowned as the "Iron Chef Asian" in the American version of the famed Japanese show, Iron Chef, trained under masterchefs Jean Bertanou at L’Escoffier and L’Ermitage in Los Angeles upon his graduation from the Culinary Institute of America.

A holder of a James Beard award, dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Food World,’ Chef Yamaguchi opened his first ‘Roy’s’ restaurant in Honolulu in 1998 – there are now 33 around the world.

“The Middle East presents opportunity to me,” said Chef Yamaguchi. “The opportunity of bringing the Hawaiian spirit of ‘Aloha’ to the cultural experience, and the opportunity to learn more about the region’s cuisine which can be ‘fused’ into future creations.”
Chef Yamaguchi joins a stellar Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2010 cast which boasts masterchefs with no less than 22 Michelin stars between them. They will serve up gastronomic discoveries across 18 of Abu Dhabi’s most exciting dining venues.

“Roy’s involvement in Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2010 brings a whole new dimension to the event and the dining experience,” said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which presents the festival.

“Once again Gourmet Abu Dhabi is achieving its aim of developing cross-cultural boundaries while raising the bar on the region’s gastronomic ambitions.”

For more information on Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2010, please log on to: www.gourmetabudhabi.ae or call 800 555 (within the UAE). For reservations, please call: +971 2 4181 401.

In the photo, "Iron Chef Asian" Chef Yamaguchi –  on his way to Abu Dhabi