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Quick question, how can one learn THE LANGUAGE OF LOVELY FOOD?  All being well, umshallah and all that, in a week’s time Girlahead will be dining in Dubai at Matagi. She is sure RAFFLES DUBAI THE PALM, formerly Emerald Palace Kempinski, never had a menu like this in days past (see its owner, Nver Mkhitaryan, above).  Every dish, looking ahead, is mouth-watering, but what IS it all? Take one of the hot starters,  ‘red carabineros prawn, black tobiko, yuzu dynamite sauce’. What?  Watch this space….

Dubai restaurateurs will be biting their nails, as will colleagues and competitors throughout the Middle East. The inaugural 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, takes in under a month. The event programme, 4-8 February, will be hosted in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism, culminating in the awards ceremony  on Monday 7th February. Votes come in from 250 ‘restaurant experts’ from 19 countries: cynically, perhaps, Girlahead would like to know what actually makes a best restaurant (say design, ambience, service, wine list and, oh yes, food?) as opposed to best food (quality and taste)?  She fondly remembers a dinner of freshest Beluga and chilled vodka on a clean white plate on a red and white checked table cloth in a grotty, stained, music-free shed in Tehran in the Good Old Days.  But back to Abu Dhabi. On 4th February, as preamble to 50 Best, Berlin-based Tim Raue, whose food Girlahead tasted at ADLON KEMPINSKI, does a Masterclass.

Looking back at past episodes of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, only two foodie-subjects stand out, José Silva, CEO Jumeirah, and Netflix sensation – The Last Magnificent – Jeremiah Tower.  In order to prevent this ditty today being totally Middle East-centric, let us hear, again, Jeremiah Tower, speaking from Mexico: