Middle East chefs spread the word on the quality of European butter


Dubai-based chefs Dima Hamati and Waseem Aleisa, and Riyadh-based chef Ahmad Fraijeh, published recipes using the finest French butter in an exclusive industry recipe book.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, – : Three chefs based in the Middle East have been selected by CNIEL, The French Dairy Board, and the European Union to be featured in a prominent recipe book, showcasing the exceptional quality and taste of European butter.

The recipe book, which comes in an easy to use magazine format, features advice and recipe suggestions using the finest European butter, as well as a history of how butter is made and why the unique method has remained the same for centuries.

Dubai-based chef Dima Hamati, who was born in England to Lebanese parents, developed her skills at the French Culinary Institute of New York before taking positions in Belgium and Dubai, where she was sous chef at Alserkal Avenue’s Inked in Dubai, and is now sharing her wealth of knowledge on a range of projects as a consultant chef.

Chef Hamati was selected to showcase a range of recipes to create flavoured butters which included coffee butter with spices, sour sumac butter, and honey butter with zaatar, as well as creating a crispy milk, brown butter with muhammara and labneh cream.

Highlighting the importance of butter in the kitchen, Chef Hamati said: “Butter has such a variety of facets and adds so much to the culinary experience, including texture, flavour, and finish. It has the ability to raise and refine any ingredient and has without a doubt become a key component of everything I do when cooking.”

Joining Chef Hamati to showcase a delectable dish of roasted poultry supremes with zaatar butter is the Mina Seyahi’s executive sous chef, Waseem Aleisa. Born in Damascus, Syria, Chef Aleisa made a name for himself at the Sheraton Damascus Hotel before making the move to his current role in Dubai.

Chef Aleisa said: “As part of the magazine I was able to showcase flavoured butters including Date and Cardamom. I use butter as often as I can unless I have to make a speciality dish that has to be prepared with olive oil. I love the taste of butter and always find it adds something different to a dish. Previously, finding good butter hasn’t always been easy, but with European and French butter, I can always elevate my dishes and provide an exceptional experience.”

Rounding out the Middle East contingent featured in the magazine is Lebanese chef, Ahmad Fraijeh. Chef Fraijeh has a wealth of experience from around the world, having worked in the Mediterranean in Sardinia, Marbella in Spain, Paris and then Africa, Algeria, and Gambia. After some time in Dubai, Chef Fraijeh took up his current position as Chef and Consultant at HMF Hospitality in Riyadh.

Utilising butter, Chef Fraijeh made a roasted veal medallion with avocado butter while also showcasing a honey and jalepeno pepper butter and a hazelnut and cinnamon butter.

“I use French butter every single day of my life, whether that’s during my breakfast or in the dishes I make. Not only does it make food look great, it also provides a perfect texture and an incredible flavor,” he said.

In addition to the chefs from the Middle East, chefs from France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Beijing were also showcased. The magazine will be used as a promotional tool in the Middle East and the rest of the world to underscore the world-class attributes European butter provides.

Marie-Laure Martin, International Project Manager from CNIEL, said: “In Europe, and particularly in France, butter is a national treasure which, despite the evolution of eating habits, remains a staple ingredient for home cooks and chefs around the world.”

“Thanks to its myriad of uses in a range of recipes, and as the perfect accompaniment to the most basic of dishes, butter is undoubtedly the Swiss army knife of gastronomy thanks to its infinite uses,” she added.


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