Region's restaurants will catch up with Europe

Gulf restaurants will compete says award-winning restaurant director
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Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire is the only Middle East restaurant to appear in the world's top 100.
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire is the only Middle East restaurant to appear in the world's top 100.

The region’s restaurant industry will one day be able to compete with the quality of European institutions, according to successful restaurant director Etienne Haro.

The comments come after Haro’s Reflet par Pierre Gagnaire, at Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, was named in San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants in the World.

Sneaking in at number 100, the restaurant is the list’s sole representative from the Middle East.

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”It will take time, but ultimately it will happen,” asserted Haro on the prospects of the Middle East becoming a recognised culinary destination. “We have to be positive about it and more critical about the quality of food and service especially.

“Some Parisian institutions on this list are over 100 years old,” he added. “The large cities of the region that are today hosting the best restaurants are fairly new.”

Haro added that the achievement of making the final 100 was great for Dubai, claiming it demonstrated the region’s food scene was beginning to be recognised on an international scale.

“To make the list becomes tougher and tougher each year,” he noted. “The food scene in Dubai and the Middle East is, in general, improving significantly and I hope that food will become a reason to fly to the region at some point.”

Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, which opened in May of last year, has already won three Time Out Awards and Haro described making the S.Pellegrino-sponsored list as “the icing on the cake”.

“The experience ten months ago is radically different to the experience today and in ten months we will be a lot better,” he added.

The influential San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants in the World countdown has gained extra publicity this year after Gordon Ramsay’s landmark London outlet 'Restaurant Gordon Ramsay' dropped out of the list after finishing 13th last year.

For the fourth consecutive year Spain’s El Bulli held onto top spot, while Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck remained second despite a food poisoning scare earlier in the year.

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