There’s a good chance you’ve yet to hear of 40Mule, the edgy dining concept, as part of Festember— a contemporary culinary experience that takes place during the Abu Dhabi Food Festival and now in its third year. That’s because it’s just launched. Emirati entrepreneurs and friends Noora Al Mazrui and Latifa Al Hamed are the pioneers behind 40Mule, which is set to take place between December 13-17 at Umm Al Emarat Park. The event seeks to unite food-lovers by bringing in chefs from across the globe to the UAE. The chefs are carefully selected by Al Mazrui and Al Hamed, who travel the world together in search of new talent. “We search meticulously for chefs that are breaking the mold around the world, from the small street food shacks of Hong Kong to the Michelin stars of London,” says Al Mazrui to Vogue.me.
The first chef for this year’s event is Ben Spalding, an award-winning London-based chef who has honed his skills at some of the world’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants including 28+ in Gothenburg, Per Se, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, The Ledbury, Bagatelle, The Fat Duck, Le Manoir, Vue de Monde, and L’Enclume. “Spalding’s approach to food mirrors the inventive energy of 40Mule itself,” says Al Hamed, who describes the all-new dining concept as “innovative, exciting, and boundless.”
40Mule, which gets its name from William Tell who used mule-drawn carts to transport goods across the harshest of deserts, aims to promote cross-cultural communication and bring people together through delectable dishes that incorporate Middle Eastern ingredients in a contemporary way. “Food is the universal language and translates cultures into tangible experiences,” notes Al Hamed. “We see our role as unraveling culture and merging culinary styles so our guests can unlock a future without borders where creativity rules.” Al Mazrui adds “With a combination of design, live event entertainment, and cutting-edge cuisine, 40Mule by Festember transforms the way our audience and guests interact with food and intensifies their passion for flavorful origins.”
Despite only making its debut this year, Al Hamed and Al Mazrui are already thinking about their exciting future plans for the culinary experience. “This is only the beginning and at each event a new talent will be revealed, remaining part of the family as we incubate and grow our foodie protagonists,” says Al Mazrui. Echoing her statement, Al Hamed adds “2018 is looking incredible. A food revolution is coming and we cannot wait for you to taste it.”
40Mule by Festember runs from December 13 to 17. Tickets start at AED/SAR 75 for adults, and can be purchased online.