During my four years living in Jordan, I used to love to play hostess often. I would spend hours in the kitchen perfecting Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms, Goat Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates and Wagyu Sliders, I was the hostess with the mostess. Oh how I would marvel at my own concoctions. Things changed dramatically after moving to Dubai, now I scramble to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and put out a bowl of chips. I try to redeem my guests by telling them the snacks are organic while my husband strategically prepares strong cocktails to negate their hunger pangs. Ina and Martha would not be impressed.
The fast pace lifestyle that comes along with living in Dubai does have its perks though. From dry cleaning to the pharmacy and groceries to your tailor and even Starbucks, everything can be delivered right to your doorstep. Dubai is all about convenience, it was just a matter of time before a chef could be delivered right to your doorstep. And then I heard about ChefXChange, which essentially does just that. ChefXChange is an online marketplace where chefs, foodies and social media collide, a la AirBNB.
Things are looking up if you like to host, eat or cook!
What started as a simple concept between friends, Karl Naim and Marc Washington, to meet like-minded foodies has materialized into a blossoming start-up in Dubai and London, with plans to expand to Geneva and Washington DC. I attended the launch event for ChefXChange earlier this week at Opera Gallery and learned a little bit more about the whole concept. Lucky for me as we also got to test drive a few of the professional chefs listed on the website. Chef Maurizio and Chef Maxime catered the launch and specialize in Italian and Spanish dishes, which are both easy on the eye (photos below) and the stomach. A delicious preview of what the rent-a-chef concept has to offer.
Whether you are looking for a bespoke gourmet menu of Foie Gras Terrine and Veal Cheek Bourguignon for 750 AED pp or a breezy beach picnic with Feta and Cherry Tomato Salad and Smoked Salmon Pizza for 40 AED pp – there is something for everyone. So next time you are thinking of hosting a dinner or a party, put away that frozen pizza and sorry bag of chips and log onto ChefXChange. You can finally be the hostess with the mostess once again!
In a Nutshell: ChefXChange is an online marketplace where amateur and professional chefs have a profile and foodies have a profile. Foodies can look for and hire a chef that suits them for any type of event (dinner, brunch, cocktail party, bridal shower etc.). The chef provides the groceries, cooks the meal in your home and cleans up the mess while you entertain your guests. Finally the foodie reviews the chef and the chef reviews the foodie. Voila!