Dubai set to stage world’s foremost celebration of Gelato

February 12, 2014 11:28 am

The eyes of food lovers across the world will be on Dubai tomorrow as the Emirate becomes the ‘Capital of Gelato’. After attracting almost 350,000 visitors in its first three stages in Rome, Valencia and Melbourne, the Gelato World Tour – organized by Carpigiani Gelato University and Sigep-Rimini Fiera, in collaboration with IFI and MEC3 and in association with Franchise Middle East and DESITA– is all set to bring the culture of fresh and high-quality artisanal food to Dubai for the first time.

It is fitting that the Gelato World Tour comes to the Middle East. Gelato originated in Italy and now has more than 100,000 shops devoted to it worldwide. But its ancestor is the Arabic Sherbeth, a sugar syrup first enjoyed in the Middle East that paved the way for the creation of modern Gelato.

Sixteen renowned gelato artisans from the Middle East are ready to compete for the title of World’s Best Gelato, making their own single-best flavor, combining tradition with innovation and bringing out the taste of the best ingredients.

Mana Al Suwaidi, Chairman and CEO of Franchise Middle East, said: “We are honored to have received the support of EMAAR (Burj Park, Downtown Dubai) as host venue of the Gelato World Tour. Bringing the tour to the Middle East for the first time compliments the region’s passion for outstanding confectionary and culinary innovation. Gelato with a rich history dating back four centuries, has established enormous popularity worldwide and offers exceptional franchising opportunities. We hope the Gelato World Tour will pave the way for the foundation of numerous Gelato related ventures in Dubai and the region. It is our aspiration at Franchise Middle East to spread and solidify the theme of the World Expo 2020 by connecting minds and creating the future.”

Achille Sassoli, Event Manager of Carpigiani and Gelato World Tour, said: “Our 16 Gelato artisans have vast experience and expertise between them, producing a sumptuous array of flavors. Many also emphasize the nutritious potential of one of the world’s most popular deserts: Gelato is high in proteins, calcium and vitamin B2, while containing around half the fat of typical industrial ice creams. It is sure to an exciting and fruitful competition.

The Gelato World Tour is honored to partner with Emaar, the UAE’s leading international property developer, which has provided a venue in the heart of Dubai; and DGT LLC, the distributor of Sirma natural spring water across the Middle East and the official water sponsor.

The Tour is also very pleased to welcome SAHARA Communications, one of the Middle East’s leading public relations firms, as a media partner for the event. The preferred public relations partner for many of the Middle East’s blue-chip companies, SAHARA Communications is known for its all-in-one public relations approach that enables clients to receive quality results with ease and professionalism while benefiting from the integrated skills and areas covered by the company’s various offices worldwide.

The public is invited to enjoy what is sure to be a spectacular celebration, stretching from 2pm to 12 midnight at Burj Park, in the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard from tomorrow to February 15th.

Entry to the Gelato World Tour Village is completely free of charge. The public can enjoy free gelato-classes entitled “From the fruit to the Sherbet”, special workshops for children about the history of gelato from 12,000 BC to modern times, as well as games and contests. They will also get the chance to watch a live demonstration of gelato being made and taste the delicious flavours by purchasing a Gelato Ticket at the InfoPoint tent during any of the three days (At a cost of AED 60 which includes two cups of gelato and three mini cone samples).

With the purchase of the Gelato Ticket, for the first time in the Middle East, the public will be given the opportunity to vote for the “World’s Best Gelato”. Each ticket holder will also have the opportunity to participate in the “Taste & Win” contest, along with a chance to win an Apple iPad Air. Ticket holders who download the MyGelato App and show the QR Code at the cash point, will also be entitled to another free tasting!

Using the MyGelato App, it is easy to locate the nearest Gelato shop anywhere in the world, give and receive free gelatos and keep in touch with the latest news about the gelato world. MyGelato can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and Google Play.

Moreover, with the purchase of the Gelato Ticket, the public will be supporting a worthy charitable cause – a percentage of ticket sales will be donated to Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organization working to provide children in developing countries with access to quality primary education. To date, Dubai Cares has reached more than 8 million children in 31 developing countries.

Please find below the detailed program of the Gelato World Tour – Dubai’s Stage.

• Thursday 13th: 1pm: Press Preview – The media can interview and film the gelato artisans making their flavours, followed by a short class made exclusively for them and run by Alice Vignoli (Master Teacher of Carpigiani Gelato University).
• Thursday 13th 2pm: Opening Ceremony with a ribbon cutting to officially open the Gelato World Tour village with VIP guests
• Saturday 15th 3.30pm: Technical Jury Evaluations. The Gelato Artisans present to the Judges their signature flavours. Each flavour is judged according to three parameters: flavour, presentation and structure.
• Saturday 15th 5pm: Savory Gelato by Maestro James. The best Gelato Artisan of Canada shares the secrets of his success demonstrating how to prepare a hot and frozen treat
• Saturday 15th 6pm: Awards Ceremony for the World’s Best Gelato,Tonda Challenge by IFI and Cookies® BestTaster by MEC3. An emotional moment where the gelato artisans are rewarded for their dedication and hard work.
• How to stand out among the competition while planning a gelato shop? Ask the expert! Register at Desita’s tent for a 30′ one to one talk with a retail expert

• From Fruit to Sherbeth Mini-course by Carpigiani Gelato University and ICCA. Learn from the Masters the ancient Middle Eastern art of fruit-based gelato. A live demonstration followed by a free tasting!
• Sigep Rimini: The World capital of artisan gelato. The International Gelato Master of the Year, MIG and Double Gold Medal Winner from the Florence, Italy Gelato Festival shares the secrets of his success demonstrating how to prepare a hot and frozen treat
• Preview of Gelato is Magic movie. An exclusive documentary by Wolfgang Achtner on Traditional Italian Artisan Gelato for the 1st time in the Middle East
• The coolest class of the year. The students of the elementary and middle schools are invited to learn the art of gelato and sample the best flavours
• So you want to open a gelato shop? IFI has got the solution for you! Educational workshop on how to design successful gelato shops. Aimed at aspiring professionals that want to know the ins and outs of the gelato business
• Discover the 1000 flavours of Gelato. Mini-course organised by MEC3, the Genuine Company with a passion for the best gelato ingredients
• A journey into the art of gelato tasting. Learn how to distinguish the aspects of a great gelato
Below is the list of the 16 gelato-artisans competing in Dubai. They have been selected by Luciana Polliotti, a top writer and journalist in the artisanal gelato sector worldwide. Also listed are their shop name and the name of the flavour they will enter into the competition. Attached is a complete description of all the flavours.

• Claudio Bearesi & Cesare Cellie – Bacio Gelato – Flavour: Pistacchio italiano con croccante di mandorla
• Hassan Elshaer – Cold Stick Gelato – Flavour: Chikoo, Sapodilla, Zapota
• Andrea Granville – Cone Street – Flavour: Royal Baklava
• Joselito Reyes – Cremolata – Flavour: Cremo Bueno
• Mohammad Halawa – Dairy More – Flavour: After Eight Cream Brule
• Ahmed Abdullatif – Dolci Desideri – Flavour: Rose Pistachio
• Murtaza Dadabhai & Mustanir Inayathussein – Fairy Delights – Flavour: Tanzanian coffee with coconut and cream caramel
• Massimiliano Neri – FLOR – Flavour: Black Forest
• Said Ben Amor – French Bakery – Flavour: Tahini
• Waheed Abul – Frutto Gelato – Flavour: Oreo Croquant Gelato
• Vijay Arora – Gelato Vinto – Flavour: Saffron Pista Gelato
• Nicolas Reincke & Chandra Raj – Gelato Divino – Flavour: Variegato Cassata and Base Ricott
• Nazzareno Giolitti, Silvano Giolitti & Andrea Lucatoni Giolitti – Giolitti – Flavour: Pistacchio puro Sicilia
• Taysir Al Ghanem – Il Caffe Latino di Roma Gelateria Pasticceria – Flavour: Brown-bread gelato
• Amer Alsyouf – Kanafandi – Flavour: Mastaca with Pistachio Gelato
• Ismail AlZaben – PrimoGelato – Flavour: Arabian dates with Caramelized Walnuts

The final ranking will be based on votes cast by the visitors, technical jury and participating gelato artisans – meaning both specialists and visitors will make the ultimate decision. The top three winners will represent the Middle East at the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour, on September 5-7, 2014 in Rimini.

The President of the Technical Jury of this stage will be the Armani Hotel Dubai’s Executive Chef, Emiliano Bernasconi. The Vice Presidents are Mr. Mana Al Suwaidi, the Chairman of FME and Mr. Sunjeh Raja, the Director of ICCA. The jury is also composed of Mr. Giovanni Favilli, the General Consul of Italy in UAE; Ms Eleonora Cozzella, redactor of L’Espresso – the most famous Italian journalist specialising in gelato; and Ms. Natalie Long, Editor, Tabloid! Gulf News.

On the occasion of this unique event, two of the best culinary schools in the world, ICCA (International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai) and Carpigiani Gelato University, have started a new collaboration to spread the artisan gelato culture in the Middle East. There was widespread participation yesterday at the first professional mini gelato-class guided by Alice Vignoli, Carpigiani Master Trainer. Following this “Open Day”, some Gelato Base Courses are already planned in Dubai, which is poised to become a centre of excellence for artisan gelato.