UNLEASHING YOUR INNER CHILD
Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” So sang Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka as he led some hapless children to, if not serious injury and death, then at least some significant therapy bills, in his incredible factory.
Putting questions about leaving your children in the care of a man like Willy Wonka aside, the F&B industry is one which inspires delight and can stoke the imagination of those who experience it.
Whether it’s the joy of a fantastic meal in a restaurant you’ve always wanted to visit, or feeling like you really matter to the person taking your order, we work in an environment where every day there are multiple opportunities to make someone smile. You only need to look at the reviews of a restaurant to see the high praise sung by so many people who visit it – assuming it’s a good restaurant!
It’s important that even as adults we don’t lose that childlike sense of wonder, even with the pressures of work, relationships, and family trying to drag you down. I was delighted to reinvigorate my own this month with a trip to the Jelly Belly Ice Cream factory in Dubai.
It might not have been quite like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – there wasn’t an Oompa Loompa in sight, sadly – but to see the mechanisms, the technology, and the creative genius that goes into creating a product we all love was something special. And getting to try a number of the delicious flavours certainly helped matters.
You can read our interview with the team behind it on page 26, but keep an eye on our website, www.caterermiddleeast.com, for a more in-depth video look at the technical side of things and plenty of footage of the factory itself coming soon.
Someone else who seems to have recovered his love for the F&B industry is Sergio Lopez. Having stepped back from his Tom & Serg partnership over the past 18 months to spend more time with his family, he’s back with a new concept called Sanderson’s in Abu Dhabi, and a team who all seemed genuinely delighted to be working with one another when I interviewed them.
I’d love to know what has helped fuel your passion for the industry? Do you find joy in the little things every day, or is it the pleasure of pulling off a big project that gets your juices flowing? What is it that helps you get out of bed every day and feel delight in what you are doing? Shoot me a message to let me know.
Working in a scene as vibrant and interesting as the F&B sector in the Middle East means it really could be anything. For me, it’s the sense of the unknown, that we don’t know what will happen today or tomorrow that makes life and this industry so exciting.
Simon Ritchie, EditorEmail: si[email protected] Tel: +971 4 444 3550 Twitter/Instagram: CatererME Facebook: CatererMiddleEast