“Be truthful, be honest – to yourself and to others”
This was a message that screamed out, not during a religious sermon but during a ‘Food Styling’ workshop that I recently attended in Dubai. Two days – Two leaders, 15 hours a day – 15 individuals, illimitable food – limitless photographs, defined advice – undefined experience!
Housed at Scafa, the workshop (now running in its 4th year) is the brainchild by the very passionate and creative Meeta K Wolff from Weimar, Germany and the very energetic and addicted to food, Dima Sharif from Dubai. Combined, they talked, advised, joked, instructed and led all of us through a journey of perception, taste, emotion, senses and hard work.
“Do not ever let the flame die out” Meeta K Wolff
While some hailed from Germany,Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and Thailand, others sailed in from mainland Dubai - Food bonded all of us it in its own realm of textures, flavors and tastes. Two whole days was an information, gastronomic and caffeine overload. Day 1 began by brunching on bite sized delectables from the famed Lafayette Gourmet Chef, Russel Impiazzi , then Meeta led us on a journey of photography, gastronome passion and a styling demonstration. The team was then asked to play with ambient light, available styling apparatus and inner passion. Dima took over the second half where she talked about how food fuelled everything around us. Weaving stories, history, flavors and appetite she relished on the very purpose of existence in the kitchen. The day ended with a Food Trail in Little India – an explosion of culture, history, spices and sweet – led by the very peppy and knowledgeable Farida Ahmed, GM at Frying Pan Tourism.
“I am a rebel!” Dima Sharif
Light breakfast, late sleepers, eager learners, all got together again for Day 2 of the workshop. Whilst Meeta was the star of Day 1, Dima shone on Day 2 – who led us on a gastronomic journey of Modern Arabic Bistro. Eclectic Goat Cheese Quiche, slow cooked Lamb Shank with colocasia mash and crispy Baklava with caramelized apples and earthy walnuts was our lunch – passionately fed to us by Dima. After ingesting all this deliciousness we set on our task of styling food, post processing photos and putting our creativity together to design magazine covers. Dinner was a contemporary take on British Classic dishes by the very punctual, crisp and handsome Russel Impiazzi, which I sadly missed!
I have returned with loads of guidance, direction, delectables from Baker and Spice Dubai, Toffee Princess, Balqees Raw Honey, Lootah Premium Foods and hand made spice mixture by Dima, but what ‘clicked’ with me the most was the message that both Meeta and Dima silently conveyed – of being scrupulously honest and impassioned with our food creations, of relaying originality in our writing and images and being open to criticism from the readers – which I suppose is the lesson of life too!
So here is to passion, honesty, truthfulness and the ever lovely Meeta K Wolff and Dima Sharif!