Chef Matthew Kenney opens three-story vegan pop-up heaven in Dubai

Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney is showcasing four of his three-tier vegan food concepts at Expo 2020 Dubai, a global exhibition that has brought together the best of human innovation for 170 years. At the Expo, which runs until March 31, 2022, Kenney’s herbal concepts can be found in Terra, The Sustainability Pavilion, which suits the chef’s mission of preparing food that is beneficial to human health and of the environment.

On the ground floor of Terra, Expo visitors will find Veg’d, a new fast food concept that Kenney first launched in March in California, where it took over a closed Del Taco location. Dubai’s menu mimics its California counterpart with a selection of burgers topped with signature Veg’d sauce; bowls featuring a wide range of fresh vegetables, tofu, spices and dressings; with desserts such as brownies. The highlight of the breakfast menu at Veg’d is JUST Egg, a sustainable vegan egg substitute made from mung beans that is featured in its breakfast burritos and sandwiches (which include JUST Egg, sausage, cheddar, tempeh bacon and mashed tater tots).

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Going up to the first floor of the Terra Pavilion, guests will find XYST, a concept specializing in comfort food from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. During the day, XYST offers a variety of savory pies, sandwiches, cold soups, desserts and a wide selection of teas, as well as herbal pastries such as cheesecakes and mille feuilles. At night, the XYST space turns into a cocktail bar with small tapas-style plates made up of cold or hot mezzes such as falafel, kofta, olives, flat breads, stuffed peppers and vegan halloumi.

On the roof of Terra, Kenney’s MUDRA serves pizzas topped with homemade cheeses, sushi dishes, kebabs and cocktails. Other attractions here are a show kitchen, a DJ, and amazing views of the entire exhibit.

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And if three levels of vegan concepts aren’t enough, Kenney’s MAKE food truck can be found on the Expo grounds and offers take-out options such as smoothies, noodle bowls, sandwiches and wraps for visitors. moving.

“In recent years, much attention has been paid to the benefits of plant-based living, not only for our health, but also for the environment. It’s about cooking healthy, sustainable meals using clean, organic, and unprocessed ingredients to create vibrant dishes, ”Kenney said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be a part of Expo 2020 Dubai and look forward to continuing to create innovative dishes that are familiar to everyone, but with an innovative twist. “

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Matthew Kenney Expands Herbal Concepts in the Middle East

In addition to taking over the Terra pavilion at the Expo, Kenney is exploiting other innovative food concepts in the Middle East.

In 2018, Kenney partnered with Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, managing director of asset management firm KBW Ventures, to develop the Folia menu, which consists of a variety of dishes made from plants, including a dessert. The menu was originally launched at the famous Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, but has since expanded to five Four Seasons properties. In 2019, the Four Seasons Hotel added the Folia menu to its Bahrain Bay location, marking the first time Kenney’s creations have been served in the Middle East. The menu also became available at the Four Seasons Dubai Hotel at Jumeirah Beach in 2019.

This month, the Folia menu made a homecoming for Prince Khaled, himself a longtime vegan, when it launched at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh in the Kingdom Center in Saudi Arabia. Just in time for Riyadh’s annual season celebration, the menu offers a six-course experience with dishes such as Cacio e Pepe, Macadamia Chevre Beetroot, and Lasagna Layered with Heirloom Tomatoes, Pistachio Pesto, and Macadamia Ricotta.

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“On a personal level, the launch of Folia for Riyadh Season is truly the biggest moment in our collaboration with Chef Kenney to date,” Prince Khaled said in a statement. “KBW Ventures is proud to present innovative and healthy dishes, prepared by a culinary master from my hometown, Riyadh, as part of the celebration of the Kingdom of Hospitality and Entertainment.”

Matthew Kenney’s vegan empire continues to grow

Kenney’s three-tier concept at Expo 2020 Dubai is just a small sample of the more than 40 vegan businesses it operates around the world. From the Plant Food + Wine staple in Venice, CA to the CASSE-COU chocolate factory in New York City to the newly opened Botanica restaurant in the Maldives to help 158-year-old French pastry chain Ladurée open a vegan restaurant , Kenney has left no leaf unturned when it comes to exploring an abundance of herbal concepts.

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One concept about to explode is New Deli, a Kenney vegan grocery store first opened in Venice in 2018. Earlier this year, Kenney’s company, Matthew Kenney Cuisine (MKC) signed a five-year partnership with the Canadian plant-based e-commerce platform PlantX, which acquired Kenney’s New Deli brand (now known as XMarket) as well as its physical store. Under the deal, PlantX will expand vegan deli meats to more than 100 locations. After a successful opening in Squamish, BC, the partnership brings XMarket to San Diego with a big opening celebration this Saturday.

For more on Matthew Kenney read:
You won’t miss seafood at Matthew Kenney’s New Vegan Restaurant
Chef Matthew Kenney’s 40+ Vegan Restaurants: The Complete Guide
Chef Matthew Kenney opens Rhode Island’s first vegan drive-thru

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Tanya S. Norvell