“Twenty years ago when I started doing a regular radio show and being a happy, funny, laughing chef, they would often introduce me as ‘The Giggling Gourmet’ and the name stuck,” Jenny fondly recalls.
Jenny Morris is a far cry from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, and was a household name before the term ‘celebrity chef’ was even coined.
Today, Jenny is one of the most recognised chefs out there, having taken her act not just to the radio but also the television through Food Network and as a food columnist and author of three cookbooks.
“Chefs are like rock stars today; they create food trends, discover and share new ingredients with people. They are no longer locked away behind closed doors in the kitchen; they are entertainers and know how to strut their stuff and that’s why they are getting the attention they deserve these days.”
That said, being a chef is no walk in the park. Jenny admits it takes time, passion and commitment – “in a nutshell” – and let’s face it: chefs are a huge influence on our lives.
There’s no escaping food in the 21st century: dining out has become a huge part of our culture and chefs regularly drive new trends in the market.
When reflecting on 2017, Jenny says, “It’s been a tasty year; in my experience, people are looking for real food, field-to-fork and nose-to-tail foods that have not been over- engineered. Also, the trend of food markets has been popping up.”
And then there’s looking forward to 2018: “It seems carbs could be making a comeback; avoiding food wastes, edible root-to-leaf foods, seaweed is set to stay, poke (raw fish salad) is being mentioned more and more, all-day breakfast and brunches with a focus on artisan breakfasts for the health-conscious. A strong swing to more healthy foods will continue.”
Whether or not these trends will catch on in Abu Dhabi remains to be seen, though Jenny is certainly excited about returning for Taste of Abu Dhabi, admitting the UAE’s melting pot of cultures and continuous evolution of the dining scene is what keeps her coming back year after year.
As for what she’s most excited about at this year’s festival, she tells us, “Meeting old friends and followers, tasting all the delicious goods on offer from local restaurants, fabulous music and the vibey, jovial atmosphere.”
Well Jenny, we’ll see you there then!