How popular is American cuisine in the region?
Heather McKnight, managing director, Clinton St. Baking Company: There are a lot of American expats residing here as well as many that were educated in America so serving the American community is very important.
Tony Jardella, head chef, Perry & Blackwelder: I think now more than ever, casual dining is popular. American food is the pinnacle of casual dining. Order some wings and a cold bottle with friends or family.
Thomas Zwar, head chef, Claw BBQ Crabshack & Grill: After Arabic food, American food is the most popular if you include things like burgers.
Antonio Lagrutta general manager, Ruth’s Chris: American food has always been a popular choice in the region among both locals and western expats. Over 80% of our customer base are regulars and the majority are either English or American. They tell us they love Ruth’s Chris because it reminds them of home, from the food to the warm service.
David Anderson, executive chef, Black Tap: We’ve definitely found the market here really receptive to Black Tap, ever since we first arrived on the scene! The fact we had the iconic New York brand behind us really heightened the buzz and excitement around the launch and we’ve managed to maintain the buzz since.
Bobby Griffing, head chef, Catch Dubai: American Cuisine is a very broad genre, but I would definitely say it is becoming more and more popular in the region. Particularly due to its more casual approach to its cuisine.
Have you noticed any trends in American cuisine?
McKnight: At Clinton Street Baking Company, our popular dishes are the buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, Maryland crab cakes; and, of course, the homemade buttermilk biscuits. Our American pancakes and side of maple butter are also extremely popular.
Jardella: One trend we definitely enjoy following at P&B would be making Insta-worthy food that people can’t help but share with their friends.
Zwar: The trend we’re seeing is fusion. It’s about combining all the flavours of the people that built modern day USA so Chinese mixed with Mexican, Korean with BBQ and so on. You really see it in the food trucks which are at the cutting edge of experimental because of the affordable entry point.
Lagrutta: The American smokehouse has definitely seen an increase popularity as has many southern and Creole flavours. Other trends in American cuisine include the Instagram craze of the freakshake or various burger creations that seem to have to be bigger, better and wackier then the next.
Anderson: Freshness and high quality ingredients are currently a growing trend, both across the US and globally — people really want to know where their food is being sourced and how.
Griffing: More and more American brands are coming out here. In particular, burger concepts and smoke houses.