Chef vikas khanna with his mother and grandmother

Dubai’s Finest Chefs Pay Tribute to Their Mothers

In honour of UAE Mother’s Day, today.

In a city of expats, most of us don’t have the luxury of celebrating Mother’s Day with our mothers – and Dubai’s most acclaimed chefs are no exception. What is undeniable, however, is the fact that their relationship with cooking was first introduced and nurtured by their mothers, regardless of where they hail from. Food is the universal language, after all. Here, we join three of Dubai’s favourites as they reflect on their early experiences in the kitchen and how their mothers have shaped who they are as chefs. Listen in.

Chef Akmal Anuar

Akmal Anuar’s legacy may include 3Fils, which recently topped the inaugural list of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, but his reign is just beginning. Today, this Singapore-born chef is responsible for the culinary creations at Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori, the recently opened 11 Woodfire, and Sharjah-based CHIE, always prioritising flavour and quality ingredients over culinary gimmicks.

“My parents are hawkers back in Singapore and, to this day, nothing has changed. My mother – being the chef of the business – has been cooking daily since 1992, so as a kid, that was all I knew in terms of making a living. Growing up, I never understood why she had to cook everywhere we went, even at big family gatherings. 

Now that I’m much older, I realise that all the other women in the kitchen knew her level and were intimidated by how good she was! She was the queen of the kitchen, and her food made everyone happy. I can safely say that her consistent focus and drive to be her best every single day is what inspires me as a chef today.”

Chef Bernardo Paladini

Often dubbed the “hand-picked protégé of Massimo Bottura”, Bernardo Paladini helms the kitchen of Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm, designing Italian dishes that manage to span simplicity, sophistication, and sustainability. His prior experience includes a stint at Osteria Francescana, a Modena-based restaurant that was once ranked #1 on the World’s Best Restaurants list.  

“For us Italians, our mothers and grandmothers are always the best chefs in the world. My mother is a teacher, and has always pushed me to value my culture and taught me the importance of diversity. And that’s why I believe a chef is not just the sum of his recipes – having a strong cultural background and relationships with the community is even more important. 

Mum is all about minimising waste in the kitchen, teaching me that everything can be used. Vegetable scraps can be used in soups and stocks, for example. Incidentally, she grew up in Argentina, so I was exposed to several South American dishes as a child, which has made me passionate about Latin-American gastronomy too.”

Chef Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna rose to fame as his Manhattan-based restaurant Junoon maintained a Michelin star for eight consecutive years, elevating the perception of Indian cuisine on a global scale. Much to the delight of Dubai diners, the celebrity chef heads Kinara by Vikas Khanna, where the dishes are inspired by the raw beauty of home cooking, but with an inventive twist – and well worth the hype.

“My mother has been a pillar of strength for me – in my cooking obsession as a child and every other way. I was fortunate enough to start my career by opening something with her in the back of our house in Amritsar, and she taught me that so much of running a venture is about patience. This was back in 1991, when a woman running her own business was very rare, so she illustrated the power of walking the path alone if you want to be a pathbreaker.

We used to have a lemon tree in our house, and she always said that you can’t pluck lemons before they’re at the right stage. It’s the same when it comes to cooking – you can’t rush it. She also helped me understand temperature as a culinary technique. We used to sell puri, and she would explain that fried bread needs a shock. This was done with high temperatures, which requires one to observe, to be very vigilant. And that’s also the best way to learn in the kitchen. Her faith in me is the reason I take so many risks and have this global career. It’s all thanks to her.”


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Ready to Elevate Your Bone Broth Game?

Aromatic herbs, vegetables, and spices.

With a few simple add-ons, you can transform your basic bone broth into a flavourful and nutrient-rich concoction that will leave your taste buds singing. Here are some ideas to take your bone broth to the next level:


1. Fresh Herbs: Add a burst of freshness by tossing in a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill. These herbs not only enhance the aroma but also contribute a vibrant taste to your broth.

2. Spices and Seasonings: Sprinkle in some spices and seasonings to bring depth and complexity to your bone broth. Consider options like cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, or even a pinch of cayenne for a subtle kick.

3. Garlic and Ginger: Infuse your bone broth with a delightful zing by adding crushed garlic cloves and sliced ginger. These aromatic ingredients not only enhance the flavour but also offer numerous health benefits.

4. Soy Sauce or Tamari: For an umami-rich profile, a splash of soy sauce or tamari can do wonders. These fermented sauces add a savoury depth that takes your bone broth to a whole new level.

5. Dried Mushrooms: Boost the earthy tones of your broth with dried mushrooms like shiitake or porcini. These fungi add a rich and complex flavour profile, making your bone broth truly extraordinary.

6. Fish Sauce or Anchovy Paste: If you’re looking to infuse a unique savoury note, a small amount of fish sauce or anchovy paste can work wonders. These ingredients lend a distinctive umami taste that enhances the overall depth of your broth.

4 Alternative Add-on Recipe Ideas

Source: minimalistbaker.com

How to Make Bone Broth

If you’ve made our Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, you likely have some chicken bones on hand. Don’t throw them out! We have the perfect use for them. Let’s make bone broth together.

Source: spinneys.com

Bone Broth

Did you know? Bone broth is a great source of minerals and many healthy nutrients, including vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Source: hellochef.me

Chicken Broth

While this broth is filling and wholesome, it’s also low in carbs and calories!

Source: gulfnews.com

This ultimate recipe to making beef bone broth at home is so good, you’ll definitely need more of it

Bone Broth is a product of humble beginnings. With over 12,000 years of history, bone broth has found its place in the world (with different names, of course). 

Remember, these add-ons are just suggestions, and you can mix and match to create your own signature bone broth. The key is to experiment and find the combination that excites your taste buds the most. So, get creative, have fun, and enjoy the incredible flavours that these add-ons can bring to your next bone broth adventure!

Use Bone Broth in These Recipes to Make Them Even Better

Bone Broth: Trend Or Nutrition Essential?

An ancient tradition that has become a health craze – bone broth has turned into an uber-trendy essential.  

Basic Bone Broth Recipe

Bone broth is a product of humble beginnings. With over 12,000 years of history, bone broth has found its place in the world (with different names, of course). 


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