After a ten-hour flight from Manila to the small Kingdom of Bahrain, I am received as royalty by Yousef who I finally can put a face on after months of e-mailing and Whatsapp-coordinating the events, and I enjoy my first ride in a Rolls Royce ☺
A tour around the Capital Club with the most impressive views from the 52nd floor gives an amazing impression of the many newly build islands that the Kingdom is rapidly adding to their territory. I am met with spectacular hospitality and an immediate feeling of home away from home by the very professional team. Italian Head Chef Valter and his team from India and the Philippines – a true beautiful melting pot – receive me with warmth and smiles and we get to work.
Photograph by Kaimila Seilder
Next morning my wonderful friend from way back in culinary school, Trine, flyes in from Copenhagen and joins me to make this an even more special trip and to give a hand with all the important guests.
We are invited to the HTMI Culinary Institute where we meet the future generations of Bahraini gastronomy. We are met with wonderful energy and lots of potential and a hunger for getting their country on the gastronomic world map. Since Bahrain is a magnet for many different people from all over the world it is of course reflected in the gastronomic offers and we get to taste amazing Bahraini, Philippine and Indian food as well as Arabic coffee with it’s sweets and incredible homemade cuisine by the hand of Ali, the driver’s father. A visit to the Middle East turns out to be as exotic and beautiful as imagined.
Between three days of lunch and dinner service with interesting guests, we are treated with henna tattoos, a visit to a camel farm and something I never thought I would experience; Formula 1! With loud cars thundering past us we are consumed with the adrenaline and are cheering like schoolgirls!
We spend our last days in Bahrain with Amina and Asfia, visiting the market, the National Museum, the Al Fateh Mosque – and after dinner with our new friends, Bahrain is difficult to leave. But it is not goodbye but until next time.
We head for the airport just missing out a Enrique Iglesias concert, but now ready for Vienna and everything it has to offer!