The MENA 50Best restaurants for 2023 were announced last week, with Orfali Bros awarded the top restaurant of the region, moving up five places. Mohamed Orfali started out as a TV chef on Fatafeat and his transition to restauranteur—with his two brothers who are classically trained pastry chefs—is a journey worthy of that award. He shared all of that and more on The Lighthouse Conversations a few months ago:

The Lighthouse Conversations: Mohammad Orfali

Speaking of food on podcasts, Dan Pashman, who hosts The Sporkful, created a new pasta shape in 2021 with a focus on forkability, sauceability, and 'toothsinkability'. It's called cascatelli and is produced by pasta-maker Sfoglini. Since March 2021, they've sold 189,000 kilos of the pasta!

The cascatelli pasta. Image: Sporfkul

Bloomberg reports Pashman is partnering again with Sfoglini on two more shapes, and that pasta shapes account for about 40% of his revenue. Maybe there's a new samosa shape we should be looking into...

The countdown to COP28 begins

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023. Image: ADSW

This year, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) serves as a launchpad for COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE in November. The team of One Action spoke to thought-leaders on-site during the week, including Firas Wahbeh, CMO at BEEAH Group, and Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder & President of the Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF).

And finally, a big congratulations to Dubai-based Project Chaiwala on signing a new partnership with Apparel Group that will see them do more product drops as well as launch a B2B offering targeted at hospitality. The company started out the same year we did—2017—and co-founder joined us on Tales of the Trade at the time to talk about how they got started:

That's all we have for this edition. Happy listening!

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