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To mark the occasion of the Middle East's recent inclusion in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, we catch up with award-winning food critic Samantha Wood aka FooDiva, and Claudia de Brito, the awards’ Gulf Academy Chair. We take a deep dive into the awards; how the Awards were started, how the winners are selected and who sits on the voting committee. Claudia and Samantha share their views on alcohol licensed vs. unlicensed restaurants in the region, their insights of how to reach– and remain at– the top, and how host Hashem could qualify for the official title of “well-traveled gourmand”! We are also joined by special guests Chef Reif Othman of Reif Kushiyaki and Zooba Founder Chris Khalifa who share the impact their respective MENA’s50 Best wins has had on their businesses and future outlooks.


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