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Award-winning food industry expert Duncan Fraser-Smith on new book, burgeoning Saudi food scene

DUBAI: Having created more than 200 hospitality and food concepts in the Middle East region over the last couple of decades, award-winning Australian hospitality industry expert Duncan Fraser-Smith is now ready to turn author as he shares the wisdom accumulated over the years in his debut book, “Create to Plate.”

From bringing acclaimed Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton to open Marina Social in Dubai and launching CLE Restaurant and Bar with another Michelin chef Greg Malouf, to launching Pierre Gagnaire’s Choix Patisserie and creating the “MasterChef, the TV Experience” screen-to-plate restaurant concept, Fraser-Smith’s mark on the UAE food scene is indelible.

I have a strong love for food, he declared. In addition, I’m passionate about providing people with the entertainment experience, which is what we term the enjoyment of going out.I care about making sure that people have fun, whether it’s for a straightforward coffee and bagel for breakfast or a lavish five-course meal, because that’s what we’re in the business of doing.

His book is called “Create to Plate.”

We strive to make people happy and emotionally connect with them.

The restaurateur and creator of the Cutting Edge Hospitality Agency commented: “I can only say it is extremely exciting. The Middle East’s culinary scene is exploding, and the restaurant business in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly. In contrast to other parts of the world where you go to a city like Los Angeles and it’s just brand, brand, brand, and brand, I believe this evolution is fantastic.

“Homegrown content is currently receiving a lot of attention in the Saudi industry. And from a market perspective, I’d have to say that it’s being done in the best possible manner.

“I believe that what we’re going to see in the future is possibly more vertical farming, and with more projects being made available, regionally located produce is going to provide a huge point of difference to other major destinations in the world,” he continued.

On his first book, Fraser-Smith said: “Over the last three years, when everything was a bit up in the air across the world, and I hit a milestone birthday, which I won’t quite put in writing, but you know what it is if you put two and two together, there was an opportunity to sit back and review on 30 years of creating hospitality venues across the globe in many different regions.

“And then going, is there actually a roadmap to setting up a hospitality venue for the greatest opportunity for success?”

Duncan Fraser-Smith is the founder of the Cutting Edge Hospitality Agency.

The result is a 12-step roadmap from vision to creation, sprinkled with Fraser-Smith’s analogies, stories, and experiences.

“So, if you’ve got an established restaurant and it’s struggling, it’s a great book in order to get you back on track. If you’re just starting out and you haven’t invested $1 in anything, it’s a great book to get you started to go, ‘where do I start? What are the natural steps that I need to take? And are there any things that might be challenges that I haven’t thought about that come up?’

“So, the book is for anyone from an individual restaurant or cafe operator on a high-street location all the way up to the big food and beverage groups that want to kind of give their managers a tool that helps them stay focused and stay on track to deliver the best they possibly can,” Fraser-Smith added.

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