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An Exquisite Local Night at the Cairo Capital Club

The CCC's last Food Fusion event saw the first female chef to take to the supper club's helm, using only locally-sourced organic ingredients...

Before #Instafood, veganism as a global trend and eating poisonous fish as a delicacy there was just food. Once upon a time, people went to their local farmers and purchased the fresh, organic ingredients they needed for their dinner that they then prepared without preservatives. These long forgotten procedures have been kept alive by Chef Julia El Bardai, the newest challenger of the Food Fusion Night at Cairo Capital Club, who had committed herself to only using local, organic produce when she took the cooking stage at the exclusive dining event. And this time more than ever we thanked the heavens for our mouths which allowed us to taste her genius four-course meal leaving no room in our bellies.

After a cocktail reception and fine tunes on the historic Cairo Capital Club piano (that thing is a century old, mind = blown!), guests were seated watching the beautiful Zamalek skyline. As a first course, a farm egg bedded on polenta, Southwestern-style corn and roasted cherry tomatoes was announced. When we were served a little brown, breaded ball of something, we expected it to be the farm egg. What to expect from an egg as a starter to a dining course? That had certainly never happened before. The little brown, breaded ball, however, was not filled with egg but with a delicious blend of potatoes. Maybe the menu changed, we thought. But then, we were served the Farm Egg. It turns out, El Bardai just felt like serving the little nameless brown, breaded ball on top of her four courses. When we saw the first actual course, we were embarrassed to think that we thought it had already been served.  

The deep dish with the shiny sunny-side-up egg surrounded by the fresh (and amazingly seasoned) ingredients looked like a piece of art: a colourful plate that was calling our name. Chef Julia had vowed it would “blow our mind,” and expectations were high. The mix of a cooked-to-perfection egg that was oozing into the grainy polenta was a creamy sensation, only perfected to the bites of cherry tomato that made it hard to believe we were feasting on an appetiser. In fact, the end of Food Fusion’s first course already had us satisfied and fed. Had the night ended there, it would have been a success. But there was more to come…

Next, a Duck Risotto was served. Again, we were not served a walnut-sized portion of risotto with hardly any meat but a full plate full of the smooth goodness with exquisite pieces of delightful duck. The rich risotto, like every course, was prepared with only organic ingredients which evidently brought out the flavour in it a hundred times more. Although knowing that two courses would follow, the spoon was impossible to put down until the last grain of rice was off that plate. The following courses would be a challenge but a challenge we were willing to accept. This meal was going great…

When the main course, Veal Meatballs, arrived, the idea of passing on these were blown out of the water. Two apple-sized meatballs were accompanied by a smooth tomato sauce, potato gratin and fresh spinach. The potatoes á la gratin were testament to El Bardai’s European ancestry as they were prepared authentically and unlike any way we had tasted in this country before. It was hard to imagine our stomachs having room for anything else, but it happened. And when the dessert of a Peach Cobbler with homemade rosemary ice cream was served, it had to happen even more. Nothing sweet had ever tasted so fruity, with huge slices of peach drowning in sugary juice and dough. Rosemary ice cream, much like the Farm Egg starter, was not a thing in our books before that night either. Safe to say now it is…

When Chef Julia appeared in the front of the restaurant after her glorious four, kind of five, course meal, the crowds were delighted: to applause El Bardai announced that on the way out everyone would receive one last treat. The crowds really didn’t need any more convincing: the first woman to ever cook at Cairo Capital Club’s Food Fusion was a roaring success, and after a long night of excellent food, fine wines and the best views in Cairo, people were excited to pick up their mini-cakes to be enjoyed on another night. We had our mini-cake for breakfast when the sweet treat reminded us of an unforgettable night that we won’t forget even without a cake reminding us every day. 

Find out more about Cairo Capital Club and its upcoming events here.

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