May 18, 2021


Nestle (parent company) and Cafe are the two words that inspired the brand name Nescafe.

Nestle conceived the Nescafe idea of developing instant coffee to make use of surplus Brazilian coffee and to help the Brazilian government to preserve the surplus harvest.

In April 1938, Nescafe was introduced as a coffee brand, by Nestle in Switzerland. Later in 1965, Europe got its first freeze-dried version of coffee, with the name, "Nescafé Gold."

The original recipe for Nescafé, developed by Max Morgenthaler used a method of spray-drying and adding carbohydrates. The first Nescafé factory was located in the Swiss city of Orbe.

Nescafe was a staple drink for the military of the United States, at the beginning of World War II.

Nescafe is the first coffee to have reached the moon, after it accompanied the crew on Apollo 11.

The first coffee to have scaled Mt. Everest is Nescafe. It accompanied Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay while they climbed the summit in the year 1953.

Nescafe joined the Oscar buzz with its infamous Oscar Selfie. Nescafe joined the board of Solar Impulse. This one of a kind project will have a solar-powered aircraft that will circumnavigate the globe.

In 2003, the band, Muse sued Nescafe as the brand used one of their songs in a TV ad, without permission. The song was titled, "Feeling Good" and the compensation that the band received was £500000, which they donated to Oxfam.

The first coffee making machine, “Dolce Gusto” was introduced by Nescafe and is available across 60 countries. The machine uses roasted coffee beans and is capable of making espresso, cappuccino, latte espresso, and also hot chocolate.

Reports suggest that every second almost 5500 cups of coffee are consumed across the globe! You can find Nescafé in 180 different countries.

“The Nescafe Plan” is a global initiative undertaken by Nescafe to educate farmers about sustainable farming and other techniques for yielding the best crop.

Contrary to public perception, there is no reported evidence that President Nixon served Nescafé to Elvis when he visited the White House in 1970.

May 11, 2021


Cadbury got its start as a humble grocery store. In 1824, John Cadbury opened a shop in Birmingham, England where he sold, among other goods, cocoa and drinking chocolate he ground by hand.

The brand was deemed fit for royalty and Cadbury started making chocolates for Queen Victoria. Today the company continues to hold a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

Cadbury invented the heart-shaped chocolate boxes. Richard, son of company founder John Cadbury, had the brilliant idea to package his confections in heart-shaped boxes embellished with cupids and roses in 1861.

Cadbury first adopted its signature purple packaging in 1914 as a tribute to Queen Victoria’s favourite colour. After a four-year legal battle with Nestle (which uses a similar shade in their Wonka candy line), Cadbury won the right to trademark Pantone 2685C in 2012. But their victory was short-lived—Nestle successfully appealed the ruling the following year and “cadbury purple” became free for all to use once more.

Years before he became a world-famous author, Roald Dahl taste-tested sweets for Cadbury. He drew some inspiration from the chocolate when writing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The idea for the Cadbury Flake came from a coworker. A worker responsible for filling the moulds noticed something unusual about the excess chocolate spilling over the sides. The ribbons of liquid chocolate cooled into light, flaky bars quite different from anything else on the market. In 1920 the Cadbury Flake bar made its commercial debut.

Cadbury was the pioneering company that first started not working on bank holidays.

At the Bournville factory on present-day, 1.2 million Cadbury Creme Egg, 5.5 million blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk and 1 million Wispas are made every 24 hours. WHAT.THE.HELL!.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is, without doubt, one of the most successful products from the brand. It’s so successful that 350 million bars are sold every year – that’s almost a million per day!

It takes a whole year’s crop from one cocoa tree to make 1lb (454g) of cocoa.

One of the most recognisable advertisements ever created is Cadbury’s ‘glass and a half of full cream dairy milk in every bar’, with the image of milk pouring into the chocolate block. It ran from 1928 till the late 1980s.

May 9, 2021

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken is a temptingly delicious crispy chicken coated in a sticky, sweet & savoury sauce that is typically consumed with rice or noodles. In this recipe, the pieces of chicken are crispy coated, deep-fried and smothered with the spicy gochujang sauce, the highlight of this recipe.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Chicken Marinade  
Chicken thighs bone in 350 gm
Rice wine 2 tbsp
Ginger minced 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Black pepper 0.5 – 1tsp
Potato startch 250 gm
Aseel canola oil 1.5 ltr
For the Sauce  
Tomato Sauce 3tbsp
Gochujang 2 tbsp
Honey 0.5 cup
Brown sugar 0.5 cup
Dark soy sauce 2 tbsp
Minced garlic 2 tbsp
Sesame oil 1 tbsp
Sriracha 1 tbsp
For the Garnish  
Toasted Sesame Seed A/R
Green onions shredded A/R


Method of Preparation: 

For the Chicken

  • Marinate the chicken in rice wine, ginger, salt and black pepper, for 4 hrs or overnight.
  • Combine them well and coat the chicken evenly with the starch by dipping the pieces one by one into the bowl of starch. Roll the chicken pieces around a bit and take them out and set them aside.
  • In a deep saucepan (or fryer) add a generous amount of oil and heat it until the oil temperature reaches 175 C / 347 F (or boiling).
  • Add the battered chicken carefully into the oil and fry them until they cook (between 3 to 5 mins, depending on the size of the chicken). Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Take out the chicken once cooked properly and place them onto some kitchen towel while frying the remaining chicken pieces.
  • Once the first set of deep-frying is completed, quickly scoop out any floating debris from the oil using a skimmer.
  • Then deep fry the chicken again when the oil temperature reaches 175 C / 347 F (or boiling). Fry them until the batter is golden and crisp. (The second time frying time is shorter than the first time, 2 - 3 mins). Set aside.

For the Sauce

  • In a separate saucepan, add in the Korean fried chicken sauce ingredients.
  • Heat the sauce over low medium heat and stir well.
  • Once it starts bubbling, pour the fried chicken sauce over the chicken to coat. Mix them lightly yet thoroughly.
  • Once all the chicken is coated with the sauce garnish it with sesame seeds and green onions.


May 4, 2021

Haagen Dazs

The exotic brand name Häagen-Dazs might sound Swedish or Danish but it is completely an American brand. In the words of its founder, " the only country which saved the Jews during World War II was Denmark, so they put together a totally fictitious Danish name and had it registered. Häagen-Dazs doesn’t mean anything. [But] it would attract attention, especially with the umlaut above the letter a.”

Founded by Jewish immigrants Reuben and Rose Mattus in the Bronx, New York, in 1960. When they arrived at Ellis Island, New York, as immigrants, their name was changed from Mattes to Mattus.

Häagen-Dazs started with only three flavours: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee and the company opened its first retail store in Brooklyn, New York, on November 15, 1976. Today, the brand boasts a wide array of flavours to cater to the ever-changing taste buds of its consumers, ranging from the most ordinary yet exquisite vanilla to the adventurous royal milk tea to even the healthy tomato cherry. The brand's first-ever shop on Montague Street remains today.

You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that apart from the ice cream that it is most famous for, Häagen-Dazs also carries a selection of cakes and coffee in its most popular flavours, including green tea and macadamia nut.

Despite multiple packaging changes over the years, what remains consistent to date with Häagen-Dazs are its signature colours of gold and burgundy.

The brand's philosophy is to make ice cream a fulfilling and indulgent experience. The ‘for me’ experience at home or the ‘for us’ experience at a shop”.

The difference between Häagen-Dazs and other ice cream brands is quite simple. It all boils down to butterfat. Most ice cream is made with 10 percent butterfat and a good amount of air used as filler, but super-premium ice cream brands like Häagen-Dazs contains 16 percent butterfat. This is why you can feel a distinct weight difference between containers of gourmet Häagen-Dazs ice cream versus less expensive brands.

In 1983 Reuben sold Häagen-Dazs to The Pillsbury Company for $70 million. The brand is currently sold in over 50 countries worldwide. Not a bad outcome for two Jewish immigrant kids from Brooklyn.


April 26, 2021

Beef Rendang

Rendang is a popular, rich & tender, coconut beef stew originated in the Minangkabau region in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is spicy, creamy and has explosively aromatic flavours of a wide variety of intense spices blended well with the mild creaminess of coconut milk. This dish is also popular in other Southeast Asian countries.


Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Boneless beef short ribs, cut into cubes 600 gm
Canola Oil 5 tbsp
Cinnamon stick 2 inch length 1 pcs
Clove 3 pcs
Star Anise 3 pcs
Cardamom 3 pcs
Lemongrass, cut into 4-inch length and pounded 1 pcs
Coconut milk 250 gm
Coconut cream 125 gm
Water 225 gm
Tamarind pulp, soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds 2 tsp
kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced 6 pcs
kerisik ( toasted coconut) 6 tbsp
Palm sugar 1 tbsp
Baby potatoes 200 gm
Salt 5 gm
For Spice Paste  
Shallots 10 pcs
Galangal 1 inch 2 pcs
Lemongrass (white part only) 3 pcs
Garlic cloves 6 ml
Ginger 1 inch 2 pcs
Red chillies 24 pcs
Corn oil 10 tbsp
Bird eyes chillies 14 pcs
To Garnish  
Banana leaves A/R
Chopped chillies A/R
Steamed Rice A/R
Fresh Cilantro A/R
Fried Onion A/R


Method of Preparation: 

  • Marinate the meat with half of the spice paste for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Next day heat the oil in a stew pot, add half of the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry until aromatic.
  • Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
  • Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar or palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
  • Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender or 20 minutes using a pressure cooker and the gravy has dried up.
  • Add more salt and sugar to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.


To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuously until they turn golden brown.

For Spice Paste

  • Chop the spice paste ingredients except for the lemongrass and then blend it in a food processor until fine.

To Garnish

  • Serve rendang on the banana leaves with steamed rice.



April 20, 2021

Ben & Jerry’s

Childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first shop in 1978.

Ben and Jerry started the biz Ben & Jerry's after taking a $5 ice-cream class. They originally wanted to make bagels. The business venture was originally going to focus on bagels, but the equipment was too expensive. Hence, they pivoted to ice cream.

Cohen wanted to call the company "Josephine's Flying Machine," a reference to a song first published in 1910 and later parodied by Spike Jones & His City Slickers, but was overruled by Greenfield. Their own names would have to suffice.

Their first scoop shop was at a renovated gas station.

Ben & Jerry's employees basically get a lifetime supply of ice cream. They can take home up to three pints every single day.

In 1987, two "Dead Heads" from Portland, ME asked for a flavour dedicated to Jerry Garcia. It was the first ice cream named after a rock legend.

At Ben & Jerry's, ice cream developers are called Flavor Gurus.

The first flavour crafted by Ben and Jerry was plain ol' vanilla. The legacy of that straightforward start, though, is rich. Over the years, the company has produced 43 flavours featuring vanilla in their name.

Jimmy Fallon pranked B&J customers with an ice-cream—scooping robot. He's also the only person with not one but two flavours dedicated to him.

It's said that Jerry used to drop entire boxes of toffee from the top of a ladder to create the necessary pieces for making Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch.

Ben has a condition called anosmia, which leaves him without a sense of smell. It's said that is one of the reasons Ben & Jerry's creations are so packed with flavour, chunks and swirls is to add to Ben's enjoyment of the product.

They created Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough after a fan anonymously suggested it at their first Scoop Shop. It's said to be the company's most popular flavour worldwide.

There's a Flavor Graveyard at Ben & Jerry's where it pays homage to the 300-plus flavours whose sweet days have come to an end — or as the company says, "moved on to the great waffle cone in the sky".


April 13, 2021


Amul spurred India’s White Revolution, which made the country the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products and became the largest food brand in India. The brand was born in 1946. It's headquartered in Anand, Gujarat, India.

The full form of Amul is Anand Milk Union Limited. It's also associated with the Sanskrit word “Amoolya”.

Amul’s architect and chairman late Dr Verghese Kurien died in the 50th year of the creation of Amul. He was called the Milkman of India.

The iconic Amul girl was born in 1966. She has already completed well over 50 years. The (original) Amul Girl was created by Sylvester daCunha (daCunha Communications) to counter the Polson dairy girl (a locally-owned dairy in Anand). The Amul Girl was sketched by art director Eustace Fernandes.

The "utterly butterly delicious," a delightfully goofy phrase for brand Amul was coined by Sylvester's wife, Nisha da Cunha.

daCunha designed a campaign which is popular and a series of hoardings on day-to-day issues. It earned a Guinness world record for the longest-running ad campaign in the world.

The present Amul Butter cartoons are drawn by Jayant Rane. Amul’s famous slogan, " The Taste of India ", which is now a part of its logo, was created in 1994 by Shri Kanon Krishna of a Mumbai-based advertising agency called Advertising and Sales Promotion (ASP). The Taste of India slogan is more than just corporate positioning or advertising jargon. This slogan lends meaning to the brand’s never-ending commitment to taking quality food and products to the rural man, which he otherwise couldn’t have afforded.

The Amul model has helped India to emerge as the largest milk producer in the world. More than 15 million milk producers pour their milk in 1,44,500 dairy cooperative societies across the country.

Amul is the world’s biggest vegetarian cheese brand.

Amul is not just a brand; it is also a movement that represents farmers’ economic freedom.

March 9, 2021

Poultry, Lesson #5 – Peri Peri Chicken

The name “poultry” comes from the French word “poule” which is actually derived from the Latin word “pullus”, meaning small animal.

Poultry is one of the most commonly consumed types of protein not for one but many good reasons; It is lean meat, available in plenty, and has a very neutral flavour that goes very well with any palate. Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat after pork, accounting for over 30% of the total world meat production and sixteen billion birds are annually raised for consumption.

Poultry Recipe of the Day - Peri Peri Chicken 

The Peri-Peri Chicken is a spicy chicken dish with roots both in Africa and Portugal. This dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived here with a special chilli pepper called African Bird’s Eye Chilli (known as Piri-Piri in the Swahili language).

It was probably the Portuguese who introduced the African Bird's Eye Chili Pepper as we know it today to Europe and the Far East. They probably were also the first to use peppers to create a hot sauce. Nowadays the Peri-Peri sauce in its many variants is enjoyed by people around the world.

This Dish

Chicken marinated in deliciously spicy Peri-Peri sauce and grilled to one’s liking.


Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Chicken leg with thigh 4 pieces
For Marinade
Thyme (fresh) 3 sprigs
Oregano 1 tsp
Caster sugar 1 tsp
Smoked paprika ½  tsp
Garlic (halved) 1 whole pod
Red onions (unpeeled, quartered) 1 piece
Ripe tomatoes 3 pieces
Canned tomatoes in juice (whole) 1 piece
Fresh chillies (deseeded) 6 pieces
Lemon (juice) 1 tbsp
Sea salt as required
Freshly ground black pepper as required
Olive oil 1 tbsp
For the Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet potatoes 750 g
Smoked paprika 1 tsp
Fine semolina 2 tbsp
Salt & black pepper as required
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Lemon Zest 1 tsp
Thyme 1 sprig


Method of Preparation: 

  1. In a grill pan, on medium-high heat; place the quartered onions, halved tomatoes, chillies and halved garlic pod. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, or until charred all over, turning regularly.
  2. Remove the garlic skins and peel the onions, then add all the vegetables to a food processor with thyme, oregano, caster sugar, smoked paprika and lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Blitz until smooth (add a splash of water to loosen, if needed). Season to taste.
  3. Pass the sauce through a strainer. Use half the sauce as a marinade and save the other half to accompany the cooked chicken.
  4. Using a kitchen paper towel, pat dry the chicken pieces. Season with salt and black pepper; pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and let it marinate for a few hours or overnight, in the
  5. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160 C.
  6. Heat the same grilling pan and on medium heat grill the chicken for 1 or 2 minutes on each side until charred with grill marks.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and place in the hot oven and cook at 160C for 15 minutes.
  8. Without opening the oven door, increase the temperature to 200C and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Cut the sweet potatoes into rough 2cm wedges. Combine with paprika, semolina, a small pinch of salt and pepper and a lug of olive oil. Spread the wedges out onto two large baking trays, then place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender and crisp.
  10. Serve the roast chicken garnished with lemon zest and thyme leaves and accompanied with Peri -Peri sauce & sweet potato wedges.


Note: If the sauce is too thick, add 1 tsp of chicken stock to thin it to the right consistency.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

February 22, 2021

Work in 5 Star Properties with 3 Months of Vocational Training

Not everybody wants to become an Engineer, a Doctor, or a Scientist. One can have a great career otherwise too. The key is to learn the knowledge & skills from industry experts to give yourself the right start for a greater career boost.

If hospitality is what you are looking for then what’s better than being a part of the heart of the industry, the kitchen – where beautiful and delicious culinary masterpieces are created. What if we tell you, all you need is three months of intense professional culinary training to be part of this glorious industry that never goes out of opportunities? Want to know more…Well read on!

Working in a swanky hotel, rubbing elbows with the hot shots of the industry is certainly a lovely work environment to be in. With the emergence of so many new luxury hotels happening across the globe, it is definitely time to consider a potentially life-changing career in hospitality.

Let’s explore how to successfully make it to the hospitality industry in three months and the ways your career would unfold giving you an immensely rewarding and satisfying professional experience.  Within just a period of three months of intense and hands-on professional training with industry experience and exposure, you will be ready and up for the challenge the kitchen life has to offer.

If Food is what makes you happy and the kitchen is your calling, then training in Culinary Arts in an institute that is top-notch is what you should be looking for. This will make you not only efficient but also proficient with the required skill sets.

The Career Path of a Chef

For the culinary industry, food is at the heart of everything we do as human beings. If your ambition is to carve out a successful career as a chef and claim the head chef title, you have got to be prepared to eat a lot of humble pies on your way up there.

Understand that there are no shortcuts in this profession. It begins at the base with a not-so-fancy pay and sharp adjustments to be made, which will eventually take you to a whole high of recognition, money, and position depending on whether you have it in you or not.

The general career trajectory of a chef goes as follows;

  • Commis Chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Sous Chef
  • Head Chef & Executive Chef

As much as the glory of being a chef awaits you at the top position, it is your knowledge, passion and commitment that will pave the way for you to climb that ladder up faster. And, formal culinary training is the way to go about it!

Where do you get your culinary training from?


Look to begin at a place that is the hub of hospitality as it gives you a wider exposure and a great start, to begin with. Dubai definitely enchants as a land of Hospitality and talking of Culinary Arts, ICCA Dubai is the preferred choice for many in the industry and students alike.

ICCA Professional Program in Culinary Arts

If you are looking to start a career as a Professional Chef in the Hospitality & Restaurant Industry or wanting to set up a Food Business of international standards, this accredited and internationally-recognized Professional Diploma Program will set you on the right path.

The Professional Diploma Program is an intensive culinary training program in Cookery or Patisserie based on the Classical Continental Cuisine incorporating all basic to advanced skills & knowledge necessary for Commercial Food Production Operations.

At ICCA Dubai, the specially tailored curriculum is hands-on & intensive with application-focused and industry-centred activities that simulate actual work environment and delivered under the guidance of industry-experienced international chef instructors, certified by the City & Guilds, London.

Kick start your career by joining the program, getting exposure, and gaining hands-on experience in the industry through the internationally recognised Professional Diploma Program at ICCA Dubai.

February 19, 2021

Vegetables, Lesson #5 – The Vegetarian Moussaka

The word “vegetable” was first recorded in the English language in the early 15th century and was derived from the Medieval Latin word “vegetabilis”, which means 'growing, flourishing'.

Vegetables are part of our daily life with its everyday usage and eaten in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. They play an important role in nutrition, as most vegetables are low in fat and calories but at the same time, bulky and filling.

They are an important source of dietary fibre and essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E, and B6, minerals, trace elements and are also an important source of anti-oxidants.

Vegetables when included in the diet, have been found to remarkably reduce the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.

Vegetable Recipe of the Day - The Vegetarian Moussaka

The English name for "moussaka" comes from Greek 'mousakás', which is derived from the Turkish 'musakka', which actually came from the Arabic word 'musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة)', meaning "chilled". Some even believe that the Arabs introduced moussaka in Greece, from where they brought the eggplant.

Moussaka is an eggplant (aubergine) or potato-based dish and often includes ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variants. 

The recipe here is simple and packed with lovely layered roasted vegetables and Feta cheese slices, then topped with yoghurt and Parmesan cheese.


Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Potatoes (sliced) 2 large
Eggplant (sliced) 1 large
Onion (sliced) 1 large
Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves
Red peppers (deseeded, sliced) 2 pieces
Thyme (extra for garnish) 2 tbsp
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes (halved) 1 cup
Tomato puree 1 cup
Feta (sliced) 1 cup
Yoghurt 1 cup
Eggs 3 pieces
Parmesan (grated) 1/2 cup
Zucchini (sliced) 1 piece
Salt & pepper As required


Method of Preparation: 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Place the sliced potatoes in a roasting tray with the eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and peppers, then season the vegetables with salt & pepper.
  • Sprinkle with thyme, drizzle with the olive oil and mix.
  • Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking process. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until tender and scorched at the edges. Remove from oven.
  • Then for the next part of the cooking, reduce the oven to 160°C.
  • To layer: Place half of the roasted vegetables in a casserole/ovenproof dish, then layer over half the tomato purée and all the Feta. Top with the remaining vegetables and tomato purée.
  • In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, eggs and Parmesan until smooth and pour over the vegetables. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • Make sure the yoghurt mix is firm before serving.
  • Garnish with thyme leaves.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

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