The challenge of operating a local produce only restaurant in the UAE
Article published in The National
DUBAI // Offering diners locally produced food is a challenge but a restaurant owner says her efforts to do so has given her environmental insights and taught her about nutrition. [C3 Entrepreneur] Sara Tabana is using recycled materials to build her restaurant, called Roots Bistro, in Silicon Oasis. She will source most of its food ingredients from farms that are less than 100 kilometres away. “It is quite a challenge. Part of the year it is very difficult to get local produce,” she said. “And when the weather is good, getting the ingredients takes a lot of coordination with farmers.
“Also, the price of organic food is much higher. But we think that providing that experience would create a community.” Jason Moore, co-founder of Local Food UAE, said locally grown ingredients could add more to the palate than just flavor. “When you understand the difficulty behind getting food to our plates, I think there is a knowledge that is gained about our environment that only eating locally grown food can teach,” he said.
In addition, she has set up a wastewater management system to water the mini garden in the restaurant. “We want people to start thinking about their food, to understand where it comes from,” Ms Tabana said. “We want people to get closer to understanding the process of food and how difficult and taxing it can be on the environment by being more sustainable.”