PechaKucha Night | Food for Thought

For the latest edition of PechaKucha, Alserkal Avenue, in partnership with INKED, will host diverse speakers who aim to explore traditions and investigate practices that shape our experience of food in the UAE and beyond. From sustainability in farming, to the health benefits of fasting, join the conversation dedicated to foodies of all kinds.


Free and open to all, however spaces are limited and RSVP is required via the following link.


Speakers include:

Hanan Sayed Worrel - Author of Table Tales

Hanan Sayed Worrell is a specialist in international urban and cultural projects, with over thirty years of experience in both the public and private sectors. As a Lebanese-Egyptian-American, she grew up in Kuwait and was educated in the United States, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at Stanford University. A global nomad herself, Hanan has lived on four continents and travelled extensively, allowing her to move adeptly between cultures and cuisines, and to relentlessly pursue her hobby as an international recipe hunter. As a careful and affectionate observer of Abu Dhabi for a quarter of a century, she is uniquely qualified to guide others on a culinary pilgrimage by way of its streets, homes, and flavours. Through her professional career, Hanan has contributed to several impactful projects in the region, including New York University Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The connections she has made professionally and in her personal life form the rich tapestry of friendships presented in her book Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi.

Ming Zhu - Crop One

Ming Zhu is the Regional Development Manager at Crop One, a leading vertical farming company whose mission is to solve the world’s food problems one crop at a time. Zhu spearheads the vertical farming pioneer's business development in the MENA and APAC regions, and is helping manage the $40 million joint-venture with Emirates Flight Catering to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility in Dubai. Ming, who holds a BA in Economics and Music from Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Management from Babson College's F.W. OLIN Graduate School of Business, will discuss The Digital Farming that Serves Everyone. 

Yazen Al Kodman - Emirates Bio Farm

Yazen Al Kodmani is the Operations Manager of Emirates Bio Farm, the largest private organic farm in the UAE, located in Al Ain. Emirates Bio Farm specialises in producing natural foods with considerable nutritional benefits, while satisfying its customers and also caring for the environment. Yazen will discuss how consumers in the UAE can make conscientious decisions when purchasing food, considering imported vs locally grown, organic vs non-organic and so on. He emphasises that each purchase made is a 'vote' for certain food practices to continue, and encourages everyone to make informed decisions.

Mohamed Somji - Gulf Photo Plus and Seeing Things Photography

Mohamed Somji is a Dubai-based photographer specialising in architecture, interiors and editorial. His commercial and editorial work is heavily influenced by the reportage style approach that lends a unique perspective to his subjects. Mohamed is Co-Director of Gulf Photo Plus, a Dubai-based photography organisation dedicated to advancing the medium of photographic expression and being a resource for aspiring and established photographers in the region through its expansive education and arts programme. Mohamed also runs Seeing Things, a photography and video agency based in Dubai. Born in Tanzania and raised in Dubai, Mohamed’s passion and interest in photography has always been for documentary projects and in his work, he aims to provide a critical commentary on social issues. 

Shabnum Stumpf - BB Social Dining

Shab is one of the most technology-savvy F&B experts in the Middle East. Through the co-ownership of consultancy PSBars, she has advised some of the region’s most successful restaurants about who dines with them and why. A friend to the UAE’s dining landscape for a decade, Shab has created memorable marketing, guest relations and sales strategies that have defined the industry’s strongest performers. Her passion for understanding guest needs and how to continuously improve the F&B business resulted in the founding of BB Social Dining. In its first year of operation, BB is proud to have welcomed Dubai’s ruling family for lunch and dinner on a number of occasions, as well as world renowned chefs visiting Dubai. A little-known fact: Shab is an IT nerd who was once HP’s youngest digital imaging expert. 

Courtney Brandt - A to Za'atar

Courtney Brandt is an American author living in Dubai. In addition to contributing to her food and hospitality blog, A to Za'atar, Courtney is a member of the Association of Food Bloggers, co-chair of the Travel Massive Dubai chapter, and a regular contributor to Dubai Eye 103.8.
In addition to publishing 10 novels, Courtney's writings have appeared in the following outlets: Curiosity Magazine, Elite Daily, Touring Bird, The Forward Feed, A Luxury Travel Blog, Matador Network, JustLuxe, Travelettes, Citizen Femme, Khaleej Times, and Eat this Poem, among others. A seasoned public speaker, she has taken part in various conventions and panel discussions, including The Restaurant Show, Caterer Middle East, SMSummit Jordan, New York University Abu Dhabi, and was invited to attend the Google Local Guides Summit in 2018 and 2019.

Mira Naaman - Nectar

Mira Naaman is the concept creator and chef behind Nectar, a homegrown juice bar and healthy eatery launched in Abu Dhabi in 2013. This London-trained chef honed her culinary skills in the restaurant world before co-founding Nectar, which offers nutritious “grab-and-go” options, including smoothies and juices, baked treats, and snacks which are made daily from scratch, in small batches, with a particular focus on farm-to-table ingredients.

A mother of three young children, Mira also recognised the importance of accessible, healthy snacks for children at school. This led to a second Nectar location opening on the campus of the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. Mira also creates the menus for and co-hosts the intimate “Wellness Series” events, which feature talks and discussions, and bespoke menus that showcase the latest creative cooking techniques, trends, and ingredients. 

Catherine Flood - V&A Museum

Catherine Flood is a curator at the V&A museum in London, specialising in themes of design and society. She is the lead curator of their current exhibition Food: Bigger than the Plate, which brings together creative ideas for radically re-inventing how we produce and experience food. She  also curates the museum's collection of graphic design and has published widely on themes ranging from the history of poster design to contemporary art and activism. 


Stay tuned for updates.

This event is part of Alserkal Avenue's summer programme Foretold Now, curated by arts writer Kevin Jones. From food trends and financial forecasting, to predicting election results and end-of-the-world scenarios, we have never been more consumed with trying to know what the future holds. Rather than attempting to grasp what this future is, Foretold Now examines what drives us to predict in the first place.