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 Holdings, spearheading their business development across the MENA and APAC regions. Ming has a BA in Economics and Music with High Honours from Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Management from Babson College's F.W. OLIN Graduate School of Business, focused on Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. Crop One’s differentiated technology stack and growing process make them the most advanced company in the vertical farming space—delivering industry-leading environmental and economic benefits. Crop One's technology is focused on lowering costs and increasing yields. They are acquiring new cultivars bred for characteristics which allow them to hyper-perform in their controlled environment conditions and for new product development.

Yazen Al Kodman - Emirates Bio Farm

Yazen Al Kodmani works with 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.

Stay tuned for more speakers to be announced soon.


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, Alserkal Avenue’s summer programme, examines what drives us to predict in the first place.