13-17 FEBRUARY 2022


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Chef Izu Ani

Chef Izu Ani

The star chef behind several leading restaurants in the UAE, including Fika in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Aya in City Walk and DIFC restaurant Gaia, believes it’s easy to eat healthily … simply cook at home.

“When you cook yourself, you know exactly what you’re eating,” he explains. His idea of wholesome home cooking is preparing dishes that are optimal for well-being, happiness and energy, which is why the humble poached eggs and smoked salmon remains one of his favourites.

Chef Ani's poached eggs and smoked salmon

  • 5 eggs (3 for the hollandaise sauce, 2 for the main dish)
  • Dash of water
  • 30ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 60g to 80g clarified butter
  • Two slices of bread
  • Smoked salmon, to top
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


For the hollandaise sauce:

  • Boil water in a saucepan.
  • Place one egg and the yolk of two more eggs in a bowl and pour in a splash of water. Add the white balsamic vinegar and salt.
  • As soon as you add the salt, begin to whisk the mixture. Aim to get as much air into the sauce as possible to make it fluffy.
  • Place the bowl above the boiling water while whisking, to add heat to the mixture. Once you have achieved a thick, fluffy consistency, add clarified butter while whisking, little by little to keep the sauce light.

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For the poached egg:

Chef Ani always like to use a large pan, which gives a teardrop shape to the eggs. Chef Ani also like using the freshest eggs for the best flavour. You can check this by breaking it; older eggs have a runny, water-like consistency, whereas younger eggs are plumper.

  • Bring water to boil, with a little salt.
  • Crack the eggs into the water, cook for around 90 seconds to two minutes, to your desired consistency.
  • To finish, toast your bread of choice and top with fresh smoked salmon. Place the poached eggs on top, followed by the hollandaise sauce, olive oil and black pepper to taste.

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