Michelin star chefs serve their dishes under al-Ula desert stars in Saudi Arabia

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International chefs and restaurants have been featured in the Winter at Tantora festival in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula over the past several weeks, serving dishes from fast-food to fine dining.

Among the chefs to offer their culinary experience in al-Ula was three-star Michelin French chef Yannick Alleno, who served up his award-winning dishes.

“It’s my first time in Saudi Arabia, it’s an amazing place. Cooking here in that energy every day when I do those kinds of things I say wow, I love my job,” Alleno said in a video posted by organizers on Twitter.

“When you cook, you speak the same language. There is no difference, we are all men and women and we want to be the best for our customers,” said Alleno.

Travelers who dined at these al-Ula restaurants said it was a unique dining experience in the desert between mountains and canyons.

“We had a beautiful lunch at Annabel’s which was a great setting and even La Cantine … set inside the canyon which was also very unforgettable. And last night, we dined under the stars served by a three-star Michelin chef which was a fantastic experience. It was magical dining under the stars with the tombs around us,” said Mikki Tenazas, a travel blogger from the Philippines visiting al-Ula for the second year.

Fine dining was not the only option on the menus for visitors to al-Ula this year, with organizers sharing a photo of a family riding on horses while getting ice cream through a Dairy Queen drive in the middle of the desert.

According to organizers, Michelin-star chefs from around the world serving their dishes at al-Ula this year included Chefs Hélène Darroze, Adeline Grattard, Guy Martin, Akrame Benallal, Emmanuel Renaut, Anne-Sophie Pic, Régis Marcon, Arnaud Donckele and Sylvestre Wahid. The chefs are serving their culinary dishes every weekend within the historic Hegra area – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in al-Ula.

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