Maison Bleue’s take on the slow food movement

Dean Gassabi, a couple of belly dancers and a Bedouin M�choui Feast at his restaurant relaunch. Picture: TSPL

Dean Gassabi, a couple of belly dancers and a Bedouin M�choui Feast at his restaurant relaunch. Picture: TSPL

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FATHER and daughter team Dean and Layla Gassabi were the hosts for the re-opening of their Maison Bleue eatery last week.

The Edinburgh restaurant has become something of a culinary institution in the Capital with its fusion of French, Scottish and North African food styles.

After a month-long shutdown its splendidly eclectic, three-storey interior has been given a new lease of life. The work involved stripping back the centuries-old building on the city’s Victoria Street to its original stonework, much of which has been incorporated into the new design, along with modern touches including pink neon signs.

The bohemian decor seemed to be a big hit with the guests packed in on Tuesday evening.

A pair of belly-dancers and some funky Moroccan sounds provided a feast for the eye and ear, but were rather upstaged by the arrival of the restaurant’s exclusive new dish – the Bedouin Méchoui Feast, “inspired by a delicacy among the scattered tribes of Sahara camel herders”, we are informed.

The new addition to the menu certainly hit the mark, but bear in mind if you pay a visit, it has to be ordered 24 hours in advance to ensure it’s cooked to perfection.

Says Dean: “When we were looking for inspiration at first we weren’t sure about the Bedouin Méchoui Feast, because of the time involved. However, the taste and texture is fantastic and having to order 24 hours in advance adds to the whole experience of savouring it properly.”

Sounds like the perfect antidote to the fast-food culture.

Sign up to sleep out

SCOTTISH businesses have been challenged to spend a night exposed to the elements to raise funds for youth homelessness services.

Action for Children Scotland is staging a special launch event to give firms the opportunity to find out how they can get involved in Byte Night – billed as the UK’s biggest sponsored sleep out – and how the cash raised will be put to good use. Among those already signed up for the Scottish sleep out are Harvey Nash, LogicNow, RBS, Sopra Steria and TSG.

Alistair Forbes, general manager at LogicNow, and co-chair of the Byte Night Scotland committee, says: “We have been fortunate over the last ten years to see LogicNow grow from just two people to becoming a large global organisation. We are proud of our roots in Scotland and we are keen to contribute to the communities in which we live and work.”

The launch event takes place on Thursday evening. For details, please visit: bytenightscotland.eventbrite.co.uk

Investors with something to say

Keynote speakers for next month’s Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) investor event in Edinburgh have been confirmed, and the list includes a host of technology luminaries.

Stanford University lecturer Heidi Roizen, who is also a prominent venture capitalist and former head of developer relations at Apple, will be joined by Amadeus Capital co-founder Hermann Hauser, New Zealand-born entrepreneur Dale Murray and Nigel Eccles, an EIE alumnus who is chief executive of fantasy sports league operator FanDuel.

Gordon Stuart, of EIE organiser Informatics Ventures, said: “We think we’ve got the best speaker lineup to date, with a mix of international investors and entrepreneurs like Dale Murray, Heidi Roizen and Hermann Hauser but also, importantly, homegrown talent in the form Nigel Eccles, a shining example of a founder who has built a billion dollar tech company from a base in Scotland.”

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