What challenges and opportunities does Dubai’s cosmopolitan clientele present?
It brings many opportunities, mainly for learning about new cuisines and cooking techniques. Combining traditions and tried-and-tested techniques from regions around the world makes for some incredibly delicious food. The main challenge we still face here today is the availability of good quality, seasonal local produce. Although, this is slowly starting to change through the artisanal food movement and great initiatives such as indoor vertical farms.
What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in the restaurant business since you first started?
These days going to a restaurant is more than just eating a meal, it is an experience. People travel the globe for food experiences and it is our role as chefs to ensure that our customers leave with a memory of something new or extra special. Whether we like it or not, Instagram has become a driver for chefs to become more inventive with their menus, and create dishes that are not only well prepared but also look beautiful.
What’s the one dish you’d make to impress someone?
Cooking for friends and family is always a special treat for me as I rarely get the time to prepare meals outside of the restaurant kitchen. I love creating an environment that encourages lively discussion and social interaction, which is why I would always try to incorporate sharing dishes into my menu for my guests at home.
And what dish should the modern man be able to make from scratch and why?
Learning the fundamentals of how to cook pasta would be a great start for anyone wanting to build their skills in the kitchen. Pasta only requires a few ingredients to make, it is versatile and can be prepared for every occasion, and, if made from scratch, it tends to make a great impression.