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CHEF INTERVIEW

management team over breakfast, and then with my own team of chefs. In my meeting with my chefs, we discuss the operational aspects of each day, in addition to planning ahead for upcoming events, festivals and special occasions. Right after that, we spend time making purchase orders and decisions. A considerable amount of time after that goes into cooking, until lunch, and the busiest periods are over. Late afternoons are dedicated to planning menus for events, or meeting guests for events and weddings, followed by a session of replying to emails. The second phase of cooking comes after 7.00 pm in the evening, for two to three hours, and this happens all over again the next day. What kind of research do you put in when creating new menus, or new food concepts at the hotel?

I believe that it is very important to strive and give every customer a memorable experience on every visit to the hotel. This means that each dish has to be thought of in such a manner that it must cater to each customer’s taste. A great example is the recent launch at Mazina. It is known as ‘Culinary Interactions’ - an interactive dining concept where guests can choose from seven different cuisines, offering dishes from all over the world at the same venue. Each dish is created to be perfectly authentic, in keeping with what the diner would like to eat. We add a human touch to everything we do. We bring in a fun element too, so that guests have a good time here. The chefs interact directly with the guests to understand their preferences. We try to meet the guest expectations with the chefs’ talent. This is not an easy process. I do a lot of research about what is new in the market, and study our guest preferences. I try to gain an understanding of future trends. I read a lot of books and research online. This is the only way we can stay ahead of the game. Finally, it is important to be creative. I encourage my team to 42 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

come up with innovative concepts. I strongly believe that many minds are better than one when it comes to new ideas. How are guest’s demands changing with the rise of intolerances such as gluten/celiac, or people eliminating food groups from their diets, such as vegans, and how do you adapt to these? What is the status of the health food market in the country and region?

We take into consideration guest

preferences. There is an increase in demand for dishes prepared without gluten and animal products. Local organic food is also gaining momentum. In fact, a guest recently asked me if we would serve vegan food for festive fare. More people are making healthy and eco-conscious food choices. Our fundamental priority is to ensure that our guests are satisfied and it is our responsibility to meet their preferences. And that is what we strive for every day. In fact, we already have a dedicated menu of healthy cuisine,

Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

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