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NOVEMBER WG MAGAZINE 2017

QUIQUE DACOSTA

A SELF-MADE CHEF

BEST CHEFS OF DUBAI www.wgmagazines.com

SØREN SELIN

NORDIC CUISINE

NICOLAI NØRREGAARD ISLAND ON A PLATE

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snacks, extensive dinner – aster® Plus have the answer.

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TRUFFLES and everything nice We source the best fresh truffles in season and produce a superior line of black and white truffle oil, truffle butter, truffle sauce, truffle carpaccio and truffle honey, Apart from truffle we carry vinegar, oil, pasta and other gourmet products, the best Italy has to offer, Used by the top chefs across the UAE and beyond. Call italtouch (The Truffle Man) today: +971 4 887 9969 or email: italtouchdwc@gmail.com

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#TRUFFLEMANDUBAI


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Bon Vivant Communications

A global gastro embassy specialising in culinary diplomacy, exclusive dinner parties, star chef world tours, cultural marketing, filmmaking and entrepreneurism. The core expertise is in brand management and PR of gourmet restaurants and star chefs, but also of resorts, châteaux and food festivals. Creator of Dining Impossible and the San Sebastián Dinner Series, as well as the 2016 Diego Muñoz Exploration and 2017 Kamilla Seidler Expedition. Culinary Producer of “Michelin Stars - Tales from the kitchen”. Daily serving partnerships in Copenhagen, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, San Sebastián, Moscow, Macau, New York City, Mexico City, Lima and La Paz.

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15th Floor, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai

For reservations: +971 4 706 0900 reservations@mintleafdubai.com mintleafdxb

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OPEN FROM 8:00 AM UNTIL LATE

FAMILY RESTAURANT | LOUNGE LIVE MUSIC | QUIZ | WEEKLY BBQ THE SHIP’S WHEEL POOL TABLES | DARTS | SPORTS TV SCREENS

The Clubhouse, Jebel Ali Recreation Club, T Road, Jebel Ali | 04 459 5198 | info@jebelalirecreationclub.ae @jebelaliclubhouse

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Culinary Arts can give new life to children... we make it our mission to identify talented, underprivileged children with culinary ambitions and provide opportunities that otherwise would have been beyond their reach‌

Grant MacPherson

WO’GOA Foundation Ambassador An inspirer, innovator and perfectionist - Grant encompasses all the qualities that deserving children can glean from a role model!

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Avani and Bala #VisitSpain #Andalusia #Sevilla #Giralda #Architecture #BeautifulView

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“IN OUR CITIES, WHEN YOU LEAVE ONE EMBLEMATIC SPOT, YOU ENTER ANOTHER. YOU WILL SOON DISCOVER THAT ALL OF THEM ARE PART OF YOU”.

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7 Best European

Elia is an award winning Greek restaurant headed by celebrity chef Yiannis Baxevanis whose reputation in Greece is legendary. The food is a combination of traditional dishes passed down countless generations, well known and loved, and authentic dishes elevated by a contemporary interpretation. The setting is unique – a little oasis of tranquility, making it a great spot for dining casually with family and friends or for a romantic evening out. Elia’s vision is for Greek cuisine to assume its rightful place on the global culinary map. For reservations call 050 168 8389.

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TASTE OF VIDA A selection of the best dishes from our menus on a meter long board paired with flavoursome hubbly bubbly. Bid farewell to the conventional way to have your main course. Take your pick! BOOK NOW

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BRINGING AUTHENTIC GREEK FOOD TO THE TABLE

Opens daily from 12:30pm to 5:00pm & from 7:00pm to 11:30pm Located on the park level in cluster P, JLT connected to Armada BlueBay Hotel

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Contact +971 (0) 4 399 8166 MythosDubai www. mythoskouzina.com


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WORLD CLASS SEAFOOD CHARCUTERIE FROM THE HEART OF SCOTLAND. 23

World Class Products with First Class Service - Since 2005 | T: +971 4 299 88 29 | F: +971 4 299 81 15 | E: sales@foodsource.ae | www.foodsource.ae WG November 2017 A: DAFZA, LIU J 24, Dubai, UAE | P.O. Box 54681


Hops, Food & Attitude Le Petit Belge is a unique, unpretentious spot, offering a friendly and vibrant destination where guests can unwind in a truly Belgian setting. More than just a restaurant, Le Petit Belge is a real testament to the famous Belgian culture that fully embraces life. Opened their first location at Pullman Hotel 'JLT' and opening 2 others very soon at Park Inn by Radisson 'Motor City' and DoubleTree by Hilton in Bay Square in Dubai.

Follow our story! / lepetitbelgedubai

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«Thanks to the fresh finished and semifinished products from Läderach, I am able to surprise my guests time and time again.» Domenico Miggiano, executive chef, founder and owner of the Gasthof Löwen inn, Bubikon, Zurich

By professionals, for professionals. Take advantage of our exclusive offer and a unique range of finished and semi-finished products. Order our product catalogues and benefit from our personal advice.

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Läderach (Schweiz) AG, Phone +41 55 645 44 44 professional@laederach.ch, www.laederachprofessional.ch


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Editor

Fabian deCastro

Culinary Editor

Geeta Bansal

Lifestyle Editor

Doug Singer

Feature Editor

Oilda Barreto

Contributors

Michael Hepworth Rhiannon Shepherd Claudia Ferreres

Photography

Victoria Shashirin Majella O’Connell

FJMdesign WGkonnect Photography Consultant Creative Design Studio Publisher IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

WG™ is an online digital publication published by: Izzy Publishing Pvt. Ltd. Unit 14, Agnelo Colony, Kerant, Caranzalem, 403002 Goa, India Tel: +91(832) 2463234 Fax: +91(832) 2464201 sales@wgmagazines.com

Marketing & Advertising Call: +91 832 246 3234 E-mail: marketing@wgmagazines.com

Identifying underprivileged children with culinary ambitions...

WG™ Beverly Hills Michael Hepworth 287 S.Robertson Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90211 WG™ New York Doug Singer - Head of Operations, North America 404 East 66 Street, Suite 2E New York, NY 10065 E-mail: doug@wgmagazines.com WG™ International Representative Point Select Leisure Management DMCC P.O.Box 333581, Dubai, U.A.E.

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Company Registration Number U22100GA2011PTC006731

©IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. Editorial material and opinions expressed in WG™ digital publication do not necessarily reflect the views of IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. WG™ and IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or errors and do not accept responsibility for the advertising content. All contents are strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Production in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission from IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. ©2017 WG™ All rights reserved. Cover Image Credit: REIF OTHMAN PHOTO ©PLAY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE


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24/11 will see a blend of 23 of The Best Chefs of Dubai with Michelin star Chef Alfredo Russo. Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo will be the stage of this 11 hour culinary experience. This 11 Hour Brunch is a collective of award winning chefs of Dubai, including Reif Othman, Colin Clague, Tim Newton, James Knight-Pacheco, Pradeep Khullar, Gilles Bosquet, Thorsten Killan from Al Muntaha - Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and other well-known faces of Dubai. Flavor Trumps Presentation Always! Familiar with the history of the food culture of his region, two Michelin star Chef Søren Selin shares his insight in an interesting conversation about the various aspects of his work with Geeta Bansal. While still in Scandinavia, we meet with Nicolai Nørregaard as he paints little masterpieces on the plate.

A short trip to Restaurant Haerlin at Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten for an exceptional culinary experience with the two Michelin star Chef Christoph Rüffer. Next we visit Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg’s Hangar-7 and meet with the self-made chef Quique Dacosta.

Before heading to South America to visit the best restaurants in Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia, Geeta Bansal takes us through one of the world’s most prestigious and well known culinary congresses - San Sebastián Gastronomika in the Basque Country of Spain. The four day event which took place from the 9th to the 11th of October with India as the host country in San Sebastián. Highlight of this year’s edition was a tribute to acclaimed French Chef Michel Bras for his contribution to the world of cuisine. The Gueridon de Oreo award was awarded to Hotel de Ville, Lausanne, Switzerland’s Head Waiter Louis Villeneuve while English journalist Nick Lander of the Financial Times claimed the Pau Alborna I Torres Gastronomic Journalism award. Bon Appétit

FdeCastro

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For more than 80 years, Bragard supports women and men who give the best of themselves everyday at work to ignite their client’s taste buds. Combining tradition and inovation, professional workwear from Bragard gained unparalled reputation thanks to its quality and make the biggest names of the culinary and hospitaly world proud.

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NOVEMBER 2017

CONTENTS 40

A Self-Made Chef

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San Sebastián Gastronomika

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Nordic Cuisine

82

The Island On A Plate

90

The Best Chefs Of Dubai With Alfredo Russo

220 Christoph Rüffer 228 Latin America’s Best Restaurants

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REIF OTHMAN PHOTO ©PLAY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

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DUBAI Live The Destination 38 - WG November 2017


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Call Kurt: +971 55 419 6959 Dubai Licensed Realtor (BRN 30077) E-mail kurt@astonpearlre.com

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QUIQUE DACOSTA

QUIQUE DACOSTA A SELF-MADE CHEF

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Text Hangar-7 Photo © Helge Kirchberger Photography / Red Bull Hangar-7


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QUIQUE DACOSTA

t may sound like a fairytale, but this is the reality of Quique Dacosta’s incredible career: as a teenager, he started out working as a kitchen porter in the restaurant that now bears his name. Since 2009, the head chef has run the Quique Dacosta Restaurante, stunningly surrounded by the Mediterranean and one of just nine Spanish restaurants to have been awarded three Michelin stars.

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But a life spent over the stove was not the one he had always dreamed of – when he first came to Dénia aged 14, he wanted to be a DJ. Today, he is more than happy to compare his work to his onetime dream job: “What the two professions have in common is the idea of transforming something. A DJ makes music from individual sounds, while a chef takes organic raw ingredients and turns them into a culinary experience.” Luckily for us, the gourmet side of him won out.

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ROOTS OF BOLETUS, DRY LEAF OF SWEETCORN, HERB LEAF IN VINEGAR

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QUIQUE DACOSTA

Dacosta’s style is all about pushing boundaries. He and his team push flavors, concept and technique to the very limits of what is possible...

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WHAT CAME FIRST?

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QUIQUE DACOSTA

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THE LIVING FOREST AND THE MIST


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But it is not only the story of the Quique Dacosta Restaurante, which has been named amongst ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ during the last years that is extraordinary: wherever possible, the Michelin-starred chef uses locally sourced produce from within 75 km of his restaurant on Spain’s Costa Blanca. Rather than restricting Dacosta, this has the opposite effect, creating an outlet for his endless curiosity, his passion for research and his creativity: all of the character traits that sing out from his dishes. Dacosta’s style is all about pushing boundaries. He and his team push flavors, concept and technique to the very limits of what is possible, finding individual nuances in each. What results is a culinary language that is unmistakably the mark of a chef at the top of his game. WG November 2017 -

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QUIQUE DACOSTA

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PEAR WILLIAMS


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MARTIN KLEIN AND QUIQUE DACOSTA IN IKARUS KITCHEN

TOMMY EDER-DANANIC, MARTIN KLEIN, ECKART WITZIGMANN, QUIQUE DACOSTA AND JÖRG BRUCH

The self-taught chef’s menus consist of upwards of 30 dishes, delicate masterpieces that represent the diversity of the different regions of Spain. Culture, tradition, flavor and story-telling are all brought together to form his minimalist dishes. And his philosophy has remained the same for more than 15 years: high-quality produce, perfect craftsmanship and respect for nature. This has given birth to creations such as tea of mantis shrimp and leaves of artichoke from Vega Baja, and langoustines on the grill, green curry avocado and corn. But named as one of Spain’s 25 most elegant men, Dacosta’s fame extends beyond the walls of his kitchen. Visitors to the Valencia Museum of Illustration and Modernity in 2015 were able to experience a very special exhibition, as Dacosta had depicted there the long road he had taken to find his contemporary, Mediterranean style. Not to mention his long-established career as a popular author, with five books to his name. Those who wish to experience this Renaissance man in his element will get their chance when Quique Dacosta shows the Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg’s Hangar-7 what he can do in November 2017.

TOMMY EDER-DANANIC AND QUIQUE DACOSTA

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

MEMBERS OF SAN SEBASTIAN GASTRONOMIKA - EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY TECHNICAL COMMITTEE WITH GRUPO GSR PRESIDENT ROSER TORRAS

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA TEXT GEETA BANSAL PHOTO © MAJELLA O’CONNEL

ne of the world’s most prestigious and well known culinary congresses the San Sebastian Gastronomika returned once again to the Basque Country of Spain at the Kursaal Palace in October of 2017 for its 19th edition. Grupo GSR president Roser Torras took over the reigns of the decade long Le Mejor de Gastronomika event in 2009 and has since established the Gastronomika as an elite international assemblage of the stars of gastronomy. Overseen by a technical committee led by Torres and accompanied by the regions acclaimed chefs Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijiana, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Eneko Atxa, Josean Alija, Hilario Arbelaitz and Martin Berasategui the four day event took place from the 9th to the 11th of October. A highlight of this year’s edition was a tribute to acclaimed French chef Michel Bras for his contribution to the world of cuisine. The legendary chef from the Aubrey region of France has strong ties with his peers in the region as well as the Basque Culinary Center, the world’s leading gastronomic academic institution, where he is on The Basque Culinary World Prize committee. This year’s Gueridon de Oreo award was awarded to Hotel de Ville, Lausanne, Switzerland’s Head Waiter Louis Villeneuve while English journalist Nick Lander of the Financial Times claimed the Pau Alborna I Torres Gastronomic Journalism award.

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GRUPO GSR PRESIDENT ROSER TORRAS, MANJIT S GILL AND INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO SPAIN MR VENKATESH VARMA

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The Kursaal housed in two large cubes emerging from a platform formed by a prismatic structure is a stunning Rafael Moneo designed complex. Within view of the Zuriola beach it is located at the confluence of the Bay of Biscay and the Urmea River that runs through the picturesque town. This year’s edition focused especially on India the invited country and it’s wealth of spices and regional cuisines. Sponsor El Diaro Vasco’s general manager David Martinez shared, ”India, which is practically a continent in terms of geographical size and a giant in terms of population is largely unknown in general by the rest of the world”. That was the reason that this year they had taken on the humongous task of bringing the best of Indian cuisine to the Gastronomika in order to bring new ideas to the gathering. The congress took on the full flavors of India evidenced by the director of the congress Roser Torre’s colorful Indian attire on stage for the three days of the event. Torres and her team traveled extensively through India to curate the special congress in order to provide an insight into exotic, organoleptic and historic cuisine of India. From the contemporary to the traditional and from the north to the south a whole gamut of diverse Indian cuisines were explored. In Torres’ words, “a dream finally fulfilled, India”. The Bollywood tunes and the melodies to which Indian ‘ Kathak’ dancers in their colorful attire spiraled onstage brought the house down and short of an elephant on stage definitely set the tone for what followed over the course of the event.


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INDIAN KATHAK DANCERS

INDIAN CHEFS WITH GEETA BANSAL

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

A TRIBUTE TO ACCLAIMED FRENCH CHEF MICHEL BRAS WITH THE SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA TECHNICAL COMMITTEE

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GEETA BANSAL TOASTING HER GLASS WITH MICHEL BRAS


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The congress was supported by the local government and institional bodies and their representatives. Bittor Oroz, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government, Denis Itxaso Counciller for Culture and Tourism and the Mayor of San Sebastián Eneko Goia Laso were on hand as well as the Indian Ambassador to Spain Mr Venkatesh Varma. The Embassy of India in cooperation with the local Basque government took the opportunity to organize a meeting with the food processing sector in the region to foster business between the two countries.

ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ

A new record 40 presentations with more than 60 chefs on stage included both Spanish heavy hitters and emerging talents. The Spanish presenters who drew full house included chefs Joan Roca, Martin Berasategui, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak , Andoni Aduriz, Carme Ruscalleda, Dani Garcia, Josean Alija, Eduard Xatruch and Oriol Castro, Albert Adria, Jordi Cruz, Nandu Jubani, Fina Puigdevall, Hilario Albelaitz, Pedro Subijiana, Nacho Manzana, Josep Roca, Ricard Camarena, Pepe Solla, Fran Lopez, Javier de las Muelas, Tono Perez, Fernanda Centelles, Jesus Sánchez, Alvaro Garrido, Safe Cruz, Pepe Solla, Diego Gallegos and Robert Ruiz. The international stars Mauro Colagreco, the Argentinian- French chef from Menton, France and Jose Avillez the Portuguese star chef dazzled the audiences with their onstage presence and an opportunity to live taste their creations. The beetroot baked in a salt crust with a cream and caviar sauce by Colagreco was one of the most popular tastes that made it out to the audience in the jam packed closing event. The very calm and composed Jose Avillez pulled out all the stops on his version of a Portuguese stew that even those who didn’t get a taste found delicious in the preparation and visuals. Spanish Dani Garcia’s witty presentation with audience members pulled on stage for impromptu tastings was a highlight of the last day. And who doesn’t love anchovies with truffle?.

JOAN ROCA

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

GEETA BANSAL AND CARME RUSCALLEDA

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Andoni Aduriz presence on stage is eagerly awaited by fans and peers for his energetic presence as well as the memorable visuals especially the journey into Chef Michel Bras world. Aduriz is a natural on stage and mesmerized the audience as usual with his futuristic outlook and projections most fantasizing about visiting his Mugaritz restaurant. The father daughter team of Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak received a warm welcome by their fans from their home base while their demonstration on stage as well as the amusing chocolate frogs’ passed out for tasting gave a glimpse into the tongue in cheek humor at their three Michelin starred Arzak temple of haute cuisine. Joan Roca from three Michelin starred El Celler de Can Roca film clip and the multiple dishes demonstrated in thirty minute allowed a peek into the essence of his cuisine which placed him at #2 on this year’s Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list. Carme Ruscalleda the only woman in the world to hold seven Michelin stars focused on the intriguing question; what does the cosmos tasted of?. Her pictorials are an added bonus allowing a glimpse into the artistic world of this self-taught chef. Ruscalleda’s Red Planet dish with strawberries, tomato, basil and chia seeds was a hit with the audience. Joxe Mari Aizega the Director of the Basque Culinary Center and lecturer Diego Prado presented the findings of their investigation of wild herbs at the BC Culinary Lab in the quest for new techniques and products. This research at the BCC has produced the Manual of Wild Plants, a catalogue and their use in the modern kitchen, an important organizational tool for cooks.


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ELENA AND JAUN MARI ARZAK

MAURO COLAGRECO

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

ALBERT ADRIA AND THE ELBARRI TEAM

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MARTÍN BERASATEGUI


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FINA PUIGDEVALL

The Chefs from Disfrutar in Barcelona, formerly at the famed El Bulli, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch rocked their live presentation with their gilded mackerel enabling a peek into the creative process that earned them the “Miele One To Watch” award in 2017. Albert Adria brought his six chefs and creative team from Enigma Concept, Tickets, Nino Viejo, Hoja Santa, Pakta , and Bodega 1900 on stage in an unique presentation showcasing his multilateral business formula. The auditorium was bursting at the seams for this low key chef with a rockstar status around the world and the unique exchange and live cooking with his chefs. Chef Martin Bersategui the Spanish superstar with eight Michelin stars of which three each are held by Larte in Oria and Lasarte in Barcelona showcased his alchemy of complexity that shines in his elegant cuisine. A choral discussion on service and the dining room took on the topic of service, an often overlooked facet of the hospitality industry which is an intrinsic part of a diner’s experience. Chef Fina Puigdevall brought her zero kilometer and sustainable outlook from her two Michelin starred Les Cols in Olot on the outskirts of Girona. Hopefully next year there will be more female chefs demonstrating their cooking acumen on stage over just a token presence.

PEDRO SUBIJANA

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

GEETA BANSAL AND MANISH MEHROTRA

The spice to the affair was added by the presence of Indian chefs from the home country as well as those cooking around the world. The lineup of fourteen Indian chefs included Srijith Gopinathan (USA), Sriram Aylur, Vineet Bhatia(UK), Gaggan Anand(Thailand) and from India J.P Singh, Gulam Quereshi, Varun Mohan, Manish Mehrotra, Praveen Anand, Manjit Gill, Saurabh Udinia and

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Thomas Zacharias. Indian chef Sriram Aylur’s succint presentation, demonstration and a taste of his mouthwatering South Indian flavors impressed those who got a taste of the curry leaf and lentil crusted fish. He is the only Indian chef serving this regional cuisine to hold a Michelin star at his Quilon restaurant in London. The starred chef Srijith Gopinathan from Campton Place took a temporary mechanical failure in stride and made instant fans in the audience for his good humor. Chef Manish Mehrotra from Indian Accent shared his contemporary fusion version of the Indian kitchen with a version of ‘chaat’ the most popular Indian street food a dish that resonated a many other chefs presentations over the three days. The vegetarian cuisine of Varun Mohan from Royal Vega in Chennai was what many in the audience connected with Indian cuisine. The crispy asparagus dish with raisins and almonds had the culinary students asking if it was a popular vegetable in India! The desi ghee (clarified butter), dhania (coriander powder) bandied about by the Indian chefs gave the Spanish translators a run for their money as they scrambled to find the appropriate terminology during the live demos. Chefs Gulam Quereshi from Bukhara, New Delhi and J.P Singh demonstrated the traditional Indian Mughlai cuisine in Biryani and chicken kebab dishes while chef Gaggan Anand from Bangkok shared his version of progressive Indian cuisine. Chef Manjit Gill from Delhi shared secrets of ancient Indian kitchens while the chef of the former VBL restaurant in London veered towards fusion. Two young Indian chefs Thomas Zacharias from Bombay Canteen in Mumbai and Saurabh Udinia from Masala Library in Delhi brought the audiences up to date on the contemporary plating styles and progression of regional cuisines in their respective metropolis. At the other end of the spectrum chef corporate chef Praveen Anand from Dakshin restaurant who has assiduously researched the cuisines and history of South Indian communities shared his hands on take take on the specialized dishes.


WG MAGAZINE

SAURABH UDINIA

SRIJITH GOPINATHAN

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SAN SEBASTIÁN GASTRONOMIKA

L’HUITRE DE L’ÉTANG DE THAU_FENOUIL AU VINAIGRE PHOTO © RICHARD HAUGHTON

VARUN MOHAN

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JP SINGH

GULAM M QURESHI


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THOMAS ZACHARIAS

The massive Kursaal complex with it’s great auditorium, multiple meeting halls and exhibition spaces were the site of the diverse programme which was divided into four sections. The ALTA, a gathering of elite chefs from Spain and around the world, the OFF which brought together wine aficionados, workshops and cooking sessions. The section POPULAR introduced the attendees to the street food flavors of India, the highlighted country at this edition. Indian chefs J.P Singh, Varun Mohan and Ivan Surinder also shared their recipes and flavors in the chambers of the complex during free entry day the day before the opening. Gastronomika opens it’s doors every year to the local residents and food enthusiasts in the area allowing them to participate in one of the biggest happenings in the city and its popularity is evidenced by the lines of people snaking around the block. The enticing flavors of Indian spices wafted around the Kursaal entrance porch allowing visitors to sample the exotic cuisine. The MARKET brought together exhibitors from all over the map providing an insight into upcoming trends and technologies for interested culinary professionals as well as tastings for the curious. As the last notes of the Bollywood music died away and the clearing operations picked up momentum there was already talk of the next edition which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of this popular food event. No rest for the weary as the organizers are already back at the drawing board after a job well done for a congress that brings together ideas, visions, chefs , gastronomes and culinary professionals from five continents. The curious are probably looking up the glossary of Indian spices and planning on bringing some of the flavors from the mystical cuisine into their kitchens. Bravo San Sebastián Gastronomika and Roser Torres.

SRIRAM AYLUR

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SØREN SELIN

he two Michelin starred Restaurant AOC helmed by Chef Søren Selin is uniquely housed in the cellar of a 17th century building. Just a short walk from Copenhagen’s historic Nyan canal waterfront diners step down into the basement of an unexpectedly serene space. The minimalistic decor with whitewashed walls and vaulted ceilings of the interior provide a perfect backdrop for chef Selin’s beautifully plated dishes. The expert wine pairings by co-owner Christian Aarø, the champion sommelier and consummate host elevate the experience to yet another level. Aarø invited Chef Selin and his imaginative cuisine on board in the spring of 2013 after the departure of head chef Ronny Emborg.

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SØREN SELIN FLAVOR TRUMPS PRESENTATION. ALWAYS! TEXT GEETA BANSAL PHOTO © CLAES BECH-POULSEN

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Selin brought to the table his cuisine rooted in Danish ingredients as well as the expertise acquired over time at restaurants such as the Michelin starred Le Relais Louis XIII and Jules Verne in Paris, as well as the Alberto K in Copenhagen’s Hotel Royal. On leaving his Executive Chef position after four years at the post, Selin asked his then sous chef Jakob Bar Mogensen (now owner of Leckerbaer) to join him and Aarø to create a new culinary hotspot in the city. Now while the kitchen sends out remarkable food, Aarø expertly puts guests at ease with his attentive service team and encyclopedic knowledge on all matters relating to wine. The dining room at Restaurant AOC attracts more local guests than usually seen at the other Michelin starred restaurants in the city, and many appear to be frequent and repeat customers.


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PHOTO © SIGNE BIRCK

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SØREN SELIN

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BAKED ONION WITH CAVIAR AND ELDERFLOWER


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Selin’s kitchen is focused on artistically plated food as he believes it magnifies the flavors and allows for an enhanced exploration of the senses leading to an exceptional dining experience. Extensively traveled and well-versed in various cuisines. The soft-spoken articulate young chef, while restrained in extolling the virtues of his own kitchen, is very generous with giving credit to other chefs such as Rene Redzepi of Noma for shining the spotlight on Nordic cuisine and the region as a whole. Familiar with the history of the food culture of his region, he shared his insight in an interesting conversation about the various aspects of his work: Copenhagen food halls and markets display a variety of ethnic food options these days. Are these cuisines becoming part of the local food culture?

AOC RESTAURANT PHOTO Š SIGNE BIRCK

I think because Denmark is such a small country we have been looking towards other countries for many years especially since the eighties. Initially it was Spain, Italy, and France, and then in the nineties Thai and Middle Eastern cuisines came into the mix. Then came this fusion cooking trend and it seemed incredible that you could combine this different flavors and herbs etc. It made a lot of sense back then but now it seems more interesting to focus just on one specific region and what it has to offer and that is what a lot of chefs are doing here especially in high end restaurants. This is authentic cuisine of the region. WG November 2017 -

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In your cuisine references to other cuisines and techniques unlike in most prominent restaurants around the world are not so apparent. Is this a conscious choice? For the past few years I don’t really follow a dogma but just do what feels right to me or is interesting to me. It would feel a little off for me to deliberately include these influences but who knows, maybe in two weeks I would feel differently. For me it would be more about the techniques than the ingredients. Maybe I will be more interested in old techniques from these cultures for making bread or dessert. Looking back over the years, has your cuisine changed or shifted focus? Definitely! I feel when you get older as a chef or person you become more rounded and I feel this applies to food as well. Right now people really like comfort food that tastes really nice and is not complicated. Simple dishes are more difficult to get on a plate such as the whole onion we are serving now to which we add another element with table side service. If we send it out of the kitchen pre-plated it may look too simple and the guest’s reaction will not be the same. Why do you tend to have a lot of interactive elements on your plates? BRIOCHE WITH CHEESE AND HAZELNUT AND FRESH CHEESE WITH FERMENTED RADISH AND NASTURTIUM FLOWER

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When you sit down for a meal that takes three to four hours it is nice to be a participant and so it doesn’t get boring. If all twenty courses required the diners to do something it would be too much so you have to keep a balance in involving diners. The table side service is very French and it is nice to recreate it and let the guest in on what we do the kitchen.


WG MAGAZINE

PANCAKE WITH TARTAR AND CONDIMENTS

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ENORME LANGOUSTINE GRILLÉE, LÉGÈREMENT PIMENTÉE ET NAVET EN FILET


WG MAGAZINE

There are some striking dishes and flavors on your menu that are unique to your style. What inspires these dishes? It is important to me that even if I am influenced by what other chefs are doing to create an experience at my restaurant that is unique. It should be different and something new, something either I or other people have never made before. I know it’s hard to say but I know myself when I take something that I have seen or tasted before and then do not use it in my work. I get the most pleasure when I can honestly say to myself that this is my own idea and, I worked on it to make a great dish. Has the second Michelin star changed the way you prepare or present food in your restaurant?

PHOTO © SIGNE BIRCK

I set high standards for myself anyway and I don’t know if that is a positive or negative thing. Of course people have higher expectations when they come to a two star but I think that the pressure you put on yourself is your choice. If you consider only pressure from outside then you can get comfortable instead of reaching for the next level of exploration. Still in all honesty I have to say that when I am thinking of new dishes now I am more careful. WG November 2017 -

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The Michelin and a spot on the 50 Best Restaurants list have become the barometers of a chef’s prowess and a restaurants success these days. Is such recognition beneficial for the personal growth of a chef? It all depends on the chef and how he copes with it. Some people can’t take that pressure and while others can become too arrogant but time will tell. What do you do when you have these dreams and goals within yourself? And then when you reach them then you have to have new ones to fulfill. Marco Pierre White wrote about how he lost interest once he got the three Michelin stars, so that can happen too.

OWNER AND SOMMELIER CHRISTIAN AARØ PHOTO © SIGNE BIRCK

Memories about food are a part of chef’s interpretations of cuisine and their personal stories. Is food that you eat growing up a major influence on your palate or in your work? I didn’t grow up in a very gourmet household but I always loved to eat and looking back I feel it was good to have that appetite and that curiosity. If you want to be a chef you must love food but I wouldn’t say it formed me in any definite way.

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GREEN TEA AND BOUQUET OF GREEN HERBS

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WHOLE ROAST PIGEON WITH BEETS, SMOKED MARROW AND WOOD SORREL


WG MAGAZINE

Is more natural cooking replacing the molecular gastronomy that was popular a few years ago? I never really jumped fully on board with the molecular gastronomy. I was in a restaurant at that time where we didn’t have all the technical machines though I was curious about it and did gain knowledge about it. Now what you see is the reaction to that phase when people were manipulating things to make them look like something else whereas now we make things that look like the real product. Chefs are visible in the dining rooms. Do the customers expect this especially from celebrity chefs? GOOD ADVICE WITH SCALLOPS, OXALIS AND VENDACE ROE

I think they want to see the chefs but there are different types of chefs, some who are more comfortable staying in the kitchen while others are out going. It is a very intimate thing for a chef to meet someone experiencing his food. You never know if they like it or not and while some chefs are shy others love the attention. WG November 2017 -

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Where did you spend your formative years in this industry? I spent four years at culinary school in Denmark and while there I worked in a hotel and it was a hands-on training. It is hard to say what is a good place to be an apprentice, usually people want to go to a Michelin starred place and odds are that maybe you won’t get to do much there. I was hungry to learn when I started and I did have a rough time but got through it. Unless you actually go somewhere you can’t say if it’s good for you or not, maybe the food is good but maybe you might end up just picking a lot of herbs! Since you spent time in top restaurants in Paris, has your kitchen been influenced by the classic French style?

LANGOUSTINE WITH GRILLED GREENS

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I admire the French classic cooking and here in Copenhagen a lot of chefs have been rebelling against that. It is all part of trying to become yourself, but I am one of the chefs really holding on to that classic training and style. It’s always been an important base for me throughout the years as it helps to have a good balance in your food and flavors. If you are not using classic techniques in stock based sauces then you are missing out on good flavor and at the end of the day it’s all about giving as much good flavor to the dish as possible. When I say good flavor I am referring to old school good flavor.


WG MAGAZINE

SQUID AND LARDO WITH WILD ONION AND FERMENTED PARSNIP

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VEAL SWEETBREAD WITH WILD MUSHROOMS AND FRIED CORN THREADS


WG MAGAZINE

So for you flavor trumps presentation? Absolutely and lately I have been thinking about why presentation is so important for me and I find that when you find an interesting way to present a dish to the guest is when you actually allow them to have a richer experience. If you see something that you have experienced a hundred times before it is not that exciting and I feel you need to wake people up to a novel experience and that for me justifies the time I spend on preparation. You can be very avant-garde but not everyone needs to be challenged when they come to a restaurant. I feel it’s important to remember that and maybe that is why my menu is not as edgy as other restaurants but I am willing to sacrifice that and serve delicious food. Where did you have your best food experience on your travels and with globalization and trends is there still any authentic cuisine out there?

AOC RESTAURANT PHOTO Š SIGNE BIRCK

Whenever I travel to another country I am on the lookout for an authentic food experience and I can say that for example at this taqueria named Los Parados in Baja as well as at some great places in Monterey authentic Mexican food still exists. When I was traveling in Southeast Asia I was searching for that kind of cuisine just as most people still do and in most cases it is the street food that is still authentic to a place. It does exist though and what we are doing in the Nordic countries by bringing back old food and traditions, wild herbs etc. that were used hundreds of years ago is helping maintain our authenticity. WG November 2017 -

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Is the recent trend of looking backwards at food ingredients or techniques a major shift in the way we are now looking at or treating food all over the world? I think it all started with Nordic food wave and other cultures and regions have picked this up to express themselves and their food, especially in the high gastronomy restaurants. It does have a lot to do with trends but a lot of interesting things are following in the wake of these changes. In South America and even North America a lot of things look remarkably like what is coming out of the Nordic region, maybe some copying is going on. At the same time it has generated interest in old ingredients and ancient cooking techniques from their own region and as a result they have started using their own unique products. Where do you see yourself ten years from now? Maybe we will have expanded into more restaurants and it could even be overseas if it’s a good situation. If it’s the case I would choose some place warm (laughing). GREEN JUNIPER BERRIES AND PEAR

What makes the cook in you smile? I am quite a happy cook anyway but I am happiest when I feel I have successfully created a great dish new dish it’s the most rewarding feeling. Anyway I get good ideas when I am in a happy frame of mind.

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NORDIC VANILLA, DRIED APPLES WITH WALNUT MARZIPAN AND POTTED BREAD

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Text Hangar-7 Photo © Helge Kirchberger Photography / Red Bull Hangar-7


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NICOLAI NØRREGAARD

THE ISLAND ON A PLATE

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rom beech tree forests to urban jungles. From fishing villages to hipster districts: Nicolai Nørregaard leaps effortlessly between worlds. Despite this, the self-made chef always knows exactly where his home is – a small island in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

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This young Dane’s home is called Bornholm, and to taste one of his compositions is to get a taste of the island itself. For Nørregaard, the rugged island is both a pantry and a meditative retreat – the place where he grounds himself and his cooking while foraging for herbs and mushrooms through the forests, coasts and meadows. No wonder, then, that the first Kadeau location sprang up on Bornholm, and just as unsurprising is its location between the coast and a forest, as the fresh ingredients are grown literally next to the kitchen itself. Since 2011, gourmet enthusiasts have been spared the 97-nautical-mile journey out to Bornholm from Copenhagen, as Kadeau opened another location in the Danish capital. And while Kadeau may call one of the hippest corners of Copenhagen its home, it is still firmly routed in the island which lies 180 kilometers offshore.

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ECKART WITZIGMANN AND NICOLAI NØRREGAARD

ECKART WITZIGMANN, NICOLAI NØRREGAARD AND MARTIN KLEIN

But how does this island cookery taste? As fresh as the air the islanders breathe. The absolute regionality and freshness of the ingredients is represented in the colors which Nørregaard uses to paint little masterpieces on the plate. Works of art such as cockles with fermented wheat grains and sea urchins, or celeriac with caviar, wood ants and woodruff. Bornholm may offer its cooks a cornucopia of meats, fish, berries, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms, but the harvest season is short and the winter is unforgiving. This adversity has proven the mother of invention. Where nature offers up its treasures, Nørregaard uses them to the fullest, preserving the special delicacy of his harvest. Marinating, drying, salting, pulping, pickling – he has mastered many techniques for bringing the aromas of his home to the plates of his guests even through the winter months.

MARTIN KLEIN AND NICOLAI NØRREGAARD

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Nørregaard had always had a knack for making his guests feel at home – even long before he became a chef. In 2007, a young Nørregaard returned home from Copenhagen and decided to turn his passion into a career and make Bornholm the centre of his world. And so the first Kadeau came to be. But it was not long before the Bornholmnative felt the pull back to the mainland and the result of this wanderlust was Kadeau Copenhagen, which was promptly awarded a Michelin star in 2013 and which Nørregaard’s cooking has retained ever since. The second star followed in 2016, this time for Kadeau on Bornholm, proving that the self-taught chef knows exactly what he is doing. WG November 2017 -

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11 HOUR BRUNCH

COLIN CLAGUE RÜYA

ALFREDO RUSSO DOLCE STIL NOVO, ITALY

REIF OTHMAN THE EXPERIENCE & PLAY

JAMES KNIGHT-PACHECO VIDA DOWNTOWN

CRISTINA MENNAH TOP CHEF COOKING STUDIO

YIANNIS KATSIKAS - SHIMMERS MINA A’SALAM, MADINAT JUMEIRAH

THE BEST CHEFS OF DUBA

ILIAS KOKOROSKOS MYTHOS

TIM NEWTON BAGATELLE

AZIRI BIN ISHAK - LATITUDE JUMEIRAH BEACH HOTEL

GEORGES NAJM - KHAYMAT AL BAHAR AL QASAR HOTEL,MADINAT JUMEIRAH - WG November 2017

PRADEEP KHULLAR MINT LEAF OF LONDON

DENIS BELYAEV SUVOROFF

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THIBAUT BERTIN TOP CHEF COOKING STUDIO

THORSTEN KILLAN - AL MUNTAHA BURJ AL ARAB JUMEIRAH

RYAN WADDELL - THE CLUB HOUSE JEBEL ALI RECREATION CLUB

ANDREA RUSSO VIVALDI BY ALFREDO RUSSO

POPPY KOURKOUTAKI - ELIA MAJESTIC HOTEL TOWER

FRANCESCO GUARRACINO ROBERTO’S

AI WITH ALFREDO RUSSO

GILLES BOSQUET LA CANTINE DU FAUBOURG

SHAHADAT HOSSAIN - ALTA BADIA JUMEIRAH EMIRATES TOWERS

ADHI PRAMONO THE EXPERIENCE & PLAY

FEDERICO TERESI SIMPLY ITALIAN BY HEINZ BECK

JOHN BUENAVENTURA CUISINERO UNO

ALBERT RAVEN LA PETIT BELGE

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t is the first time that we are arranging an event like this.

It is a huge pleasure for me to share this amazing and exciting experience with professional chefs like you, the best chefs based in Dubai. The idea to create this event was born during a conversation with my friend Flavel, as a joke. The concept to create this brunch was based on the number of the calendar 24 of November as it is the only Friday available during my visit in Dubai. So we thought to put together 24 Chefs, not Starred Chefs considering we are during the Italian week Summit, but we want to arrange something that we the chefs are living and feeling the vibes of Dubai on daily basis! 11 hours because it’s the 11th month of the year!! The concept of this event is to deliver the best brunch experience to the all the expats living in Dubai, giving them the chance without taking a taxi to try 24 signatures in just one location. Everything has been considered in order to make our guest happy. There will be different packages, 4 hours brunch and all day brunch. For those who will decide to enjoy the all day brunch, we will arrange a relaxing stay by the swimming pool of Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers where a special bar will accommodate our guest request. The mission to arrange this special event is to support the kids affected by cancer for Al Jalila Foundation. Al Jalila Foundation is a global philanthropic organization founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research. A special thanks goes to our sponsors which made all this possible. I strongly believe that our brunch will have a fantastic feedback from young to older people because when it comes to food there is not age no gender. Looking forward to meet with you all on this special day and arrange many more in the future……because together we are better . Alfredo Russo

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WG MAGAZINE

will see a blend of 23 of The Best Chefs of Dubai with Alfredo Russo. Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo will be the stage of this 11 hour culinary experience which is brought by Michelin Star Chef Alfredo Russo, WG Magazines and Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers. Benefiting the Al Jalila Foundation, all culinary proceeds will be donated to the Al Jalila Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

24/11

“Since its inception in 1978, Sheraton Dubai Creek has been at the heart of Dubai’s growth, overlooking its development from its unique position at the Creek. We are very excited to continue playing a central role in the city’s gastronomic landscape and celebrate the great talent we have in the context of giving back to the community through our partnership with the Al Jalila Foundation“ adds Mr. Hector Rodriguez Ladeveze, Hotel Manager, Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers. The 11 Hour Brunch is a collective of the best chefs of Dubai, guests will be able to savor signature dishes from these award winning chefs and restaurants, including Reif Othman, Colin Clague, Tim Newton, James Knight-Pacheco, Pradeep Khullar, Gilles Bosquet, Thorsten Killan from Al Muntaha - Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and other wellknown faces of Dubai. “This 11 Hour Brunch is a feast for the palate, a special culinary experience that showcases the perfect mix of culture that makes the gastronomy in Dubai so special. I like to thank all the chefs and especially Chef Uwe Faust, Group Culinary Director, Jumeirah Group for his kind support, and all the sponsors” adds Fabian deCastro, Managing Director/Editor, WG Magazines. In association with Bragard, Lavazza, Food Source International, Italtouch, MonViso, Jazz Furniture Factory, Casinetto, Safco, répertoireculinaire, Paoletti, Tarall’Oro and My Quality and Convenience.

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orn in Turin, at the age of 13, Alfredo Russo found his culinary passion, “I was a very young boy and there is a funny story behind this because nobody in my family was involved in a restaurant or a hotel. My father was in Engineering and my mother was a teacher, completely different jobs. One day, I said, I want to become a chef and they asked me, “Chef? Why? Yes I like to be a chef, because there were three options which I had, to be a chef or a tailor or a carpenter. Three jobs with creativity, and in the end I chose to cook. It was strange because my family was not happy about this decision of mine. My parents agreed and told me go to the restaurant to clean and wash the pots and dishes because the goal was to just demoralize me” adds Alfredo Russo.

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ALFREDO RUSSO DOLCE STIL NOVO

Determined to be a chef… “It wasn’t easy because when I went to this very busy restaurant, everyday there was a lot of plates to wash, but I saw how the kitchen works, how the chefs cook and for me this was what I wanted to do. After this experience, they asked me if I had enough and wanted to leave and join my father as my father had a company that sells Engineering stuff, I said no. After school, I worked for few restaurants and some of them were Michelin star restaurants.” At 19, I was a little bit confident, I said, now, I am ready to be chef. 19 years old and restaurant owners did not give me much responsibility or the opportunity, so since nobody will give me the opportunity, I decided that I will open my own restaurant. I opened my first restaurant when I was 20, my family said ok, but we don’t give you the money, this is yours so I said ok. I bought a space with a small kitchen and with no money, I started to cook and every night, there was a line outside coming to eat. Two years later, Michelin gave me our first star. And after this we moved in to another restaurant, bigger, we bought it out. WG November 2017 -

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In 2008, the government gave Alfredo the opportunity to work inside the Royal Palace. It is called Reggia di Venaria Reale (the Palace of Venaria) near Turin, it was unbelievable and he said yes, it was an unbelievable place, it’s very fantastic, with a big kitchen, big staff and this is the part of job. In 2004, he started to work as a consultancy, a different branch of his business – restaurants and consultancy. Working with Starwood for more or less 10 years as a consultant for all their Italian restaurant concepts, Alfredo opened several restaurants in Japan, Thailand, and other places. In Dubai, with Sheraton and started Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo. The Franklin by Alfredo Russo in London which is very similar to his restaurant Dolce Stil Novo alla Reggia in Turin, Italy, the other restaurants are casual or bistros and in Mexico, a bakery and Trattoria. Alfredo’s cuisine is founded on absolute respect for the Italian and Piedmontese regional traditions, combined with a constant search and wish for innovation. The outcome is an original creative style – his dishes evoke a sort of collective memory of taste, reinventing, amusing and surprising dishes where absolute purity of taste always stands out, emerging from a play of textures and consistencies as well as unexpected interpretations. Just like he does with ‘pasta in bianco’ – a lasagna made of three sheets of pastry alternated with a mousse of Parmigiano reggiano cheese with three different ageing times – 12, 24 and 36 months. Here the playful side is conveyed by the different degrees of taste lightness and intensity of the three Parmesan creams, ‘a crescendo – says Russo – purposely created to taste the various shades of a product ‘tone on tone’.

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However, besides creativity, flavours are always authentic: each dish is elaborated starting from an idea – ‘From an Idea’ is the title of the first book by the chef – on which he then works until he achieves his final result which is always the outcome of a subtraction rather than too many additions. Indeed, the notion that ‘it is difficult to do easy things’ is precisely the leit motiv of Alfredo Russo’s philosophy, who explains that ‘what remains is style, not fashions. The Dolce Stil Novo’s cuisine reflects our way of being, of thinking. It is truthful, concrete, real, and vital’. Such vitality also reveals itself in Alfredo’s menu, based on the seasons of the year but also on a simultaneously ‘moving’ offer which changes and varies even on a daily basis, according to freshness of raw materials available. A concrete and simple cuisine aiming at the essence, an art of cooking which gives back to the guest dishes that are not artificial or too elaborated, but rather rich in noble flavours of our land. At Dolce Stil Novo’s, Italian and regional cuisines have a place of honour – with a predominance of the Piedmontese territory cuisine, that revives and renews its flavours and traditions in the recipe of veal with tuna sauce, presented by the chef inside a transparent plexiglas box, or in the recipes of stewed fassone or veal tongue with an emulsion of green sauce. WG November 2017 -

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The continuous and unwearyingly search for purity of taste pursued by Alfredo Russo with absolute rigor, lives together with a playful spirit which is pointed out by a surprising mix of textures, shapes and consistencies of each single dish, and by a new tasting menu. Alfredo’s carte blanche is a gastronomic route of seven or nine courses which is made to measure and which is always different from the previous one. At Dolce Stil Novo’s the offer constantly varies, owing to the introduction of dishes that change on a daily basis depending on freshness and quality of produce. Alfredo Russo’s adventures into the world has taught him about cuisine and learnt to revolutionize with his creations and dishes which qualified him as the best young cook in 2004 according to the Espresso Guide and over the last few years his professionalism has won him acknowledgements at a national and international level. Over the years Alfredo has taken care of various events – important soirees such as the one given for the International Olympic Committee for Turin’s candidacy as the seat of the Winter Olympic Games in 2006, and the one at the UNESCO seat in Paris for the presentation of Turin and Rome. Together with top Piedmontese chef he managed the whole gastronomic offer of food & wine, the hospitality area of the Piedmont Region during the Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006; and again together with these colleagues in 2007, he was also at the UN Glass Palace to introduce UN ambassadors and delegates to Piedmontese cooking and high cuisine.

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REIF OTHMAN THE EXPERIENCE BY REIF OTHMAN PLAY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

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PHOTO © VICTORIA SHASHIRIN


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REIF OTHMAN

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eif Othman with The Experience and PLAY has caused quite a stir in Dubai, transforming the culinary landscape of Dubai and the U.A.E. With an outstanding culinary career, Reif is currently one of the most sought after chefs, gaining a global recognition and a celebrity status. With his recent winning this November the 2017 ProChef ME Awards – Innovation Chef of the Year and Pan Asian Speciality Chef of the Year.

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Reif adds “You know how the feeling is when you are young and learn to ride a bike, you have your mum or dad cheering you and the pride you have in learning to ride the bike after falling off the bike numerous times. That’s exactly how I feel. When I set out to do something, I pursue it diligently and after the end of the day when my hard work pays off that in itself is most rewarding. Most of all, winning all these awards is greatly accredited to my team. It is such a morale booster for all those long hours in the kitchen, not seeing daylight and the lack of a social life. They feel proud of where they work and who they work for. Their time and commitment, and I am very blessed to have a team that has lots of energy.

RISOTTO BARREL

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As an ambassador and being the first Asian to be inducted into the Bord Bia Chef’s Irish Beef Club was a wonderful surprise for Reif. On the other hand winning the 2016 Restaurant Of The Year was the icing on the cake. “PLAY had only been operational for 12 months and we bagged the most coveted award on the night. It is a great achievement and it goes to show that when you are focused at what you do and have got the best team (both front and back of house) any chef can work with you who shares the same vision as you, well you are already a winner. We have guests that come back again and again and every time they come back they expect the same level of consistency – taste, presentations and right up to the service” adds Reif. Reif recounts his early experiences in the kitchen, “I first started cooking at the age of 14, helping my mom in the kitchen. I would cut and wash the vegetables, for lunch or dinner, I would make the pastry and do the baking. My first kitchen experience was with my mom, in her food stall, preparing our traditional Javanese cuisine (a mix of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine).” Later he went on to learn with Violet Oon, a Singaporean chef doing Peranakan cuisine. Reif recalls Violet Oon mentoring him and saw the potential he had which gave him the drive to be where he is right now.

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PITA SURPRISE

PEI TEE

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SNAILS IN THE GARDEN

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MINCED O’TORO IN A LIGHT AND CRISPY RICE CRACKER TOPPING WITH CAVIAR


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Reif began gaining international recognition for his culinary talents in 2007 when working with One Rochester Group in Singapore as Group Executive Chef for some of the city’s top restaurants and hotels. In 2009, Reif joined the Zuma Dubai team as Executive Chef and quickly moved up the ladder as he displayed extensive talent being both creative and disciplined in the kitchen, finding inspiration in all types of cuisines. His culinary excellence helped establish Zuma as one of the most renowned restaurants in Dubai. Winning awards is not new for Reif, a disciplined kitchen and his creative inspirations, Reif stirred Zuma Dubai for four consecutive years on the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants. “Then it was the biggest achievement for me, the hard work and my dedication to Zuma which paid off. Consistency was the key to this success” adds Reif. In 2015, Reif moved on from this role as Regional Executive Chef at Zuma - Dubai and Abu Dhabi, for the opportunity to propel his culinary career to new heights as the Director of Culinary at R.A.W. Galadari Holdings & Absolute F&B Facilities Management. Reif’s culinary creations are without limits, he takes his guest on a sensory expedition and gastronomic journey through a perfectly balanced one-of-akind cuisine. A concoction of exquisite flavours that fuse East and West - based on techniques, fine ingredients composed of the freshest produce with an impeccable balance with his Meditterasian concept. WG November 2017 -

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“When you dine there’s always some ginger, some lemon grass. Some people are doing French restaurants but with an Asian influence, so French Asian looks sounds funny, Japanese Asian sounds funny. Since I use a lot of seafood which comes from the Mediterranean and being Asian, and use a lot of Japanese and Asian products. So decided why not combine the two “Meditterasian”, it sounds a bit funny, kinky and question mark, so let’s make people wonder, taste the combination and the best is to come to PLAY and the food speaks for its self” adds Reif. A self-motivator who pushes himself to achieve more. With a lot of competition in this region, where everyone wants a piece of the pie, Reif brings something more and different to the table, showing that he can do much more than just cook a piece of steak and plate it. His simplicity, passion and moving away from the conventional ways of doing things and reinventing the wheel. Being creative and drawing inspirations from around the world.

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REIF’S STUVIA CAVIAR

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REIF OTHMAN

With much success at PLAY, in 2016, Reif launched his most intimate creation – ‘The Experience’, where he unleashed his captivating, and mind-blowing culinary experience to Dubai’s elite. The revolutionary concept which takes a fresh look on the traditional chef’s table. The exclusive setting seats 12 and stepping into this space, one feels like they are transcended to someone’s magnificent living room. The bespoke menu is tailor made to suit the appetite, giving them an interactive experience with the chef and the food; bringing forth an engaging atmosphere, which results in a one-of-akind dining extravaganza. The Experience is a culinary ingenuity, flavourful mystery, and magical tastes. Reif cooks and serves every dish himself, treating guests to a completely unique and customized dining experience. He guides you on an unforgettable journey, through endless delectable dishes, overflowing exceptional entrées and innovative ingredients fused to perfection through his unique cooking style.

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THORSTEN KILLAN

orn in Thailand, Thorsten who is of ThaiGerman origin, his culinary passion comes from his Thai mother and German grandmother, “Both of them like to cook together, so every day they create some new dishes for lunch, a mix between Europe and Asia and at this time I saw how creative you could be in the kitchen and I started to cook and learn from them.” Thorsten’s career as a chef, is an east-meets-west ethnicity, which has given him the exposure to various ingredients and cooking methods. A career journey that encompasses experiences gained in Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Portugal and the Middle East, Thorsten brings his exotic epicurean creations to Al Muntaha, Burj Al Arab - the world’s most luxurious hotel.

B THORSTEN KILLIAN AL MUNTAHA BURJ AL ARAB

A modern French cuisine that is inspired by creating a composition of flavours, Thorsten blends each dish with the best ingredients with innovation and style, resulting in a perfect harmony at this incredible location.

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THORSTEN KILLAN

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“It’s a part of experience over the years working with different kind of chefs who had different kind of cooking style all of them inspired me to find my own way of cooking. As a professional chef you learn what kind of combinations are working well together. And of course if I have some new ideas about flavour paring, I will cook them first and try them by myself with my team and if we think it’s good we will start to working on this dishes” adds Thorsten. A strong believer in good products, creativity and knowledge. “If I create a dish, I first have a good product that I want to work with then I start to get creative writing down ideas and then you need to have the knowledge to put your ideas on to the plate.” Inspired by Pierre Gagniere, Michel Bras and Thomas Keller, “all these great chefs with solid experience in the kitchen have gone beyond just cooking food to becoming creative innovators in this field. It is my passion for food and the platform to be creative day by day” adds Thorsten. WG November 2017 -

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COLIN CLAGUE

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nfluenced by his mother, Colin Clague’s upbringing on the Isle of Man fostered his culinary desire, growing up amazing food, the fish served came directly from the fisherman’s boat, however school was not what Colin wanted, he wanted to travel the world and wanted to cook. At sixteen he applied to join the Royal Navy as a chef but failed since he was too skinny, so he moved to London to star his culinary journey.

I COLIN CLAGUE RÜYA

Working and gaining experience with some of the well know chefs such as Anton Mosimann, Peter Langan, Gary Hollihead, and including Sir Terence Conran. Colin adds “Anton was an impeccable chef, very military like where everything is ticked off and the organization is phenomenon with him yet on the other hand Jean-Georges is totally the other way. You got more of the French passion with Jean-Georges and obviously, he is packed with a catalogue of amazing recipes which just flies out over the shelf. Working with Jean-Georges – he is very humble, he comes in and says let’s do lunch or let’s do dinner, you can see even now that JeanGeorges is as passionate today as he was probably 30-40 years ago. I mean the empire that he built is one testament of how amazing a chef he is. Not so many people have so many Michelin stars in so many different countries and I will definitely say he is one of the greatest chefs to maintain his three Michelin Stars for about 14 years in New York.” WG November 2017 -

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ZEYTINYAGLI AHTAPOT MARINATED GRILLED OCTOPUS, BLACK EYED BEANS & APPLE VINAIGRETTE

In 1999 Colin was part of the pre-opening team of the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai and then later on was the executive chef of the award winning Zuma - the Izakaya restaurant in London and Dubai with Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney. Colin then moved on to Caprice Holdings where he took charge of all the restaurants which included the opening of The Ivy at the Emirates Towers in Dubai. Later he was the Head Chef with Jean-Georges Dubai and the Middle Eastern restaurant - Q’bara. With a year’s break in Singapore, Colin took the position as executive chef at the Pollen with a dear friend and Michelin star chef Jason Atherton. Whether it be Japanese at Zuma, Middle Eastern at Qbara or Anatolian at Rüya, Colin’s culinary philosophy is based on historical cuisine, “A lot of travel and research is need to maintain the integrity, and the tradition of a dish, the knack is for locals of that country to recognise what the dish is, and to were you have taken it, some of the classic dishes I’ve done, have had very few changes, they are so perfect in their own right and it would be criminal to change them, presenting them in a different way, maybe lightening them, making them more appealing in some way, whilst maintaining the history and tradition, whilst also introducing new guests to the delights of those countries” adds Colin.

PAN FRIED SEABASS WITH ALMOND, SIMIT & SUMAC

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LAMB SHANK CLAY POT LAMB SHANK WITH BABY ONIONS AND HOMEMADE RED PEPPER PASTE

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COLIN CLAGUE

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KUYMAK SOFT CHEESE POLENTA WILD MUSHROOMS AND TRUFFLE BUTTER


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CITIR KALAMAR SIMIT COATED BABY SQUID AVOCADO HADARI & SPICY RED PEPPER DIP

Colin’s modern interpretation of Turkey’s cosmopolitan heritage, where he explores the quality, diversity and heritage of Anatolia with Rüya. During one of chef/restauranteur Umut Özkanca visits to Dubai, on his last day Umut and his father visited Q’bara. Having tasted the first dish, they went on to sample the entire menu. Rüya then became a reality when Umut Özkanca and Colin Clague joined hands to introduce the first contemporary Anatolian restaurant in Dubai and taking diners on a culinary journey through the food regions of Turkey - Mezes from Marmara, Pides from the Black Sea region, Olives from the Aegean Sea and Kebabs from South Eastern Anatolia. Colin’s cuisine is with a lot of passion, the use of quality ingredient and he creates a composition flavors, executed with simplicity and finesse, Colin modestly adds “I always say, 70% is the farmer or everything we just titillate the bit of what we like and what I do, I am not anywhere near to compare myself with my peers and icons out there in the culinary world. I just take history, and with Rüya which is Turkish, there is 3000 years of history with Turkish food. I am just taking, tried and tested dishes and bringing them into a modern format presentation which is more restaurant style and elevating it. Rüya is uniquely Anatolian and just tweaking at it. I don’t claim to be re-inventing the wheel here, it’s just taking somebody’s history and culture, modernizing it and making it restaurant accessible.”

REVANI & HONEY REVANI, KAYMAK, HONEY SEASONAL FRUIT

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LAMB MANTI TOMATO, ROAST GARLIC YOGURT & THYME

What is the feeling to be nominated for the World’s Best Chef Awards? “Honestly I thought Massimo was pulling the proverbial leg, I certainly had no idea, in fact I called the awards up to ask who had nominated me, to be told that it was from Chefs was very humbling, and when they put the full list up it was even more so, the list is full of the legends in the industry, and to just be in the same room is thrilling” adds Colin. Grant Achatz, Sat Baines, Bjorn Frantzen, Pierre Gagniere, Peter Gilmore, Philip Howard and Jean Georges were recipients of the World’s Best Chef Awards and obviously these names are recognized by all in the industry and deservedly so, they reached the top and stayed there, and it was a great honor for Colin to be in the same room. Colin adds “Obviously thrilled, you want everybody to like what you are doing, but when chefs, your peers come to your restaurant, it’s even more so, to get recognized by people who have been through the ranks, who have been through what you have, and reached the top means more than anything, these individuals have been there, done that and got the T-Shirt, they have the experience to have an opinion, and they have earned the right to communicate that to you, whether it be good or bad, you take on board what the industry heavy weights tell you, you can never stop learning.”

KESKEK BARLEY RISOTTO WITH PULLED LAMB AND SPICES

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ACILI KANAT CHILI GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS WITH MARESH PEPPER

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COLIN CLAGUE

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2 CHEESE PIDE FROM BLACK SEA WITH SLOW COOKED EGG


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As an award winning restaurant… “We are very proud of what we have achieved so far with Rüya, to be the first high end restaurant, to expand overseas is a huge plus for the restaurant and the UAE in general, but my partners and I have only just scratched the surface of this wonderful cuisine, Both Umut and his father Rasim, and indeed Mr. Sahenk are very proud of their heritage and cuisine and they very much want to see it be acknowledged as being one of the great Cuisines of the world, and that’s all we are trying to do, we hope to export Rüya to other locations around the world after London. And to show case the wonderful food and history of Anatolia, the journey has only just begun, we have 3,000 years of recipes to go through” Colin has won several awards and accolades and earlier this month ProChef ME awarded Colin with the “2017 Outstanding Achievement Award of the Year”, his culinary journey has just begun! WG November 2017 -

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POPPY KOURKOUTAKI

aised in Crete, Greece biggest island, famous for its Cretan diet and way of living, which benefits are renowned all over the world. Poppy Kourkoutaki grew up in a land full of unique ingredients and aromas, which inevitably inspired her, affected the way she cooks and defined her as a chef until now. It all started from an early age in her mother’s kitchen, were she use to play and experiment with the cutlery for their daily meals. She really liked food, both cooking and eating, and was always hungry for more (in terms of learning!). So, becoming a cook at first and a chef subsequently was a one-way street.

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POPPY KOURKOUTAKI ELIA MAJESTIC HOTEL TOWER

An impressive culinary career where she honed her culinary skills with Yiannis Baxevanis, at the Michelin starred restaurant La Table d’ Edgard in Switzerland, the three Michelin starred restaurant Auberge de L’ill in France, and Ocean restaurant at the five star Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas in Crete. Being very fortunate, to meet Chef Yiannis Baxevanis during her first steps in the kitchen. What she loved about his cooking, is that he managed to re-discover the very traditional and unique Cretan way of cooking, recognizing the great value of our local products (vegetables, meat, fish, greens and herbs) and creating elegant, sophisticated, regional dishes. She appreciated that he taught her another perspective on how to use the products she grew up with. With Chef Edgard Bovier it has been very passionate, always interested in tasting her creations and was willing to share his knowledge with her to improve them even more. It was a pleasure working with him and they are friends until now.

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GREEK RAVIOLA HOMEMADE STUFFED WITH SMOKED METSOVONE & GRAVIERA CHEESE SERVED WITH CREAMY MUSHROOM SAUCE

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SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANK ACCOMPANIED WITH VEGETABLE STEW & “KURKUBINIA” A COMBINATION OF GREEK CHEESE


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Chef Marc Haeberlin was a unique experience and it felt like they knew each other for years. “His kindness and professionalism framed by a high culinary skilled team, made the (very long) hours of work so delightful. His kitchen was so wisely organized, with a different station for everything (fish, meat, desserts, even ice-cream)! His sensitivity for children with special needs, led him set up charities events, where he cooks along with the children” adds Poppy. With over 25 years of cooking experience, her cuisine is focused and inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients “Traditional with a modern twist” fresh and seasonal ingredients, gentle treatment to get the best out of them and end up with an authentic result. She tries to give her island’s traditional recipes a new and modern perspective. When creating a new dish, she often taste with her eyes closed, adding and testing ingredients to achieve the desired goal whether it is a simple or a more sophisticated dish. One of her signature dishes, influenced by my mentor Chef Yiannis Baxevanis, is the Mediterranean Sea bass with wild greens, which she usually gathers from the Cretan mountains in fennel sauce. “It all starts form an excellent produce and then you keep building piece by piece, combining techniques and creativity with lots of consideration to achieve the perfect harmony. High-quality produce has always been the basis for her high-quality cuisine. Technique comes with the experience and is something that you can master with hard work, experiment and a lot of constant practice. But creativity is more like a personal expression and you either have it or not. Combining all three of them lead to a high-end result that is worth mentioned” adds Poppy. WG November 2017 -

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POPPY KOURKOUTAKI

Inspired by ingredients… The variety of spices and herbs could not have escaped her attention and she always integrates them in her dishes. Coriander and paprika are some of them which are very common and also cumin and thyme which are used in the Cretan cuisine as well. She carefully chooses her suppliers but she doesn’t the chance to visit the local market for fresh greens. “I love cheese (they call me cheese lady here!) and I always make sure to have enough supplies from Greece. Wild greens and herbs also, are never missed in my kitchen.” However, Red hot chilli peppers and all hot spices because they cover all other flavors and they distract her from balancing the final dish. A big fan of traditional techniques. In her cuisine you will see clay pots, charcoal stoves and a wood oven when possible. They all offer a gentle and slow cooking procedure and the aromas they enhance into her food really boosts their flavor. This is a very challenging point in her career since it’s the first time she had to leave Greece for such a long time and fit into a different cuisine habits. Undoubtedly, it is a bet to address your point of view into another culture. Her team plays always a crucial role and with their support and thirst to knowledge they keep her being creative and selfimproving. Poppy’s advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time…“Do not chase the glory! The right motivation and the key to success in this highly demanding field of gastronomy should be only one. Love and passion for cooking. A young chef should be humble, keep his eyes open and have the eager to evolve constantly. The amount of work and the pressure is really high and if this is not something that comes right from within, it could easily lead to failure. On the other hand, if somehow this feels right, despite the heat, the injuries, the long hours of work, it’s something you can’t live without. Then, with patience and persistence he could thrive as a chef with the glory to follow!”

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CAROB WALNUT BREAD WITH SMOKED EGGPLANT SALAD AND KALAMATA OLIVES

GALAKTOBOUREKO TRADITIONAL DESSERT IN FILO PASTRY CUSTARD FRESH MILK & VANILLA

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JAMES KNIGHT-PACHECO

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he 2017 ProChef ME 2017 The Taste of New Zealand of the Year… James KnightPacheco, Executive Chef at Vida Downtown Dubai was born in Venezuela, in a culture based on family and food, so predominantly the most of his household were are all female, with 4 sisters. Every weekend was a family gathering, it was all about sharing, cooking and laughing, so from a very young age, James was in an environment where he learnt from his grandmother, his mother, even his uncles. The kitchen and cooking was not on was mind and it did not even think that one day that this would shape his career.

T JAMES KNIGHT PACHECO VIDA DOWNTOWN

Around the age of 8 or 9, he moved to the southwest of England, half an hour from the beach and half an hour from the mountains. It was an incredible place for great produce, fresh seafood and incredible dairy. James started doing small odd jobs, where he worked his first kitchen job doing dishes. With two career paths in mind – music or cooking… he got to a point where he didn’t know what to do. It was his father who told him “James, just think what you want to do, everybody needs to eat and being a chef you will be able to feed people, you can travel the world and this is the right thing to do”, reluctantly he listened to his father and took up a three year hotel management food degree, which two years were mostly administrative and one year of intense cooking. After this he knew this is exactly what he wanted to do.

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JAMES KNIGHT-PACHECO

Working with some of the culinary greats Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Michael Caines, Jason Atherton, Peter Gorton and Andre Garrett. “It was an experience working with Raymond, he just made you think about every single aspect of what your job, it’s not just about food. He was huge on the guests, how will the guest see this, do you have respect for the produce, do you know how long this has been grown, do you know the farmer, and in terms of the kitchen team, I mean, it was all about Respect, Respect and Respect. I would say it was the toughest kitchen I have ever worked not physically but mentally. In the kitchen, it was quite, only two voices – Gary Jones his executive head chef and the pastry chef and everything else was super quite, it was all about being focused. The other Michelin kitchens were very loud, stress which one would expect in a typical kitchen. This is why Raymond has so many Michelin stars and over forty prodigies now working around the world. Raymond would think about everything, beginning to end which was about the guest experience. It’s amazing, as the experience for guest is incredible.”

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PHOTO © ALEX ITURRALDE

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JAMES KNIGHT-PACHECO

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ENORME LANGOUSTINE GRILLÉE, LÉGÈREMENT PIMENTÉE ET NAVET EN FILET


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For James it’s not necessary so much about the style on the plate, it is more about the experience of his guest. James adds “A restaurant is a magical thing, people who want to come and eat your food – which is the number one compliment. Secondly, when they walk away from an incredible meal, that meal will last forever and they’ll talk about it forever, they’ll remember it forever. It’s just like perfume – you are on your first date and the date smells beautiful, that smell stays in your mind and I think food is about the memory.” With his South American roots combined with an upbringing in the South West of England, developing recipes with locally sourced produce, with refined flavours, it is all about balance on a plate - it took James a long time to learn to bring this balance of flavors, learning making mistakes and doing it all over again. He generally use a flavor pyramid, this flavor pyramid is quite straightforward, at the very top of the pyramid you have your superstar dish and the other two are supporting it. First is the flavor which must be the knock out thing, then number two is the texture and the third thing is the look. Once he has all the three, then it’s combining it together, trial and error. WG November 2017 -

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JAMES KNIGHT-PACHECO

Without good produce it’s an immediate challenge, for James it is all opportunity to get it correct. Creativity follows, as a chef you have to be creative, not only on a plate but in your mind. “The best thing about a chef is that you keep learning, you learn from other people and you learn from an idea you can learn from anything. So creative is a huge thing for me” adds James, finally the technique, technique comes with time and learning from mistakes these type of things that you pick up along the way.” James always want to keep pushing himself as hard as possible and as much as possible, and he loves a challenge. He finds ways to improve - whether it’s a dish, whether it’s his style of cooking, whether he talks to somebody and continuously challenges himself.

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TIM NEWTON

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TIM NEWTON BAGATELLE

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TIM NEWTON

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im started cooking at home with his Gran and mother, baking and helping with the family meal. When he was 16-17 he started cooking planned meals for friends and really fell in love with it. He worked in Oakland CA when I was 18, he worked with Sebastian Brown at Stacy’s and decided to make it a career. He booked a one way flight to Paris, found a school and went back the following year. From then it has been a long satisfying road of a culinary journey.

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Always looking at dishes that he wants to put on in the easiest possible way. Do I like it? Will the customer like it? Can I make it 30-40 times a night and be proud of it. His classic French cuisine is artfully combined with fresh, mostly seasonal ingredients, aromas and textures, which is brought in perfect harmony. He creates dishes that I like to eat. A pretty simple philosophy really. “A lot of chefs cook food they don’t like to eat and I think to get the best out of dish you should love it. I don’t have a best dish. I don’t want to have a best dish. I want to have great dishes that continuously evolve” adds Tim.

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TIM NEWTON

Gaining his experience at Stacy’s, Sebastian Brown was a tough chef to work for. Very aggressive and dedicated to providing a great experience to the guest. “He ran his kitchen very fairly and treated us all the same. I think I loved the aggressive side of it, very heated and felt like I was comfortable around people yelling and wielding sharp knives. Working for Sebastian helped me develop my own structure and gave me a base to how I would run a kitchen.”

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Obsessed with Chilies, lately Tim has been on a mission to cook with a lot of different chilies. Likes to work with shellfish as he loves that you can taste the ocean differently in each one. Hasn’t come across an ingredient that he could not master as everything can be manipulated, but has met a few ingredients that he won’t use again. Tim adds “Produce is most important. It’s the base of creativity. And even great technique won’t make horrible product its best.”

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TIM NEWTON

Tim’s advise to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… “Tattoos, tweezers, skinny chef’s pants don’t make you a good or even great chef. Hours, days and a whole lot of years make you a chef. This new generation of chefs are lazy and don’t want to put in the long hours and heavy lifting. They hate the idea of having to put in 15-20 years to get something out of this career. I have 23-24 year olds that apply for sous chef positions and even head chef. I was a commis chef for 4 years. It took me 10 years to get sous chef. And even then I thought I was swimming against the current. Saying that there are some good ones out there that value hard work and don’t mind getting yelled at. Those are the kids I invest in.”

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CRISTINA MENNAH

CRISTINA MENNAH rowing up in a restauranteur family founded by her grandmother back in the 50’s, and now where all the family members are actively involved in one way or another. Cristina recalls “I use to spend my summers helping in all kind of capacities, from helping as a cashier, to a waitress or in the kitchen, and since then I knew what I enjoyed the most. It was this early exposure to the family business that sparked my interest and my passion for cooking. After some burns and cuts, I continued my journey to France, then Mexico, Thailand, United States and now Dubai.”

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Cristina started her culinary training in France, this helped her learn from the best - techniques and different cuisines. However, Mexican cuisine opened her horizon with so many different colors, flavors and interesting ingredients; and the Thailand influenced her with a wide variety of local ingredients, aromas, smells and delicious dishes. She further developed her skills, became more efficient and increased her knowledge when she worked in the US at a luxury five star resort and then headed to Dubai.

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CRISTINA MENNAH

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Her culinary philosophy inspired by colors, music and folklore, and while creating a new dish, she thinks about her audience, with availability of seasonal ingredients and fresh produce. “It inspires me to discover and mix different kinds of spices. For example I have been using lately a lot of chili powder, paprika and cinnamon. As far as selecting my ingredients, nothing beats personally going to the supermarket to touch, smell and taste!” adds Cristina. Her favorite ingredients are those that enhance the flavor of any dish for example she loves the smell and taste of coriander, corn, fish, lemon, avocado and coconut. Vinegar, garlic and different types of salts are good complements of her recipes. Huitlacoche, Mexican “caviar” are ingredients that she does not use as much as she would like, primarily due to its high costs and difficulty to find outside Mexico. “Produce and Creativity, these two go hand in hand and are essential in any good culinary experience. Quality produce is important for a good taste and freshness, while creativity allows to combine ingredients, creating unique recipes and flavors” adds Cristina. When cooking Mexican, she often use a Molcajete (a round stone tool made from “basalt”) which she use for grinding. This tool gives the food the texture, flavor and consistency for a perfect sauce or guacamole.

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PRADEEP KHULLAR

Considered as one of the top 10 chefs in Dubai… “Having lived abroad for the last few years, I am very keen in actively contributing to expand the “real” Mexican cuisine around the world. Mexican cuisine is so rich in flavours, colors and traditions that goes beyond what people have experienced. I am also very interested in the new generations and helping them live, through cuisine, a healthy lifestyle.” “Becoming a chef comes with great responsibility and hard work. For those entering the field today don’t forget to be empathic, respect your peers, be a team player & stay humble. Remember that others will often want to see you as a role model, so lead by example.”

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ften Chefs mention that since their childhood, they have been inclined to cooking or eating good food and that is what led to them being successful in their culinary journeys. Pradeep Khullar would be lying if he said that. Dubai’s most sought-after chef Pradeep Khullar adds “For me when I started out, being a Chef was just a career option picked due to lack of choice and family problems. I never aspired to be ‘one of Dubai’s most sought-after Chef’. I consider myself to be an ‘accidental Chef’, as only after joining culinary school I realised how much I loved food production and I was okay at it, if not great. Very early in my career, I learnt that good food is what diners appreciate and it is independent of the ingredients & cuisine. I was fortunate to get that basic right and thereafter all I have done is feed my guests with undeterred affection which has led to all my accomplishments.”

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PRADEEP KHULLAR MINT LEAF OF LONDON

Pradeep has achieved milestones throughout his culinary career, the ‘Best Modern Indian’ and for contributing to the success of Indian Accents being featured in Asia’s Top 50 restaurants for three consecutive years. His success at Indian Accent with working Manish Mehrotra was a steep learning curve for him. He gleaned the knowledge of the use of global ingredients and how to judiciously amalgamate them with Indian food. His signature style of using seasonal produce has had an impactful influence on his cooking, which led me to broaden my vision about food fairly quickly. WG November 2017 -

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PRADEEP KHULLAR

His culinary philosophy evolves consistently and is influenced by his travels and my obsessive need to adapt eclectic ingredients from the world over into his food. Therefore, his recipes revolve around unusual global ingredients such as Quinoa, Couscous, Matcha which are not always associated with Indian cuisine and perfectly blending them with his Indian dishes. Balance of flavours, aesthetic value while doing complete justice to the core ingredients are of paramount importance while he conceptualising a new dish. “You must experiment with your food, but not to the extent where the authenticity of the various elements is completely lost. And as far as what I believe to be my best dish is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child and impossible for me to do.” Known for his unrelenting creativity in the kitchen with his contemporary Indian cuisine based on traditional recipes with a creative twist is in a perfect harmony… “Everyone has a ‘method to their madness’ in the kitchen. My signature style focuses on two key pillars which are texture and temperature, ably supported by visual appeal. Perseverance to blend various ingredients and consistently finding the immaculate equilibrium between the flavours and textures is the key. A dish irrespective of the portion size keeping these elements in mind, should enliven your palate which in turn should entice you to take another bite” adds Pradeep. Eating at few in-trend Peruvian as well as Japanese restaurants in London during a recent trip, Pradeep was extremely fascinated by some of their ingredients which led me to wonder how he could incorporate them into his cooking. Lima Beans, Wasabi, Matcha to name just a few are some of the ingredients he has adapted onto his new menu at Mint Leaf of London. “The guests have loved these unusual renditions. Purple Corns is one ingredient I cannot wait to get my hands on.” Basil Leaves, Garlic and Sweet Pink Peppercorns are his absolute favourites and the ones he uses in abundance. However, he can’t recall any ingredient that he gave up on, however using Matcha was a definite challenge for him. The vision for the Matcha Ice Cream and Valrhona Mille Feuille dessert on the menu was to bring together Matcha with Dark Chocolate, while ensuring that both ingredients do not overpower each other.

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LAMB SHANK, CINNAMON & CHILLY GLAZE

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PRADEEP KHULLAR

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THE LOTUS MESS, WILD BERRIES


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All the elements - produce, creativity and technique are integral to ensure you make a perfect dish which are interdependent to each other, planning the dishes on the menu, and one cannot ignore or compromise on one for the other. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession…This perception of Chefs being seen as glamorous, isn’t always the whole story. It involves long hours and you can be at it for a while and still not get it right. My advice to anyone pursuing a culinary profession would be to work hard, cook the way you want to eat your food, don’t follow the recipe books and change the rules. These will ensure you churn out some amazing dishes. Keep reading, keep travelling & keep eating.

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FRANCESCO GUARRACINO

rancesco Guarracino thanks his childhood and the environment he grew up in. Raised in a family of chefs, with his father being one of the well know two-star Michelin chef, so cooking has always been a part of his life. “My first memory of cooking was making tomato sauce at home. My father had picked fresh tomatoes from the garden and taught me how to use a machine to mince them – I still remember the juice splattering on my arms. Then my sister helped by adding fresh basil, while my mother added the salt. We all worked together to create the meal. Of course, in order to turn this passion into a profession, one must be ambitious in order to achieve your dreams” adds Francesco.

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FRANCESCO GUARRACINO ROBERTO’S

Originally from Sorrento, Francesco worked at some of Italy’s most prestigious kitchens. This is where he learned discipline and the attitude necessary for success. After graduating, he travelled around Italy to gain experience in the different regional cuisines. His travels took him to Rome, Florence, Sicily and Milan where he developed his passion for seasonal and quality produce which are of paramount importance, and this shines through in all of Francesco’s creations. Here in the UAE, his cuisine is focused and inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients. Constantly updating what he sources to create new dishes and hidden gems from Italy. Adding “Italy is a great country with a lot of local artisans and producers that use 100+ year-old techniques for creating amazing products. My job to showcase this excellence on a plate, balancing the flavours to satisfy my guests and myself.”

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FRANCESCO GUARRACINO

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MANZO IN TARTARE TRADIZIONALE WAGYU BEEF TARTAR WITH MUSTARD MAYONNAISE AND TRUFFLE PEARL


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Dedication, passion and love for what he does, every single dish that he sends to a table, people need to taste an emotion. In his kitchen he tries dishes over and over again, always starting from the flavour, then the presentation until he is happy with it. Extremely lucky to work with two of the most talented chefs that he has come across and values their (Andrea and Danilo) opinions and take it into consideration before the final dish is presented to the guest. It’s a long process, but it is a must for every dish presented by Francesco. Ingredients is king of his restaurant, “It should be considered one of our main responsibilities as a chef to source the best. I learned it is important to go to the source - I want to know the story of a product – where it comes from, who is farming it. For me, my choices are driven by emotions” adds Francesco.

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POLPO, CACIO E PEPE, E CARCIOFI, SLOW COOKED ROASTED OCTOPUS, ARTICHOKE AND CACIO E PEPE SAUCE

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TUTTI FRUTTI BRUNCH DESERT


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In 2007, he won the Best Young Chef Award from the renowned Federazione Italiana Cuochi (Italian Chef Federation) “Obviously, it was a great honour and I have a fond memory of that period of my life, but in this job, those that think they have already arrived at the top are the ones who will fall. So, from that moment I felt more responsibility and continue to push myself today.” He constantly drives himself to do more and create more. He enjoys every single moment of being in the kitchen and he has one simple rule - be better than the day before! Being a chef is a glamorous profession, Francesco’s advice to chefs who are entering the kitchen for the first time… “It is not glamorous - but let me explain what I mean. It is a hard job, I come from an old generation of chefs where you need to work harder than anyone and learn techniques by watching senior chefs. Hierarchy and respect of the role is something I was taught since I was young. I spent hours and hours in the kitchen, trying new things, learning, burning myself - while all my friends were going to parties. It’s a difficult profession and it requires passion every day. TV and cooking shows make this job look something that is not, simply answering to a head chef, but what it really requires is hard work and dedication.” WG November 2017 -

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AZIRI BIN ISHAK

ith a passion for art and music, Aziri was introduced to the culinary world in 1992 by a friend who offered Aziri a job as a part time chef at Hoshigaoka Japanese Restaurant, he then realized that Japanese cuisine was an art within itself and without hesitation chose this culinary art as a career until this day.

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LATITUDE JUMEIRAH BEACH HOTEL

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Raised in an Asian hawker stall environment, where the markets were full of freshly picked vegetables from the garden, all different types of fruits and seafood. Authentic Asian cuisine such as satay stall, noodles and smokey grilled fish incredibly revolve the life of now and then. With a passion for Japanese cooking, Aziri introduced the Modern Asian Cuisine with Japanese influence to the cuisine world. It is a combination of ingredients from his beloved country, Malaysia such as kaffir leaves, lemongrass, turmeric, coconut cream and galangal. Xanthan Gastronomy is used to thicken the sauce. Kombu seaweed, Katsuoboshi bonito fish flakes and Yuzu citrus are rich with their own UMAMI flavours. It is a combinations of ingredients created into signature dishes on the plate.


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AZIRI BIN ISHAK

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“Always keep your knives sharp and cook with love is my philosophy” adds Aziri. Inspired by his favorite ingredients Seared Wagyu beef, Portobello mushrooms, truffle oil and toasted white sesame seeds as they are rich in flavours, aroma, textures and taste. However he finds it challenging to work with Japanese fermented soya bean (NATTO) and blue cheese. With his travels around Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Bangkok, Thailand, Aziri has also learnt to master Mediterranean and European dishes. “I successfully achieved an inspiration to create variety of dishes in today’s trend. With every new food created, guests will get excited and tremendously happy. That honestly gives me new experiences every time and I feel inspired to create as well as introduce the top dishes from Asia.” Aziri activates your with the many flavours of Southeast Asia and beyond at Latitude Restaurant, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. WG November 2017 -

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GILLES BOSQUET

orn in Mauritius, Gilles Bosquet grew up in a hotel industry environment, was not far from the kitchen as his father with a culinary background working in a hotel kitchen. His career choices have been guided by chefs who taught him. Being mentored for 3 years by of one of the most gifted chefs Lew Kathreptis, Gilles learnt balancing different flavors, combinations of sweet and sour which is influenced in his own recipes today. Lew Kathreptis later urged Gilles to go and work with Gordon Ramsay, where he acquired disciple and to execute things precisely.

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Gilles then joined “La Pyramide” with legend Pierre Henriroux where he learnt the classic techniques of French gastronomy and later joined L’Auberge à la Bonne Idée in Northern France with an objective to get a Michelin star within 2 years and this was achieved. The Middle East would soon be the next a culinary destination for Gilles as Gordon Ramsay asked him to be part of opening two venues at the Saint-Regis in Qatar and Gilles then went on to open two other restaurants in Hong Kong.


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GILLES BOSQUET

Back to Dubai where it all started, Gilles took up the position as Executive Chef at La Cantine du Faubourg, the award winning urban French dining destination. The Best French Restaurant in Dubai‌ La Cantine du Faubourg is more than a restaurant, it’s an artistic rendezvous, a lifestyle statement. The concept relies on five key principles: sound, music, image, art and food. A hybrid gateway for celebrities and beautiful people from around the world, in search of their private playground and a multi-sensory experience.

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YIANNIS KATSIKAS

YIANNIS KATSIKAS SHIMMER MINA A’SALAM MADINAT JUMEIRAH

ince his childhood, Yiannis has always enjoyed the diversity of the flavors being cooked at home, the aromas and the tastes that every single plate could offer. So the only thought he had was to be able to create them as well.

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He found himself working is several kitchens from England to Vladivostok over the past 15 years, working alongside multicultural teams, Yiannis has been able to cater to every dinning need - from an in room dinning breakfast to a degustation dinner menu, and from a business lunch to the big wedding day. His culinary philosophy is to be able to create food that makes the guest and himself feel good, fulfilled by the experience that awakens all the senses. When it comes to creating new dishes especially in his current role, he aims to bring back the memories of his childhood with small or a bit on the edge sometimes variations in the textures and formulas.

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Product quality is the key and he loves to discover spices. His passion and search for taste is the secret. Inspired by memories of flavors, aromas, and imaginations. As Chef the Cuisine at Shimmer, Mina A’Salam at Madinat Jumeirah, Yiannis brings the best of Greek cuisine to the pristine Jumeirah coast.


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ANDREA RUSSO

ANDREA RUSSO

VIVALDI BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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ANDREA RUSSO

ince a small, Andrea was amazed with the smell of garlic, the aroma from his grandmother’s kitchen. “I remember I use to always go to her and ask if she needs any help, and slowly I started to learn our traditional Sicilian food, actually I learnt fast, and at the age of 7, I was already able to prepare an entire meal. I spent my afternoons in my father’s butchery with the amazing smell of the raw beef and the aroma of fennel seeds used for the sausages, and started to learn about the meats.” It was his passion for the food and cooking was always growing but he never thought of becoming a chef.

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At 17, Andrea realized that he needed to travel, see the world, new places, learn different cultures and he saw the opportunity by doing a 3 year culinary course, that taught him without using many books to learn how to cook in a professional kitchen, work in a kitchen and all the teachers were chefs. At that point he realized his passion for cooking, so he started the course, his teachers were amazed with his quick learning and the skills he had. Everything was clear to him that he was going to become a chef and all he had to do was to work hard and learn as much as he could. A good chef must to know everything, so Andrea worked during his free time for free in the best pastry shop of his city, learning the basics of pastry and in the mornings he worked as a baker at the city hotel.

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PIZZA FREDDA

PARMESAN RISOTTO AND ZAFFRON ESSENCE

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ANDREA RUSSO

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EGG IN BASIL FRAGRANCE AND PECORINO


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Andrea’s cuisine is inspiration based “Everything I create it’s thanks to inspiration that comes through memories, memories are connected with my sense of smell, basically I always associate moments of life to particular smells that where surrounding me at that exact moment, and this is where I get my inspiration. To balance the flavours I think how to keep the dish as more pure and genuine like my grandmother would do, the preparation study and research to bring those flavours to the right way and how to present it.” Under the guidance of Alfredo Russo, Andrea is constantly learning from the master. “Chef Alfredo is doing a lot for my knowledge and for my growth, this is the experience which is really helping me to be a chef that I am now and to be the chef that I will become in the future” says Andrea, the 25 year old chef de cuisine of Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo. Andrea’s advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… “There is nothing glamorous in the kitchen, we are gladiator in the colosseum, rotating our knife in between the flames, whiles people having fun. My advice is that if you don’t love to sacrifice all your time to make people happy cooking food for them, it is better to work in an office. WG November 2017 -

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GEORGES NAJM KHAYMAT AL BAHAR AL QASR HOTEL MADINAT JUMEIRAH

hef de cuisine Khaymat al Bahar at Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, where Georges brings an authentic Lebanese experience to the plate, he layers all of the components with passion and technique on top of one another which traps the diner into getting all of the flavours. This beachfront and poolside restaurant is the perfect spot to share Georges’ traditional mezza, Arabic grills, tempting appetizers and succulent desserts.

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“For me cooking is my passion and I never stop from learning every day of my life” adds Georges. It all about guest satisfaction and the inspiration of his family. Motivated by the people around him and especially those who taste his food. “It is difficult being a chef if you do not have passion, you have to love what you are doing”.

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Georges always found it challenging to work with Cinnamon, it can be overwhelming, but it can also be wonderful. The other would be is liver, this is one of the hardest things to cook right, there is a narrow window of perfection – undercook it and it is slimy and bloody, you overcook it and it is tough. It has to be just right, tender and juicy, and cooked at the right temperature and time. Influenced in the kitchen… “Let’s face it, we live in a success driven word. We are tempted to think our influence is only as good as our particular intelligence, great looks or talent will deliver. I can say that my hard work, being compassionate and my dedication is my greatest influence in the kitchen.”


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THIBAUT BERTIN

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orn to parents from Italy and Spain, Thibaut grew up in Provence, South of France and was raised in a kitchen environment where his parents cooked from morning to evening. Making jam, foie gras, smoked salmon, smoked duck, charcutery and having their own potager (a traditional kitchen garden). Fruit and vegetables where all around him. His brother was a chef and was inspired him to follow his way.

B THIBAUT BERTIN TOP CHEF COOKING STUDIO

Thibaut honed his culinary skills and techniques at the prestigious two Michelin star restaurants - La Chevre D’or, Restaurant L’Oasis and Restaurant L’Epuisette in France before coming to Dubai and joining Armani Hotel Dubai and Atmosphere. “Each restaurant taught me different skill, the attitude and motivation to perform to be a chef. From respect of ingredients, respect of season, it’s also helped me to be a perfectionist, creative, be versatile working as garde-manger, the different sections of the kitchen - fish, meat and pastry, I could fill my palette with these experiences. Working with Chef Guillaume Sourrieu who worked with Troisgros, Loiseau, Passedat, taught me how to sublime a product, how to respect the freshness and quality of each product along the season. To be creative and learnt how to be a team player” adds Thibaut. WG November 2017 -

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THIBAUT BERTIN

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BEEF AND FOIE GRAS RAVIOLIE, CARBONARA SAUCE, DRIED BEEF CECINA DE LEON


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His cuisine and culinary philosophy is “don’t cook complicated”, the most important is to be a good cook, cook with love and cook right by respecting the produce. Be creative, as you can learn about techniques and about produce, but not creativity.” I love to work with foie gras, the culture in France regarding this festive product, you can cook it in many ways, use in sauce, serve it cold or hot, serve it in different texture as this product is really tasty.” Thibaut’s advice to young chefs “Work with passion, looking for the perfection and the knowledge and never stop learning.”

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JOHN BUENAVENTURA

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ohn Buenaventura grew up surrounded with a family and culture in love with food, starting from his grandmother who cooks rice cakes to pay for his father’s schooling, his mother who was the second child out of 8 siblings and helped her mother with the daily chores at home and cooking was one of the most important thing for them right down to his aunties and uncles who eat a lot and love to prepare extravagant feasts during family gatherings. Eventually, he fell in love with cooking, professional cooking since food brings people together and is essential to our daily lives and for John the best way to share and resonate that love is through his cooking.

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JOHN BUENAVENTURA CUISINERO UNO

From the Philippines to the Maldives, to Abu Dhabi and The Atlantis, “Being exposed to different kinds of properties and operations helped me a lot in my career today; from working in a Michelin-Starred restaurant to being the chef of a catamaran cruise ship in the Maldives down to running a steakhouse at the Atlantis. The experience I got was priceless and no culinary school can ever teach that. I worked with great chefs for the past 15 years of my cooking and eventually I streamlined my own style and cuisine after learning all the techniques and philosophy of the great chefs” adds John. He follows a simple golden rule “Simple & Straightforward”. Good produce, proper and modern cooking methods to use of the ingredients fully and of course lots of love and passion. Whenever he creates a dish, his focus first is on what’s available in the market, what is fresh and from there he looks at different components that would complement the main ingredient. Flavour, texture, scent and visual appeal in order to make a complete dish. WG November 2017 -

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JOHN BUENAVENTURA

Inspired by ingredients for example, Black Cardamom as it is so complex and very interesting with a lot of potential. Dry Aged Beef, Smoked Paprika, Garlic & Cumin Seeds are the favourite ingredients he loves working with. His selection of ingredients need to be fresh and as much as possible locally sourced, the fresher the better and then he works around its flavour to enhance it. “There are lots of ingredients I have not mastered and I think cooking is some that will always require constant growth and learning. You will always find new ways to use specific type of ingredients as you grow. And yes we never stop innovating and experimenting. Every new ingredient is a challenge” adds John. Recently he opened his own restaurant “Cuisinero uno, the “Urban Tapas bar” or so called “Gastro Lounge”. As he draws his motivation and drive from the urge of being deprived of doing what he wanted to do when he was working for someone. Now having a fully owned restaurant he is able to do whatever he wants… “I stick by this saying “give me the tools to do what I do best and then sit back, relax and watch me rock it.” John’s advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time…“Learn the craft, don’t rush into getting the position, take time to properly learn and master the proper basic skills and foundation of being a chef and never be arrogant and over your head! Humility is key to success let your food speak for itself.”

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BEEF TARTARE

CHARCOAL CHICKEN

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ILIAS KOKOROSKOS

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lias started cooking at a tender age of 13 and he realized how much he likes making people happy with food. At the age of 15, he decided further his culinary dream and study at the Culinary Academy but was advised by the principal ‘that it will be better to finish school first, take proper education and then come back and start the Culinary journey’. He took his advice and graduated from high school and then went on to university to take get his degree in Business Administration. Since he had already decided that cooking is what he wanted to do, he took up his first job in the kitchen, and realized that this is what he wanted to do – to please people and entertain them with his food.

I ILIAS KOKOROSKOS MYTHOS

He honed his culinary skills by working in several restaurants, jumped from one restaurant to another, since he was young, he wanted to gain as much experience as possible. He tried to work with the best chefs in Greece and take the best out of them. Some of them had great techniques and some of them had great flavours. All of them though taught him how to respect ingredients, minimize wastage, use ingredients that are in season, ingredients that are locally produced and be as authentic as possible. WG November 2017 -

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ILIAS KOKOROSKOS

Ilias brings authentic Greek food to the table. The simple, yet appetizing menu is a compilation of traditional Greek recipes and dishes. It’s more like his culinary philosophy… “Once someone asked me if I ever regretted not learning different kind of cuisines or if I would like to cook different kind of cuisines, my answer was: I am specialized in the cuisine that I grew up with, the cuisine that I am eating and tasting for the last 30 years, I have made my name out of this cuisine and I prefer to be authentic than trying to be authentic. I love eating Asian, American, French food but Greek is what I do and enjoy. Of course, I like to mix things up, using Asian ingredients and French techniques, but I want the last impression and the comment from my guests to be ‘this food is a journey in Greece’. The process of creating a new dish is more or less common to every chef I think, read books, use the experience that you have gained over the years, eat different cuisines, experimenting and in my occasion “steal” the secrets of the grandmothers in the villages and create something that will be both traditional and modern. Unfortunately, in our times there is no such thing as parthenogenesis but I believe that everybody has its own identity and this is something I believe comes after years of experience.” Obsessed with seasonality, products that come from small producers and of course Greek products. Every ingredient has its own characteristics, he likes ingredients that are unique but at the same time can fit to his type of cuisine and his character. He also likes to get ingredients that have not been used massively and that most of the guests are not aware of and likes educating his guests as much as possible.

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ILIAS KOKOROSKOS

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Produce, Creativity or Technique… “Everything plus flavour. Without creativity you cannot produce anything new, just copy paste, even if you have a good technique. If I had to choose, I would choose creativity and flavour, as this is the beginning to start producing something. Technique is something that anybody can learn eventually. I know many good chefs with amazing technique but if the end product lacks creativity and flavour then the technique loses the meaning, too much for nothing. All cooking techniques have unique secrets and things to fall in love with depending what you are cooking and what you want to present each time. Same thing for the equipment, for me everything in the kitchen serves a purpose depending how you want to use it. I enjoy using equipment that helps me make my food, my team and my life better. Of course chefs are like kids give us anything that can process our ingredients and we will sit there and play quietly for hours.” Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, advice for chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… Is it glamorous to work in a hot environment, having cuts and burns all over your hands and body, work under loads of pressure with endless shifts and smell like food for the rest of your life? Think well before you become a chef, cooking at home for friends and family is totally different from cooking for 100 – 200 – 300 guests over 5 – 6 recipes at the same time. It is not as glamorous as it sounds. You have to be in love and be sure that this is what you want to do. Cooking on TV shows is glamorous, but reality is not. WG November 2017 -

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RYAN WADDELL

yan was brought up within a farming community in Scotland, where he spent his youth on farms, his father was a farmer, his brother, and uncles on both sides of the family are still farmers. Growing up in Scotland, and surrounded by amazing produce, not only the lamb and beef that was produced on the farms, but an impressive garden where they grew all their fruit and vegetables. Cooking wasn’t his first choice when he left school.

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RYAN WADDELL THE CLUB HOUSE JEBEL ALI RECREATION CLUB

He went to study accountancy while working in an office in Edinburgh, though hated the office life, he ended up washing dishes part time to have an extra income? This is where his first real experience of the hospitality industry came from. After a year keeping books, he quit and went to work full time at a country house hotel in Peeblesshire, Scotland. After 3 or 4 years of various jobs throughout Scotland, he ended up working with the award winning chef Mark Greenaway at Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow. It was with him he really improved my creativity and cooking skills. Bringing the Best of British to Dubai, Ryan’s cuisine is focused and inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients, he adds “A simple process of trial and error, I tend not to over complicate things. The dishes I produce on a day to day basis are classics, we do not have reinvent the wheel, just refine the dishes”.

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RYAN WADDELL

JUMBO PRAWNS

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Ryan recalls working with Mark in Glasgow, “it was phenomenal. His creativity is unsurpassed, always thinking outside the box on presentation and flavour matching and very focused on the use of the best local produce. When I worked in London, I was also lucky enough to work with some of the best produce in the country. I was informed in the morning what fish had just been landed. The boys at Lake District farmers were supplying me the best native breed shorthorn beef and the seasonal vegetables from farms 30km away all built on my food ethos.” Hoxton Grill taught him high volume. This was where he really belonged working the grill and cooking great food. He thrived on the pressure and the buzz of the kitchen. This is what he tried to replicate when he came to Reform, Dubai. With a simple culinary philosophy… “Value for money, I don’t cook for the wealthy. I’ve never have worked in Michelin star restaurants or 5 star hotels, I worked pubs and grills. I want to cook great food that people can afford to come and eat weekly or even daily, food that’s filling, satisfying and tasty.” Driven by quality ingredients, Ryan has just opened an Asian concept called Seafood Kitchen alongside the Clubhouse in Jebel Ali, he plays around with a lot of new flavours and ingredients that he has never cooked with before. Like a kid he has great fun with Pandan leaves since it is very versatile. Yet his favourite is Hardwick Lamb, since you don’t need to do much with it and the flavours stand out for themselves. WG November 2017 -

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RYAN WADDELL

Produce, Creativity or Technique… Produce wins hands down, the less you have to do to something to make it taste great, the better. You can do amazing dishes, spend hours making foams, fruit caviars or purees but nothing really beats simplicity. That amazing beef just lightly seasoned and grilled on an open charcoal BBQ or fresh blackberry’s foraged from the railway banks of south London with just a splash of double cream. Highly motivated, Ryan is constantly learning, doing something different! He is moving more into the business end of things, he has done 2 openings in 6 weeks and another one to go very soon. Been involved in all aspects of the openings - from dealing directly with contractors & sub-contractors, designing menu covers, sourcing the marketing collateral, arranging musician and developing playlist to create the correct ambiance to suit the restaurant. In 2016, Ryan was awarded Head Chef of the Year, “It was a real honour and a surprise to class in the same league as some of my peers. I have always worked really hard to get to where I am now and to get that recognition from the industry is amazing.”

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BAKED COD

ORGANIC CHICKEN SALAD

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FEDERICO TERESI

rowing up in Rome in a big family, it was all about food, Federico was lucky - on his father side he learnt the flavors of Rome, from his grandmother and his mother’s sides he learnt the cuisine from Milan and Northern Italy from his mother’s mother. This was all the kitchen experience that Federico had to begin with. Federico had a classic education, studied in Latin and after school he went to study engineering. While in university and requiring extra money, Federico took up a job at a restaurant where he worked front of house and whiles working at this restaurant he use to see the how the chef was working and 7 months later he made up his mind, told his parents that he will would stop his studies and take up to being a chef.

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FEDERICO TERESI SIMPLY ITALIAN BY HEINZ BECK

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“It was an experience of my life as this was the start to my culinary journey” Federico worked at the Italian Bistro of Alain Ducasse, as a Commis Chef and two months later I passed and became Chef de Partie. After finishing the season, he moved to Paris at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower and later to a French Bistro of Alain Ducasse before heading back to Rome and was interviewed by Heinz Beck who offered Federico a position in Dubai. “Food is not easy, for me it is all new, I am a young chef, however my philosophy is not to have 7 or 8 flavors in one dish. My philosophy is all about lightness, to focus on 3 or 4 ingredients, don’t touch too much, and just take it out from every ingredient. Get the maximum flavors you can because sometimes we forget that even a carrot when you eat it plain, you think about the flavors in your mouth. For me even a carrot can give you an emotion. I want to give it to my guests, the experience as the come here, eat and they have to feel the emotion, my kitchen is the memory.”


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DENIS BELYAEV

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orn in Perm, in the Urals. Denis found his passion for cooking since a young age, his mother a professional chef and she involved him in the cooking at home and at her place of work. After finishing high school, he decided to go to cooking school in Russia. In 2008, he moved to Dubai where he gained his culinary experience, understanding and working with different cuisines – seafood and Japanese. “As a traditional person I am not trying to invent anything new in Russian cuisine, because to my opinion it is not required. Most of my menu consists of traditional Russian recipes and the taste of the food is familiar to every Russian speaking person. Of course, you can do home style or fine dining plating, but the taste is the main thing to which I pay attention to. I like to experiment using new ingredients and cooking techniques, but mostly when I cook European cuisine dishes” adds Denis.

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DENIS BELYAEV

When it comes to ingredients, freshness is the key for Denis, it’s all about selecting the best local produce - weather its fish or meats or vegetables. “Produce plays a big role as we are to satisfy the taste of a normal customer as well as foodies and all of the aspects matter.” Denis’ advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… “We have a saying in Russian – no human being chooses the profession, the profession chooses a human being. To be a cook is a mission, to be head chef is a reward, which every young chef wants to get, and there is no glamour in it at all.”

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ALBERT RAVEN

rowing up on the Island of Aruba, part of the Dutch Kingdom. Albert was raised in a family where on his mother’s side was from Venezuela, his grandmother would encourage him to come over to her house and cook brunch for the whole family. This was the beginning to his passion for cooking. “Most of all, I remember Christmas time. We would all gather and make a Venezuelan dish called Hallaca, crème caramel or tres leche.” After he finished his high school, Albert enrolled in culinary school and his culinary journey started. Moving to Amsterdam helped him become a chef he is today. Amsterdam allowed him to work with different chefs from different origins and cuisines. Later he travelled to Europe to explore different European cuisines.

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ALBERT RAVEN LA PETIT BELGE

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Dubai was the next travel destination and Albert worked at the Belgian Beer Café for three years, planning to go back to the Netherlands when he heard about the new concept which attracted him straight away, giving him the opportunity to be creative, build the brand within the Dubai from the start and give dinners a feel of proper Belgian dining experience! Le Petit Belge. “It might sound cliché, but my main culinary philosophy is keeping it simple and straightforward, to compliment the main ingredient the best you can. My cuisine is just home cooked meals, but crafted with the best ingredients available in the market. When creating a new dish, I never look at what I have done before but what can I do next, what’s new or authentic flavours I can mix and match. Also having a good understanding of what the concept is, believe in strengths of the concept and stay true to them, and what direction you want to go. Having consistent, good quality food and service” adds Albert.


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ALBERT RAVEN

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Ingredients that inspire… “Pine nuts, recently I started working on a new menu for Le Petit Belge and tried pine nut cream, a recipe which is very simple. The heat of the blender releases the natural oil from the pine nut and it becomes a beautiful paste similar to peanut butter, and the taste is amazing. I am sure it will bring different twist to a know dish.” While Tarragon and syrup de liege are his favourite ingredients he works with. Since Tarragon has a bitter sweet flavour and an aroma similar to anise, it is the base of Béarnaise which is one of his favourite sauces. Syrup de liege is made by reducing fruit juices which adds sweetness to stews, sauces and is a nice accompaniment to a cheese platter. On the other hand he just doesn’t find the balance with soya sauce, for some reason when he prepares an Asian dish which contains soya sauce, it just doesn’t work well and plans to have an Asian in his kitchen team that can assist him with Asian cuisine. When steaming mussels, Albert loves to use a traditional steaming pot, this allows the steam to distribute evenly and it easy for shaking the mussels open. The traditional mussel pots are convenient to use because the mussels can be served directly to the table and when opened it has this beautiful aroma of the mussels and the lid serves as a place for the empty shells. Albert’s advice to young chefs “Only do it if you are really passionate about cooking and creating new dishes. It can be hard but it’s certainly rewarding.” WG November 2017 -

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SHAHADAT HOSSAIN

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rowing up in Bangladesh, Shahadat was inspired by Michelin chefs, cooking shows and food cooked by his mother. After finishing culinary school, he headed to Abu Dhabi after which and he got the opportunity to work with the Jumeirah Group at the Bruj Al Arab, Al Qasr Madinat Jumeirah and now at the Italian restaurant - Alta Badia at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

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His cuisine is inspired by a combination of seasonal ingredients and giving new life to Italian cuisine, creating a composition of flavours, “Ingredients should always complement each other, it should work together to showcase the dish in terms of flavor, texture and color in a relaxed environment.� He tries to keep the flavours as natural as possible, texture in the food is important to him and loves to create something special.

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ADHI PRAMONO

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nspired by his mother, Adhi Pramono’s culinary journey started in 2001 after graduating from high school and nowhere to go to continue to college due to financial issue in the family, I then move out from the house and found a part time job as a galley boy at the Melia Hotel Group in his hometown Yogyakartaas, Indonesia. During this time he had the opportunity to take care pastry kitchen, this was the start which led to his interest in pastry and Adhi put extra hours in training. Once back home, he would help his mum in her small home catering business which specialized in traditional Indonesian dessert.

I ADHI PRAMONO THE EXPERIENCE BY REIF OTHMAN PLAY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

Due to myopia in both eyes, his dream of a Navy career was ended, however with success around the corner, Adhi got a job with Star Cruises in 2002, and he continued his culinary dream towards becoming a pastry chef, doing extra hours and learning about pastry making. Four years later, Adhi got the opportunity in 2006 to be part of the pastry team as a commis pastry at the Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi. Three years on, Adhi found himself back on the high seas with an American Cruise Liner for a year before heading back to the shores of the UAE in Dubai with The Address Downtown Dubai. Working with the most talented Pastry Chefs who introduced him to the modern touch of pastry.

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In 2011, he joined Zuma Dubai where he learnt how to combine Japanese and French techniques, to manage and run the pastry section. He got the opportunity to travel to the UK which allowed him to further his pastry knowledge. In 2015, he joined the award winning restaurant of Dubai – PLAY, a comfort zone where Adhi has the freedom to create “fun type of dessert and comforting flavors”. His creations are balanced and always tries to keep it light as possible, not too over powering with sweetness and introduces a hint of spiciness and savory. Inspired by a patisserie in Marseille and in Hokkaido, Adhi brings a Japanese touch to Chantilly with Sake Baba, a white chocolate soy crème Chantilly, sichimi roasted baby pineapple and black sesame ice cream. With a variety of textures that he puts on the plate, where each texture he decides the flavor he will pair, and continues to compose whole dessert. A pastry tip… “Never stop to learn (from any source), focus (as pastry is similar to physics and some pastry specialty need a peaceful mind), respect (to whoever and whatever you learn from), be up to date with the trend (classic is always the best, but old sometimes isn’t fun enough)”

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CHRISTOPH RÜFFER

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ecognized with two Michelin Stars and 19 Gault Millau Points as well as with 4½ F’s and the titles German Restaurant of the Year 2014 (Der Feinschmecker), Hamburg’s Best Chef 2014 (Great Gourmet Prize Hamburg) and Chef of the Year 2015 (Gault Millau), Christoph Rüffer looks back on a successful career and has established himself as integral part of the German culinary scene. In the late 80’s he use to watch a German TV-Show “Eating like God in Germany” (referring to a German expression “Living like God in France” that meant leading a carefree and idle life). His passion for cooking is owed to his grandmother and Aunt Berta as he tried to cook their recipes. Fascinated by this skilled manual work and his enjoyment of food, Christoph Rüffer’s culinary journey begun.

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CHRISTOPH RÜFFER PHOTO © GUIDO LEIFHELM

He learned classic haute cuisine at the one Michelinstarred restaurant Le Gourmet in Munich, further deepened his knowledge under the guidance of Henri Bach at his two Michelin star Hotel Résidence in Essen, later with Claus-Peter Lumpp’s three Michelin-starred Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn and still in Baiersbronn, with Harald Wohlfahrt’s three Michelin star restaurant Traube Tonbach. “All these chefs were really calm, they were fair teachers and mentors. In their calm and focused manner they inspired me and all of my colleagues. I’ve had a great education thanks to their creativity and professional skills” adds Christoph Rüffer. WG November 2017 -

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Christoph’s cuisine is a compositions of fresh, mostly seasonal ingredients. Inspired compositions of various, intuitively contradictory aromas and the use of surprising textures make each of the seasonally-adapted menus unique and an exceptional culinary experience, which is a perfect harmony on each plate. “Always trying to find an aroma-combination that reflects freshness and acidity, a deep spiciness that spoils the palate with variety. Finding this balance requires professional experience of many years and a sharpened sense of taste. It’s important that you are able to taste every ingredient on its own – but it also has to be combinable to produce the perfect balance between freshness and spiciness.”

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SCALLOP WITH CELERY CRÈME TANDOORI & CHICORY

Each dish is inspired by an ingredient and the combination of ingredients, and that is where the idea is born. Then the process of development starts – does the dish fit within his philosophy? Are the ingredients permanently available for a certain period? The product has to be recognizable, profundity is essential and the dishes need to be elegant and creative. The product is most important, you won’t benefit of the greatest creativity and technique without good products.

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CHRISTOPH RÜFFER

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Chef’s Table... Right in the center of the newly designed kitchen event space, up to eight guests have the opportunity to watch Christoph Rüffer and his team at work behind the scenes of Restaurant Haerlin at Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. The Chef’s Table is set up in a separate semi-transparent room amidst the working stations. Large sliding windows give view to the kitchen operations and allow for direct interaction with the Haerlin team.

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SOMMELIER TABLE

Ingredients that inspire, his favourite ingredients and ingredients unable to master… Inspire during autumn with mushrooms, vegetables and herbs, yet working with his favourite ingredients - Yuzu, Norwegian lobster (Nephrops norvegicus, in Germany it is called “Kaisergranat”), Saddle of Lamb from Limousin, Artichoke, Cèpe and Pumpkin. “There are ingredients that take time to get comfortable with but I have never given up on something – the process of finding the perfect combination is so exiting that giving up would be so wrong” adds Christoph Rüffer. Two Michelin stars, Chef of Year and the motivation… “I feel proud, happy and very thankful to my team. But I don’t need additional motivation, my job is my motivation. Being awarded is just a part of our way that is very interesting. We have one of the most amazing jobs of the world.” “You should be interested and good at languages, you need a talent for taste, you should love going to restaurants. And of course: be curious and have an inquisitive mind” Christoph Rüffer’s advice to chefs who are entering the kitchen for the first time.

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SADDLE OF VENISON WITH MAJORAM-BLACK PUDDING, KOHLRABI & APPLE-SECCO

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MITSUHARU TSUMURA MAIDO LIMA, PERU

icha, as everybody calls him, was born in Lima and since his childhood Micha has was very passionate about cooking. While studying, he trained in various hotels and restaurants in Rhode Island and did his internship in Swissotel Lima. He also worked to develop along with the newspaper El Comercio “The Great Encyclopedia of Peruvian Cuisine”. After graduating, he decides to go to Osaka, Japan to specialize in Japanese cuisine, where he worked in restaurants such as “Seto Sushi” specialized in sushi and “Imo to Daikon” in Izakaya style cuisine.

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His passion for Japanese and Peruvian cuisine led him to create Maido, a Japanese restaurant with Peruvian heart. It is a fervent and unique love, Peru always being his source of inspiration. The landscapes, the products and the creativity of the Peruvian people are the ingredients that play in his mind and inspire his work.

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Here the cook is not the protagonist, but it is the top quality ingredients that promise the artist the creation of the unique work of art. This wonderful cuisine is the reflection of the Japanese influence on the Peruvian gastronomy. The ingredients of both cultures complement each other as if they had been born to be one. It is an honest cuisine with unique textures and flavors.


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ASADO DE TIRA

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lvera’s culinary proposal has been defined over time based on an obsession for detail, subtle ingredient selection and flavor construction, as well as a dynamic of constant evolution and deep exploration of Mexico’s gastronomic potential. His unending curiosity has driven change and ever-greater perfection in his work. Following a first phase reinterpreting Mexico’s popular recipes-that brought him fame well beyond the nation’s borders-Olvera adopted a more personal focus in which he began to explore and create based on Mexico’s almost inexhaustible universe of ingredients, while never ceasing to experiment with both contemporary as well as millennia-old culinary technique, always deeply invested in bold and imaginative proposals.

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Olvera has achieved a certain balance by means of experience, maturity, evolution. To evolve for Olvera is to incorporate tools into his life. Tools to communicate himself better. Tools to be able to manage and put into practice what you’ve learned through books, travels, talking to people you admire, eating at other restaurants. For Olvera it has become very personal, free and fearless. Where there has to be a dialogue with the ingredients he is using and with the context that he is working on. The best food is the intelligent one and the best dishes are the ones to come.

ENRIQUE OLVERA PUJOL MEXICO CITY, MEXICO PHOTO © ARACELI PAZ

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RODOLFO GUZMÁN BORAGÓ SANTIAGO, CHILE

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odolfo Guzmán runs his kitchen based on the Chilean territory and its seafood, products from the native forests, valleys and mountains, respecting what the earth is capable of giving us at any given moment, just like the Mapuches and Pehuenches proposed, but not only this. Rodolfo, with his team have dedicated themselves to document the uses and properties of all that is endemic Chilean life. Exploring new possibilities, through a collaboration of more than 200 people from foraging communities and small producers from the entire length of Chile. This for years, has allowed access to a product unique in all the world, with a huge cultural weight, transformed by a true ritual, to represent the temperament of the Chilean environment, looking back in time into our natives to shape the future of Chilean cuisine.

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In an effort to go beyond, Guzmán has tried to reinvent Chilean food from a point of view one may think is invaluable. Using the ancestor legacy of cooking over different kinds of rocks, and smoking with indigenous woods that come from diverse regions of our country. A cuisine develop at Boragó which is based on the environment, and “what the earth is ready to give us at this moment.” Rodolfo Guzmán uses the legacy of his Chilean forebears in his cuisine, cooking on hot stones and smoking with native woods from all parts of Chile.

ICE BRULÈE DE PLANTAS AMARGAS DEL DESIERTO DE ATACAMA Y SANDWICH HELADO DE ROSA DEL AÑO

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ermán Martitegui spent much time alone as a young boy, experimenting with and learning from his grandmother. He studied International Relations and Foreign Trade at the University of Salvador, but his true love was cooking. At age 19 he began working in catering kitchens, and in 1989 at the age of 23, he went to France, starting under Georges Blanc. He then worked at the Fitz Roy hotel, and they invited Germán to work on their new summer restaurant on Corcega Island. He returned to Argentina in 1992 to become chef of hotel La Casada de Bariloche on the Argentine Patagonia. He later went to California to work at restaurants like Patina, La Brea, and Campanilis to learn the California cuisine.

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In 1994, Germán returned to Argentina working with Francis Malmann at his beach store in Punta del Este and his two famous restaurants in Buenos Aires, Patagonia Sur, in the La Boca barrio section, and Cholila. Germán then went on to become the executive chef of Agraz Restaurant in the Caesar Park Hotel. In December of 1999, the Great Chefs team showed up at Agraz to feature Germán for their Great Chefs of the World television series on the Discovery Channel. Germán created Restaurant Casa Cruz in 2004 and in 2009 Germán opened Tegui.

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VYEIRAS CREMA DE KEFIR QUINOA PHOTO © MARCELO SETTON


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GERMAN MARTITEGUI TEGUI BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA PHOTO © JOE PEREIRA LUCENA

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GASTÓN ACURIO ASTRID Y GASTÓN LIMA, PERU

romoter of Peruvian culinary arts, Gastón Acurio attended law school. However, his passion for food was stronger, so he left law school to begin studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. During his time in Paris, Acurio met his German-born wife Astrid. In 1994, they opened the restaurant Astrid&Gastón in Lima, Peru, establishing one of the first restaurants of Peruvian haute cuisine in the world. Initially very French-oriented due to the couple’s classical French training, Gastón soon found himself experimenting with Peruvian ingredients and taking inspiration from local traditions.

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In 2013, Acurio was the recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the organizers of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He was selected to receive the prestigious award in a vote by 250 industry experts from across the region. The honor recognizes Acurio’s fundamental contribution to Peru’s culinary industry and national identity. Acurio is the primary supporter of the culinary instruction institution, Pachacutec School of Cuisine, located in one of the poorest areas in Lima. The school provides underprivileged young people with a facility to study under industry-leading instructors.

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GYOZAS

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riginally from Ensenada, Guillermo worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and USA such as Jaun de Alzate, Le Divellec, Table Gourmand, Troutbeck and WineSellar & Brasserie. In 1994 he occupied the chef position at the Ambrosia Restaurant in México City, where later on, he became Corporate Chef at Grupo Ambrosia del Bosque.

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In 1998 Pangea opened its doors, a restaurant that against all of the odds, changed the gastronomic industry in Monterrey; offering high contemporary cuisine, catering services and a wine store. Years later, Guillermo opened Bistro Bardot in 2006, in 2008 Chino Latino, La Félix in 2009, La Embajada in 2012, Vasto in 2013, La Félix Nuevo Sur in 2016 and La Reynita in 2017, conforming the 8th restaurant of Grupo Pangea. Guillermo is part of the Mexican Chef Corps, which seeks to promote the Mexican gastronomy throughout the world.

GUILLERMO GONZÁLEZ BERISTÁIN PANGEA MONTERREY, MEXICO

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HELENA RIZZO Maní São Paulo, Brazil

he husband-and-wife team Daniel Redondo and Helena Rizzo of Maní have greatly helped revolutionize Brazil’s dining scene throughout the past decade.

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PHOTO © ROBERTO SEBA

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Named after the indigenous Brazilian God – Maní, legend has it that a beautiful young woman who mysteriously died and was later reincarnated in the form of plants. Daniel and Helena’s sophisticated take on Brazilian country cuisine meshed with modern cooking techniques, dishes might not sound like much, but one bite is enough to explain their take on Brazilian cuisine.


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BANANA

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QUESO HUMACHA PHOTO © LUIS FERNANDEZ

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orn in Copenhagen, Kamilla studied cooking at Hotel & Restaurantskolen København and developed her professional life in some of the most important cuisines in Europe such as Manoir Aux ‘Quat Saisons, Paustian, Geist and Mugaritz, where she met Michelangelo Cestari.

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After accepting Claus Meyer´s irresistible invitation to be part of a dream called GUSTU in Bolivia, she arrived in La Paz in 2012 seeking to share her knowledge and experiences with young people and make at least a small difference in their lives. This goal, coupled with a huge commitment to Bolivia and its native products, and a deep respect for the work of hundreds of Bolivian producers, has earned Kamilla the name of “La Danesa de Los Andes” and has led her to represent Bolivia in some of the most important events worldwide. Developing an innovative, simple and elegant cuisine, Kamilla Seidler has been the first female chef invited to participate in the International Council of the Basque Culinary Center in 2014. She has received many other international awards for her work and her life dedicated to spreading a message of respect, dignity and pride through the food, a dedication recognized by institutions of the prestige of the Basque Culinary Center.

KAMILLA SEIDLER GUSTU LA PAZ, BOLIVIA PHOTO © PATRICIO CROOKER

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MIKEL ALONSO GERARD BELLVER BRUNO OTEIZA BIKO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

PHOTO © ALONSO MEJIA, PABLO CRUZ IRAZTORZA, TONALLI JIMENEZ ROBERTO SEBA

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PESCA Y QUESADILLA

The best of two worlds – Biko is a creation of Basque chefs Mikel Alonso and Bruno Oteiza with their fusion of Mexican and Basque cuisine blending with Mexican ingredients, and Spanish chef Gerard Bellver adds techniques influenced from ElBulli – a priceless culinary experience which dazzles all your senses. WG November 2017 -

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LANGOSTINOS


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rowing up in Rosario, a city that is a few hours north of Buenos Aires, young Juan spent many hours helping his grandmother in the kitchen; they often watched cooking television shows together. Today, all chefs talk about going back to basics, and for many of us that means skipping the visit to the supermarket and returning to the garden to look for the ingredients to make those dishes that our grandmothers used to make. ”That does not mean that modern techniques and a few word influences would not have made their way into the menus of the Hotel. “Cooking in Mexico turned out to be a natural extension of the dishes I grew up with, and in Egypt I knew many similar flavors and techniques.” Buenos Aires has always been a cosmopolitan city, a mixture of Italian, Spanish and French traditions, with which, maybe a bit of Middle Eastern culture is the next step in evolution, “says Juan smiling.

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With a clear concentration on perfectly prepared dishes, Juan discovers that he has not wasted his youth studying electronics technics. “Accuracy is important, and in a busy kitchen, the ability to solve problems is critical.” Happily he is not alone, and has discovered that many of his old “brothers” cooks were still at the head of the stove when he returned to the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires. Together, they serve the most authentic Urban Cuisine of Argentina.

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PEPE SOTELO DON JULIO BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

epe started his career at Don Julio at the beginning of the project, 17 years ago. Today, Pepe is the famous talented Correntino responsible for heating the grill and giving the meat its characteristic flavor. Don Julio is a classic steakhouse, popular amongst locals and tourists alike, that stands out for its premium beef cuts. Located in an old red brick house with double height ceilings on a corner of Palermo, it is the ideal spot to enjoy the best Argentine barbecue. All the beef served is exclusively grass-fed and everything is of the highest quality. The ojo de bife (ribeye steak) and entraĂąa (skirt steak) deserve a special mention. Also noteworthy are the achuras (offal), the not-tobe-missed provoleta (a delicious slab of grilled provolone cheese), fried empanadas criollas and pastas.

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MORCILLA

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n Central Virgilio Martinez celebrates the biodiversity of Peru. Fresh produce and an inexhaustible curiosity to discover and integrate new ingredients into the menu bring Peruvian cuisine to the forefront in the heart of the traditional district of Miraflores in Lima.

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Virgilio presents a novel cuisine dedicated to the richness of our products. Its preparations are a travel experience though Peru by its hidden ingredients, undocumented to modern gastronomy. He chooses to approach the diversity of our ingredients in a manner similar to that used by the peoples of the Andes in pre-Hispanic times: through vertical ecological monitoring. According to this alternative way of understanding the geography, land is perceived not as a horizontal plane but rather vertically, so that it takes advantage of all that the flora and fauna are able to deliver according to the particularities of each ecological system. As a result of the dramatic fluctuations in the Andean terrain in a relatively small radius of 100 kilometers, there is direct access to the country’s products from various altitudes ranging from the coast to the Amazon. Virgilio’s interdisciplinary team that complements each new “discovery” in a necessary context that seeks to transcend the strictly culinary and penetrate nutritional, biological, anthropological aspects.

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ALEX ATALA D.O.M. SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL

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PHOTO © RUBENS KATO HEART OF PALM, VATAPÁ AND COCONUT MILK PHOTO © WELLINGTON NEMETH


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lex Atala, chef and owner of D.O.M. Restaurant, is recognized by an innovative cuisine, thanks to the flavor variety of the Brazilian ingredients. Atala graduated at the Hospitality School of Namur, in Belgium. In Brazil, made his debut as a chef at Filomena, a mixture of bar and events venue. In 1999, after working in other venues as a hired chef, he opened two houses: NaMesa, a chic fast-food (extinct), and D.O.M., creative contemporary cuisine restaurant with a marking Brazilian accent. In 2009, another contribution to the astronomy universe: Dalva e Dito restaurant, which presents the concept of affective cuisine and reinforces the faith Alex Atala has in both native ingredients and culture.

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The work developed throughout his career towards Brazilian ingredients, colors and flavors enhancement caught the specialists’ eye. Atala has a collection of both national and international prizes and, in 2013, made it in the 100 most influential people list of TIME Magazine. WG November 2017 -

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orge Vallejo is one of Mexico’s most recognized young chefs on the culinary scene, at home and abroad, whose solid, ever-upward career path has been an unstinting labor of love and enthusiasm. After discovering his culinary bent as a teenager, Vallejo entered the Centro Culinario de México to study Culinary Administration and Arts. A restless spirit led him to set sail with Princess Cruises in 2004, where he worked on voyages to all corners of the globe. Once back on land, he joined the team at Pujol and was later Corporate Chef at Grupo Habita, where he oversaw kitchens at the Condesadf, Habita and Distrito Capital hotels. He became Executive Chef at the St. Regis hotel’s Restaurante Diana, in 2010, before traveling to Copenhagen for a season at Noma. That same year, in collaboration with Mauro Colagreco and Virgilio Martínez, Vallejo started the Orígenes initiative, designed to rescue and preserve culinary products, techniques and customs in small Latin American communities.

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2012 was a critical year. Alongside his wife Alejandra Flores, Vallejo opened Quintonil, his “life project”; a gastronomic proposal that clearly expresses the flavors and forms of modern Mexican cooking. He strives to use ingredients derived from Mexico’s small-scale producers to create dishes that take every day, home style flavors to an even higher level.

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DIEGO HERNÁNDEZ BAQUEDANO CORAZÓN DE TIERRA VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MEXICO

PHOTO © BIEN MEDIA / LUIS MEZA & ALEJANDRO ALARCON

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orn in Ensenada and raised in Mexico´s top kitchens, Diego is part of a generation that are bridging tradition with a contemporary look on food & hospitality. With a strong back-to nature approach, Diego´s “Corazón de Tierra” destination restaurant, has spearheaded the farm to table movement at Valle de Guadalupe´s wine region, by the use bringing sustainability to our gastronomic landscape and becoming a node for innovation. His cooking style is humble, intuitive and spontaneous; he deeply feels our terroir, letting the ingredients express their culinary uniqueness in a beautiful play that showcases: local flavours, simplicity and pure joy for cooking.

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Chef Diego Hernández studied Gastronomy at the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, and has worked alongside top chefs like Benito Molina of Manzanilla, Ensenada, Guillermo González at Pangea, Monterrey and Enrique Olvera at Pujol, CDMX.


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SOPA DE FRIJOL

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eruvian chef and entrepreneur who is known for his roots in the traditional Peruvian cuisine. He taook the reins of his mother’s (Isolina Vargas) restaurant, after discovering his true vocation for gastronomy at the age of 28. After various complications and bureaucratic obstacles, in 2015 he opened the doors of Isolina - Taberna Peruana (named in honor of her mother), a restaurant that perfectly reflects his memories of ancient, classic and honest food, framed in an old house in the bohemian district of Barranco, in Lima. In that same year, Isolina was chosen as the Best New Restaurant by the annual Summum guide, captivating diners who had been looking for these forgotten flavors in old cookbooks for years. Isolina is an authentic homage to the spirit and flavors of our beloved taverns of yesteryear. To that home kitchen and forgotten recipes in old notebooks. Born from the need to rescue traditions that are not only reflected in a dish or a glass, but also in its environment, its music, its smells and architecture.

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JOSÉ DEL CASTILLO ISOLINA LIMA, PERU PHOTO © CARLOS VELA

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2016 A COLLECTIVE OF CHEFS

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A TRUE ARTISAN

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FOOD FOR SOUL

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