Martin Cahill, executive chef Dukes Dubai, reveals his recipe for success to Catering News Middle East
Describe your first ever role in the F&B industry?
I started off washing pots and pans in my local hotel in Bolton in the UK and then moved on to commis chef and climbed the ladder over the years.
Who has inspired you most in your career?
I’ve learned various things from every head chef and executive chef I have worked with in every country, everything from having the right attitude and creativity, to skills and techniques and managing large kitchen brigades.
How do you view the F&B scene in the region?
In Dubai there are so many food and beverage options. There are only a few cities in the world where trends are set; London, Paris, New York, Asia, Tokyo and Dubai runs along with them. Food trucks are now popular over here, so the options for food and beverage are huge, and the market is becoming more and more competitive.
What is the biggest challenge of your role?
I would say the biggest challenge is the impact social media has had on the food scene where customers are not as easily wowed as they were previously, as a result chefs must be even more creative.
What is the best aspect of your role?
The best aspect would have to be the fact that this is such a multicultural environment with a dynamic team and our guest profile is so diverse. Another perk is getting to work with so many new and interesting Arabic ingredients.
If you could work in any restaurant in the world – which would it be?
French Laundry in Napa Valley California alongside Thomas Keller.
What tip would you share with new staff starting out in the F&B industry in the region?
I interview everyone because I can train skills but I want to get the character right and I look for positive people. I would urge any new starters to stick to the basics, listen, focus on learning your techniques, and for the first five years work very, very hard.
October 2015 – Present: Executive Chef, DUKES Dubai
May 2014 – October 2015: Executive Chef, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei
January 2013 – May 2014: Executive Chef, The Excelsior Hotel, Hong Kong