Feature: Putting RAK on the map

by Patrick Ryan | Published 1 year ago

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Executive chef Thorsten Beermann is the man responsible for the smooth running of all kitchen operations at Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, he speaks to Catering News Middle East about his plans for the property…

Thorsten BeermanWhat can you tell us about the restaurants at the property? We have a variety of restaurants concepts at Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, from the classic international restaurant Al Shamal to the Polynesian concept of Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge. Our Scirroco Bar it is an English-inspired pub serving burgers and tipples whilst Al Jazeera completes the list with a very traditional Lebanese cuisine. Not to be missed also is our beach-front Le Chalet which is famed for the sumptuous meat and fish brunch every Friday where you will be amazed by the seafood and meat selection, all cooked a la minute to your preference.

What would you say are the major challenges in getting to this point? Looking back at my career, I certainly had encountered my few shares of “challenges”. Nevertheless, I always see them in a positive note as they motivate me to go on and that is what built my character.  I am resilient due to these challenges and these instabilities make up for the amazing experiences and skills I have now.

How do you come up with the concepts for your menu? I usually take a classic approach when it comes to menu creation. However, over time I have also learned how to add a contemporary twist to things. I believe in respecting the ingredients and to allow their pure flavours to speak for themselves.

When it comes to anyone starting out in the business, in this region, what advice would you give them? Embrace the cultural diversity, get creative, be open to new cuisines and ingredients and learn from the best people of this industry.

How important is locally based produce to you? My preference is locally based suppliers. For instance, in our meat and fish brunch we get our fish freshly caught with the help of the local fishermen of Ras Al Khaimah. Only in exceptional situations when we are not able to source locally, we would important certain items.

Are there any items that are more difficult to source than others? I find it challenging when importing regional Asian items such as rare spices and south-east Asian products due to the extensive delivery period.

What does 2018 hold for both you and the property? I have just transferred to Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort and I want to take the opportunity to develop the outlets in this hotel, build the team and provide guests with a memorable culinary experience. I am also making it my aim to create a bond with the local community. I want our restaurants to be culinary destinations and place them on the map of Ras Al Khaimah.

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