Firas Fawaz, managing partner, The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri, explains why he brought the three-Michelin-starred Italian concept to Dubai as his first big F&B investment
What is your career background?
My career has always revolved around brand creation and development. Prior to this current venture, I was part of the founding team of a prominent group that creates, owns and operates multiple F&B concepts within the UAE. During my tenure, I helped them to create and introduce various concepts to Dubai.
Why did you decide to bring The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri to the Middle East as your first F&B investment?
After being involved in the F&B sector in Dubai for a while, I noticed that there is a lack of dining experiences that truly focus on the food. I believe the market is saturated in the beverage and bar scene rather than the food sphere. We wanted to create a place that people frequent for superior food, with the ambience merely an extra bonus. We believed that three-Michelin-starred chef, Annie Feolde, would have the perfect experience necessary to penetrate the market and fill that gap. Consumers in our region appreciate good quality food and have a refined taste with many enjoying Italian cuisine, so we believe The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri offers exactly what they need.
“Consumers in our region appreciate good quality food and have a refined taste with many enjoying Italian cuisine, so we believe The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri offers exactly what they need”
Please describe the concept of The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri?
The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri is a refined, casual concept, where we serve premium products in a chic ambience. Our aim with chef Annie, has always been to provide our guests with a true and unique Italian experience. It is worth noting that Enoteca Pinchiorri is one of the main pillars of the gastronomy industry in Italy; having such a brand in Dubai is a great addition to the market place.
How does it compete on the Dubai market?
The plan is not to compete but complete what’s missing. With so many options on the market, guests are educated enough to appreciate a quality-driven product in tandem with a non-pretentious concept. The menu has a selection of dishes catering to different tastes without compromising on the identity of our concept.
What key challenges have you faced in the first year of operations?
We have been open for the past five months, and so far, we have received extremely positive feedback. With several restaurants opening, people tend to have the impression that there’s no space for another addition to the F&B scene. When they try The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri, they understand that there’s always space for a genuine concept with a solid culinary history.
What new features are you offering this season?
We are providing the option for guests to sit outside during the cooler months, which will cater for the many cigar lovers. In addition, we introduced the wine flight experience, whereby guests enjoy a mini grape tasting at the table while they sample our dishes.
What are your plans for 2017?
The plan is to extrapolate the concept to other cities in the world and be on the international culinary map and travel the world with The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri. Currently we are working with the team in Florence spearheaded by chef Annie, to assess the opportunity for such expansion plans.