Nestlé Professional MENA is showcasing its creative food and beverage solutions through easy-to-make recipes with the region’s top chefs.
Designation: Chef de Cuisine, Sofitel Dubai Wafi
Country of Origin: South Africa
Years of culinary experience: 16
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
I have 16 years of experience in the industry, six of which are international (Dubai) and 10 learning all over South Africa: from game lodges and 5-star hotel openings, to golf estates and the best hotel in Africa).
I’m a senior member of the Emirates Culinary Guild, member of the Saudi Arabia Chef ’s Table circle, part of the St. Petersburg Chefs Congress (to begin my journey as a judge), head marshal for the guild, and an inspiration to a few young chefs now in Dubai at Sofitel Dubai Wafi as part of the pre-opening team.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
I love meat! I’m South African, and we love our meat. Hot dogs are among my top favou- rites, as they’re fast and easy – but only homemade sausages deep fried with onions and a fresh tomato relish (sauce).
What are you cooking up today? Please tell us more about the dish.
This won me a gold medal a few years back at my second cooking competition. Wagyu beef fillet with lentil ragout, green pea and mint puree, beetroot jam fume doux jus, CHEF Demi glacé sauce, and deep-fried baby beet and greens for garnish. The meat is prepared to perfection, it’s the small things on the plate that differentiate a 4-star dish from a 5-star one.
It takes skill to make some- thing perfect! The reason I’m making this dish is because most of my ingredients produce waste, so I use it all in my ragout to make the lentil salad tastier and moister (not dry plain lentils). The puree goes very well with all the ingredi- ents on the plate and brings out the colours of the food.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
I am using fresh, local produce. The taste of fresh products is just the best as it makes your end product so much better. Local food is the best in terms of speed and consistency, and you know what you’re getting when ordering food or products.
What are some of the most recent, important food trends you can tell us about?
Well, sous vide and roasting for sure, (herbs, loads off them). Moreover, adding more sauce – not only drops on the plate.