Head Chef Lucas Garigliano, a Spanish national, has five years of culinary experience, one of which is in the UAE.
Can you give us a glimpse of your career journey so far?
I started showing interest in cuisine at a very young age. Still, I always thought of keeping it as a hobby, rather than dedicating myself to it professionally. Thus, I decided to study economics and build my career in a different environment.
Soon after that, however, I realised that it wasn’t meant for me, and that I wanted to do something else with my life. After some time delivering, I decided to take the step and change careers. To do so, I chose the best culinary school, one which adapted better to my ambitions and could give me everything I was looking for.
Studying at Le Cordon Bleu was not easy. I wasn’t used to protocol proceedings and barely knew anything about how much effort and discipline you needed to work in the field. I had to work really hard, but now I can say that it was really worth it.
When my learning process ended, I got the opportunity to work for the best and most awarded chef in history, Joël Robuchon. Even though I never met him in person, I tried to absorb as much as I could from the rich, unprecedented legacy he had left us.
All in all, my journey so far is the combination of a life-changing decision, my hard work, and my dedication, all together, of course, with the constant learning experience and confidence-building I acquired working side by side with all my colleagues and chefs.
Currently, all my efforts have been rewarded with the position I’m holding in Dubai, and I could not thank my chef and CEO in this new project enough for trusting in my skills.
What’s your favourite dish to eat and why?
My favourite dish is chicken curry. More precisely, I love an Indian recipe that my mum used to cook for me when I was a child. It’s not really fancy, but it’s delicious and tasting it brings back all the memories.
Chicken, curry from Madras, onion and rice, and a mother’s touch… they transport me to many of my weekends as a kid. Also, it was the first dish I was interested in learning how to cook, so it will always have a special place in my heart.
What are you cooking up today? Tell us more about the dish.
Dover sole with beurre blanc; I like cooking fish the most because of its finesse and texture, and the taste of the Dover sole is definitely my favourite.
Today’s recipe is a mix between my past and present.
These also reminds me of my grandmother’s classic Tatin tart, in which I have to confit the endives to fill the sole filets, later creating a nappe with a delicate and “gourmand” beurre blanc – an ode to French cuisine.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
One of my favourite aspects of working with refined French cuisine is interacting with many rare, exquisite ingredients. Combining those with vegetables, fish and meat enables us to create an amazing experience for clients.
What are some of the most recent important food trends you can tell us about?
Molecular cuisine has brought a new approach and innovative methods. I think it has been one of the most important trends in recent years. It became famous because of Ferran Adria, a Spanish chef whom I admire a lot because of his dedication to perfecting the art of cooking and creating a different perception of it.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
Like in any other market, a chef will always want the best products at the best price. Products need to be fresh, tasty and ripe…Also, we appreciate other factors like consistency, availability and timeliness.
The current context of the Covid-19 pandemic is definitely a constraint and meeting all these requirements has become more challenging. However, it’s important that we step up and protect these standards to avoid a drop in quality. This would affect the willingness of our clients to consume, and with less demand, the cycle would continue to deteriorate.
It’s really up to all of us to get the world up and running again and become an even better place than it was before.