With over 25 years of culinary experience, Russell Impiazzi has joined Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk as the Executive Chef, with the mission to establish a new hub of restaurant and bars in the city.
As Executive Chef at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, he is in charge of all culinary operations across five dining outlets – Brasserie Boulud, Taiko Dubai, The Nine Gastropub, Bijou Patisserie and Soleil Pool & Lounge, as well as the banqueting facilities. He leads a team of 80 chefs to translate the Sofitel culture of French art de Vivre through creations by demonstrating his core values of authenticity, quality, creativity and sustainability.
Commenting on Impiazzi’s appointment, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk’s Director of Operations, Joe Nassoura, says, “Russell is extremely passionate and knowledgable, and we are delighted to have him join the Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk family and guide the culinary team to further success. He’s a culinary expert with a simple vision; to inspire and connect great people through great food, and is set to create a sustainable dining culture within the exquisite luxury offerings of the Obelisk.”
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Impiazzi started his culinary journey working in a hotel kitchen at the age of fourteen through a work experience programme and went on to work alongside some of the UK’s most renowned Michelin-trained chefs. He was a part of the pre-opening team for WAFI Pyramids and launched various popular dining venues, including Medzo, Vintage, Carters, Asha’s and Seville’s, which won several Dining Awards.
Having established himself as one of the youngest Executive Chefs in Dubai at 28 years old, he was part of the pre-opening team of Atlantis Bahamas resort, was responsible for menu-reconstruction and concept development of a set of restaurants and bars in London, Manchester and Leeds, and helped establish the famous Parisian brand Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet.
After more than 20 years at the heart of Dubai’s food scene, Impiazzi returned to London once more to become Executive Chef in Hilton London Metropole, the largest Hilton outside the United States. In his role, he was tasked with the F&B repositioning for the hotel developing new restaurants and bars as well as upgrading the vast conference and events business.
While cooking up a storm in some of the best kitchens both in the UAE and around the world, Impiazzi also spent time taking on passion projects close to his heart that allowed him to serve the community through cuisine. In 2014, he partnered with Chef and friend Robbie Stokes to successfully launch The Pink Brigade to raise awareness and support those affected by breast cancer by donating 100% of the proceeds to the UAE based Pink Caravan.
With his fondness for Dubai and the opportunity to return ‘home’ to WAFI, Impiazzi joins Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk’s dynamic team. He says, “It feels great to back! And what an incredible property to be part of. I’ve been lucky enough to have been part of the Wafi history after opening the original Pyramids restaurants and bars, now 20 years later, to lead the culinary team here at The Obelisk feels like being at home. Dubai’s restaurant and bar scene is on a tremendous journey and quite rightly being recognized as having some of the leading venues globally. The aim of restaurants and bars here at Sofitel The Obelisk is to absolutely fit into this leading set. We have an incredible abundance of great produce in the UAE that I’m keen to introduce, not only to our great young team of chefs, but also to our international and locally-based guests, and to continue to showcase what delicious, local, and regional produce we have to offer in the UAE.
Covid has Reinforced even more to me the importance that great food and restaurants play in our daily lives; we need that social interaction, to share great food with family and friends, to take a breath and let genuine hospitality work and to look after you.”