Kitchen Stars: Top 20 celebrity chefs in MidEast
The big culinary names who have brought their cooking to the region.
\nRhodes opened his first restaurant in Abu Dhabi with the launch of Rhodes 44 in the St Regis Abu Dhabi last year. This followed on from the successes in Dubai, where he has already opened the Rhodes Mezzanine and Rhodes Twenty10 restaurants.
\nAs well as his fine-dining restaurant Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire at InterContinental Dubai Festival City, the Michelin-starred chef also has a pastry shop, Choix Patisserie & Restaurant Par Pierre Gagnaire, in the hotel.
\nLocated in the world’s tallest hotel, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Rang Mahal restaurant brought Atul Kochhar’s Michelin-star winning Indian Cuisine to the UAE in 2012. Kochhar was the first even Indian chef to bag a Michelin star.
\nNow a familiar name in major cities around the world, Nobu Matsuhisa opened his first eponymous restaurant in the region at Atlantis, The Palm The Middle East’s first Nobu Hotel set to open in Riyadh later this year.
\nRamsay opened his first restaurant outside the UK in Dubai, Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek, but it was closed and rebranded in 2011. However, he still has two restaurants in Doha at the St Regis hotel and has signalled a return to Dubai with brands such as Bread Street Kitchen and Union Street Café.
\nJason Atherton will open his first restaurant in the Middle East at the new InterContinental Dubai Marina, which will open by the end the year. He previously served as executive chef of Gordon Ramsay’s Verre in 2001.
\nMexcian-born chef Richard Sandoval has clearly taken a liking got Dubai, recently announcing his third restaurant in the emirate. Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen + Lounge at Le Royal Meridien and Toro Toro at Grosvenor House Dubai have alrady proven to be successes and will soon be joined by Zengo in Le Royal Meredien Beach Resort & Spa.
\nTrained in India and based in London, Vineet Bhatia has five restaurants across the GCC, including Indego by Vineet at Grosvenor House Dubai. As he explained in an interview with Caterer Middle East last year, his mission is to offer extraordinary experiences. “I don’t want to offer something which you can get in your normal restaurant or household,” he said.
\nSituated in Atlantis, The Palm, Giorgio Locatelli’s restaurant Ronda Locatelli aims to blend the charm of an Italian countryside with the modernity of Dubai.
\nPerhaps the king of celebrity chefs right now in the UK and USA, where he is a regular on televisions screen, Jamie Oliver has built a restaurant empire – one that expanded into Dubai in 2011 with the opening of Janie’s Italian in Festival City. That was followed up with a second branch last year at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. (ITP Images)
\nThe doyen of Indian cookery and author of ‘How to Cook Indian’, Sanjeev Kapoor opened his first restaurant out of his homeland in Bahrain in 2012, with a branch of Yellow Chilli. He has moved fast since then, opening a number of outlets for his various brands in the UAE.
Marco Pierre White
\nThe father of modern British cooking and mentor to some of the best talent to come out of the country in recent years, Marco Pierre White retired from the kitchen some time ago. However, his business empire includes restaurants across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including the Marco Pierre White Grill at the Conrad Dubai and the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.
\nFrench chef Yannick Alléno has three restaurants – matching his three Michelin stars – at One&Only The Palm. ZEST, STAY and 101 serve a combination of international and local cuisine.
\nThough now owned by Dubai-based conglomerate Landmark Group, the Carluccio’s chain relies on the good name of Italian chef Antonio Carluccio and he still serves as a consultant to the company. With seven branches in the UAE and one in Doha, it’s a name that has plenty of clout in the Middle East.
\nAustralian celeb-chef Greg Malouf recently moved to the UAE and has told Caterer Middle East that he is planning to open his first, as yet unnamed, restaurant in Dubai. Scheduled to open in September, the restaurant will be situated in The Currency House building, overlooks the Burj Khalifa, and will be a contemporary Middle Eastern concept.
\nItalian master chef Alfredo Russo recently brought his cuisine to Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers by creating the menu for signature restaurant Vivaldi, now re-named Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo. Turin-native Russo has held his Michelin star for over 20 hears having achieved it three years after opening Dolce Stil Novo in his home town.
\nWolfgang Puck – who built his reputation as chef to the stars in Beverly Hills – recently opened his first restaurant in the Middle East, with American steak house Cut at The Address Downtown Dubai.
\nVikas Khanna recently became the latest Michelin-starred chef to signal his arrival to these shores, with his New York restaurant Junoon to open at its second location, in the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai later this year. Like the original branch.
\nAlain Ducasse opened his first restaurant in the Middle East in Doha last year, with IDAM in the heart of the Museum of Islamic Art Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of influence from the Middle East.
\nAnother two-star Michelin chef, Frenchman Michel Rostang created the menu at Rostang, The French Brasserie in Atlantis, The Palm.