The busy executive chef takes time out to talk to us about globetrotting gourmets, facing his critics and who he would save if his kitchen were on fire.
Australia, Thailand, South Africa, England, Qatar and now Dubai – Chef Marcus Dudley’s passport has been stamped more times than a frustrated Flamenco dancer’s floorboards. Now, the youngest executive chef in the whole of the Ritz Carlton group talks – very briefly, he’s a busy man – to James Brennan about his critics, his fears and his last supper.
You’ve travelled around a bit in your career – are you wanted by the police? Who’s asking?
Which has been your favourite country to cook in? South Africa, because of its fantastic range of local grown product, fruits, vegetables, game and seafood – also in a country with so many different cultures and 11 official languages, there’s never a dull moment.
What’s your particular area of expertise? Delegating out the jobs I don’t like to do.
Who is your harshest critic? My wife… she is also a chef.
Who is your biggest fan? My mama.
Tell us about your signature dish Seared scallops with caramelised cauliflower panna cotta and vanilla chardonnay vinaigrette.
What do you prefer – instant pot noodles or cup-a-soups? Times would need to be tough to have to choose between those two.
Finish the following sentence. Marmite is miles better than Vegemite because… Who wants to eat vegetable tar? Damned veggies!
What foods are you afraid of, or would you just eat any old thing? The Japanese fish that, if prepared wrongly, will kill you; my mother in law’s cooking and Grandma Dudley’s fish pie (she just doesn’t understand that seafood on sale isn’t a bargain).
If there’s was a fire in your kitchen, what three things would you save first? Me, my sous chef as I need him to do all the work, and my pot plant.
OK, so it appears you have committed a terrible crime and you’re going to swing for it. What would you have as a final meal? A lobe of foie gras on toast with a bottle of Dom.