As a constellation of Michelin-starred chefs get ready to open new venues in Dubai
This week at Time Out Dubai, we’re dabbling in a little astrology of sorts. While it’s not quite of the Mystic Meg type, we are looking into the stars and to give you an accurate account of how the future will pan out. The stars we’re talking about however, are awarded to chefs by food bible, the Michelin Guide, and by this winter there will be a few more shining brightly around Dubai. In the coming months we will see new restaurants by French, British and Peruvian chefs who have all earned Michelin stars. Here’s our round-up of the decorated chefs who will be cooking in this city by the end of the year.
Jason Atherton Opening: September 4 2015
Jason Atherton’s Marina Social launches next week at the InterContinental Dubai Marina. Although this is Jason’s first-ever Dubai restaurant, it’s not the first time he has taken charge of a kitchen in Dubai, having been the launch chef at the now long-gone Verre by Gordon Ramsay. The Michelin-awarded chef, who also worked at the world-renowned el Bulli, returns to Dubai with what he calls a ‘deformalised’ restaurant, featuring a menu of British-Mediterranean sharing plates. There is also a neighbouring bar, The Social Room, with an al fresco terrace. Reservations are now being taken for the opening night on September 4. InterContinental Dubai Marina, JBR (04 446 6664).
Darren Velvick Opening: September 15 2015
Verre, table 9 by Nick and Scott, or table 9 by Darren Velvick. All restaurants which have operated in the same space in the Hilton Dubai Creek hotel. And each one of the chefs that ran those restaurants has had a huge influence on Dubai’s food scene. Just before Ramadan, Darren Velvick left table 9 and has spent his time since then getting his new venture ready. The chef who previously worked under another Ramsay protégé Marcus Wareing in London) The Croft will open next month (though it’s already open in a soft phase), and is Velvick’s vision of rustic, retro British dining. It’s in the space that was once Azur, to create a British version of accessible brasserie dining, with a menu crammed with classic and fun creations. At The Croft, you’ll find dishes as diverse as crab beignets and ceviche-style local mackerel to beef tongue and cheek pie, which is inspired by Darren’s mother’s recipe. Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai Marina (04 319 4794).
Aikens is not only a Michelin-awarded chef, this guy is in fact the youngest ever chef to have been awarded two Michelin stars. Aikens earned this honour at Pied à Terre at the age of 26, where he purportedly got fired for branding a trainee with a hot knife, cattle-style. Double shades of Marco there, no? Moving on from these days of raw-hide rebellion, Aikens has since gone on to great success, with multiple UK restaurants, cookbooks and TV appearances. He is now opening his first restaurant in Dubai, Pots, Pans and Boards, opening next month. Located at The Beach at JBR, the venue takes its name from the serving style, where all dishes will be brought to the table - you guessed it - served in pots and pans or on boards (it’s never going to be a favourite of the Twitter account ‘We Want Plates’).The restaurant will have a homely appearance, with large communal tables, and more pots and pans hanging from the walls. You can expect to be served up dishes such as black squid tempura, lamb meatballs with harissa, and treacle marinated salmon. There will also be traditional English dessert sticky toffee pudding, served here with date ice cream. The Beach, JBR.
Gordon Ramsay Opening in: October 2015
The titan of international food TV, this chef has worked his way through Marco Pierre White’s restaurant kitchens to become a prolific restaurateur (with properties worldwide) and TV personality. Along with his explosive temper, Gordon has become famous for spawning his own set of highly respected alumni, including Jason Atherton (see above), Angela Hartnett, Clare Smyth and Marcus Wareing. All the way back in 2000, Gordon Ramsay opened Verre at Hilton Dubai Creek, his first, and to date, only Dubai restaurant. The venue received several awards from Time Out Dubai in its time, but closed permanently in 2011, following the UAE’s financial crisis. Now, Gordon will be bringing one of his casual dining outlets from London to Dubai: Bread Street Kitchen. Originally opened in London’s St. Paul’s, the restaurant has since made its way to Hong Kong and Singapore, Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm will be the brand’s next stop. The restaurant is expected to launch in October 2015. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Virgilio Martinez Opening in: January 2016 While the craze for Peruvian food grows and grows around the world, so too does it in Dubai. However, until now, Dubai has not had anywhere helmed by a Michelin-awarded Peruvian chef. Virgilio Martinez is the protégé of Gastón Acurio, the chef primarily credited with turning Peruvian food around and taking it to the centre of the world’s culinary stage. While Acurio is Peru’s answer to Gordon Ramsay (and the inventor of the now much copied ‘quinotto’ quinoa-risotto), Martinez has also done his best to bring his nation’s food to a global audience. The chef’s restaurant Central, in his native Peru, ranked number 4 on this year’s San Pellegrino list of the world’s best restaurants, while his London restaurant Lima earned the first Michelin star for Peruvian cooking. Now he plans to bring a version Lima to Dubai, expected to land early in 2016.
The Galvin Brothers Opening: From February 2016
Chris and Jeff Galvin are brothers and chefs that have worked together as successful restaurateurs ever since the launch of Galvin Bistrot de Luxe in London in 2005. Between them, the pair have worked with and under a myriad of British restaurant greats, including Marco Pierre White (Jeff) and Sir Terence Conran (Chris). Following the success of Bistrot de Luxe, the culinary duo have launched a number of additional restaurants in the UK, and they now have their sights set on Dubai. Scheduled to open in Meraas’ second phase of Citywalk there will be not one, but two, Galvin venues. Both are planned to open in early 2016, and since the Citywalk site is currently expected to be completed at the end of January 2016, we are estimating February at the earliest. One will be an unlicensed restaurant, bakery and patisserie called Demoiselle Café. The other will be a two-level, licensed restaurant, bar and club inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel planned for Citywalk.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten Opening soon, at a hotel near you…
The formidable JG (or Jojo as he likes to be called) holds three Michelin stars and recently opened two restaurants at the Four Seasons Dubai Jumeirah Beach: JG Dining Room and JG Kitchen. However, word on the street is that there could be three more Jean-Georges restaurants on their way to Dubai. Among them are plans for another restaurant at the Four Seasons, this time on the beach, and the restaurateur told us himself that he is currently in talks with Dubai Design District to open a version of his New York venue ABC Kitchen. But we also hear the chef has his sights set on two additional venues, one at the new W Hotel on Palm Jumeirah and the other at the new St Regis Dubai hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. The news is not yet official, but we can tell you it’s more than just a rumour - Jean Georges is planning to take over Dubai. What this Jojo shaped space.