Get to know Konstantin Chakhnov, Head Chef at Fraiche Cafe & Bistro
Name: Konstantin Chakhnov Job title: Head Chef at Fraiche Cafe & Bistro Age: 25
How long have you lived in Dubai? Two years.
Where do you like to hang out in Dubai when you're not at work? In my spare time I like to venture out into places like Satwa and Deira to look for unique little restaurants and try new styles of food that I might not have encountered before. There are many hidden gems in this city and I love discovering new culinary spots on my days off.
What's your top tip for visitors to Dubai? I always recommend a little bit of the old Dubai and a little bit of the new Dubai. For old Dubai, I love the Creek and going down to the fish market. For new Dubai, my favourite spot is 360 Degrees, they have a great atmosphere and a gorgeous view of the city.
What is one thing would you like to do in Dubai that you haven't done before? I haven’t tried sand boarding yet! Since I'm from Canada, I really enjoy snowboarding and skiing, so this new version in the sand really intrigues me.
What career journey did you take before joining your restaurant? My journey was one that began in Montreal, where my initial passion was sparked. My passion quickly brought me overseas to England, where I was very fortunate to receive an internship at The Fat Duck. That internship quickly transformed into a full time job as Chef de Partie.
After learning many valuable skills and techniques, I later moved to the Netherlands where I held the position of Chef de Partie at OudSluis. I soon realised that what I really wanted to do was open my own restaurant. So, I moved back to Montreal and opened up Mir, with my family. Mir was a true passion project and was the biggest challenge of my entire life, I learned more in that year than at any other moment in my life.
From there I decided I wanted a fresh start once again and moved across the globe to Dubai. Here, I was fortunate enough to meet Yousef, Founder of Fraiche Cafe & Bistro. I have definitely found my stride here and I am extremely proud to call Fraiche Café & Bistro my home!
Aside from where you work, where is your favourite place to dine in Dubai? To be honest, I don't get to go out very often but one of my favourite all time dining experiences in Dubai was at Okku. I feel like the chef there is super talented and I really enjoyed the South American influence in the Japanese cuisine.
Why should Time Out readers try your restaurant? Time Out readers should try Fraiche Cafe & Bistro not only for the quality of food but also the atmosphere. We have a great spot to pop in for a coffee, have a work meeting, or to bring the family for a nice lunch out. During the week we are usually bustling with suits and laptops, whereas weekends are a frenzy of friends and families enjoying our buffet brunch special.
What's the best thing about dining at your restaurant in 2015? 2015 is a good year to dine with us because we have now really felt our groove when it comes to our menu items. I have been putting a lot of focus on doing in-house pickling, fermentations and marinations, to try to add a different contrast and depth of flavour to our dishes. Our latest menu was launched on July 1. We kept some of our beloved classics like the Beef Dip Sandwich, Beef Bourguignon and the Beetroot and Avocado Salad. But, added a few new and exciting experiences like our Deep Water Caribbean Prawns and Turkey Loaf Eggs Benedict.
What's your dish recommendation at your restaurant? Our dish recommendation comes twice; if you would like to stick with one of our staples, we recommend the Baby Jerk Chicken. But, if your feel adventurous we highly recommend a new addition to our menu, the Artichoke and Cured Celery Root Salad served with passion fruit vinaigrette.