Fancy becoming a Time Out food critic for an evening? Then join us for a night of festive fine dining and help us in search for the city’s hottest young chef. You will be served a four-course festive meal cooked in front of a live audience – all you have to do is eat, drink and judge.
We caught up with contestant, Timur Fazilov to find out more about his foodie style.
How long have you lived in Dubai?
For about four or five months.
What made you decide to come out here?
I wanted to experience something new. I’d been living in England for the past ten years, so thought it was time for a change. On top of that, I’ve just had a child, a newborn son. So far I’m enjoying the life in Dubai although it’s very different to England. There are lots of things to do out here and the weather is amazing, so I’m enjoying it.
How long have you been a chef?
I’ve lost count, but it’s been around eight years so far.
What inspired you to start?
When I went to the UK to study, the only job I could get was as a kitchen porter, washing dishes in a small Italian restaurant. But then one day, one of the chefs didn’t show up so I had to jump in his section and help the team with the prep and cooking. I eventually became the head chef.
What’s your favourite dish to cook?
That’s a very hard question. I can cook anything and as a chef I appreciate every ingredient and enjoy experimenting with whatever ingredients are in season.
What’s the best part about being in this competition?
I think it’s going to help build up my confidence. I want to see what I’m capable of, as I’ve never done anything similar before. I think it would be good to be the Young Chef of the Year, and it is interesting to see what others are capable of. I’m looking forward to it.
What do you think is the best part about your menu? What’s going to help you beat the other competitors?
Creativity and the use of Asian ingredients.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Probably managing different people with different backgrounds.
Have you got a favourite chef?
Not just one chef. Anyone who has achieved anything in the industry is great, and I learn from everyone. When I was younger I worked for Richard Corrigan, who in my opinion is one of the best Irish chefs. I love his food; it’s honest food that’s all about the ingredients.
Anthony Demetre is another favourite of mine. He uses the cheapest cuts of the meat and turns it into an amazing dish which is an amazing skill. And Gordon Ramsay, everyone loves Ramsay. I use to work in one of his kitchens and I learnt a lot. I learnt discipline and it helped to build my character.
Do you have a favourite restaurant here in Dubai?
I haven’t had the chance to go out much but there is one restaurant that stood out to me; a Korean restaurant in Asiana Hotel. It was a very simple restaurant, but the food was outstanding.