Chef Ryan Marc Allen interview

Junior sous chef at Qbara, Wafi on the Young Chef of the Year contest

Ryan Marc Allen, 28
Junior sous chef at Qbara, Wafi

CV so far:
After completing my internship at the Hilton Sandton, South Africa, I came to Zuma Restaurant, Dubai, as a Commis I. In three and half years I was promoted to senior chef de partie. I moved to Qbara 18 months ago as a senior chef de partie and was promoted to junior sous chef. I learnt multiple cuisines while at the Hilton and at Zuma I learnt contemporary Japanese cuisine and felt I wanted to learn something new so I moved to Qbara.

Who are your culinary idols?
Bill Gallagher from South Africa. He was the president of the South African Chefs Association and is in a wheelchair. He overcame his disability to become one of the best.

What would you say is your signature dish?
I honestly don’t have one. I don’t think chefs should be all about that ‘one’ dish, they should be able to cook multiple dishes from different world cuisines. They should be striving to learn as many different dishes as possible.

Describe your style of cooking in three words.
Experimental, honest, delicious.

How are you approaching the Young Chef competition?
With enthusiasm. It was a mystery box of ingredients, so it got me thinking about what will go with what – thinking outside of the box.

What would be your perfect last meal?
My mother’s chicken pie, with roast lemon potatoes. She always makes it for me when I go home, and I’ll never get bored of it.

Not counting your own restaurant/hotel, where is your favourite place to eat in Dubai?
For a cheap evening I go to Bu Qtair in Jumeirah. For a more pricey night, La Petite Maison. It’s always perfect.

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