Aaron Gillespie, 27
Chef de cuisine at La Brasserie, Atlantis The Palm
CV so far: I started my career aged 16 in a small pub in Adelaide, Australia. I moved on to hotels and fine dining restaurants, and by the age of 24 I was running a small restaurant, Grace the Establishment. I then went on to open The Daniel O’Connell Pub & Dining, a nose-to-tail gastropub, before making a move to Dubai and Atlantis The Palm.
Who are your culinary idols?
Fergus Henderson, for his no-fuss offal. Magnus Nilsson for his amazing thinking on food and nature. Anthony Bourdain for his inspiring books and TV shows.
What would you say is your signature dish?
I don’t really have a ‘signature dish’ as such, but I enjoy cooking with secondary cuts and offal, so if you came to my restaurant I’d suggest trying one of these dishes.
Describe your style of cooking in three words.
Fun, tasty, wasteless.
How are you approaching the Young Chef competition?
This will be my first competition here in Dubai so I’m approaching it with a fun attitude. I hope to gain some good experience competing against my peers and have a bit of fun on the day!
What would be your perfect last meal?
Sitting around a table with my mates sharing some delicious food cooked by us all and some bottles of bubbly of course!
Not counting your own restaurant/hotel, where is your favourite place to eat in Dubai?
I actually haven’t had the chance to eat at many places here yet, but I love the food at Qbara in Wafi and Zuma in DIFC is one of my favourites for lunch.