Suraj Dhupad, 28
Chef de partie at Flow Kitchen, Fairmont The Palm
CV so far: I joined the hospitality industry as a Commis III in 2007, at the InterContinental hotel in Goa, where I learnt to work in every area of the kitchen. I gained international experience when I moved to the UAE, joining Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi as a Commis II in 2009 as part of the hotel’s pre-opening team. After three years of dedication and passion, I was promoted to chef de partie. This year, I transferred to Flow Kitchen at Fairmont The Palm in Dubai as chef de partie.
Who are your culinary idols?
My father. Watching him try different recipes and techniques allowed me to learn lots of cooking secrets and family traditions. Also, Trevor Macleod, chef de cuisine at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. He taught me to understand ingredients, flavours and cooking.
What would you say is your signature dish?
I particularly enjoy making seafood consommé with scallops, a dish my mother used to make when I was young.
Describe your style of cooking in three words
Appealing, delicious, well executed.
How are you approaching the Young Chef competition?
This is a great opportunity to compete with the talent in a city built on opportunity. I’m not competing to win, but to showcase my own cuisine and style of cooking.
What would be your perfect last meal?
Spaghetti with clams. It’s a beautiful light dinner that’s fuss-free and easy to make – perfect for a weekday after work meal.
Not counting your own restaurant/hotel, where is your favourite place to eat in Dubai?
Xiao Wei Yang Hotpot in Deira. It’s simple and casual dining.