5 minutes with...Culinary Boutique's chef

Time Out Dubai interviews the chef at Culinary Boutique restaurant. Also see pictures, get booking details and similar restaurants recommended

Name: Pawel Viktorek
Job title: Executive Chef
Age: 32

How long have you lived in Dubai?
Three years

Where do you like to hang out in Dubai when you’re not at work?
I like the Ripe Market in Zabeel Park on Friday mornings, it’s nice to see local produce being sold. I also enjoy Ski Dubai, as I grew up in Poland and sometimes miss the snow and cold!

What’s your top tip for visitors to Dubai?
Prepare to be amazed!

What one thing would you like to do in Dubai that you haven’t done before?
Skydiving over The Palm would be a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve also never done a Desert Safari which is an essential Dubai experience!

What career journey did you take before joining your restaurant?
After graduating from university in Poland, I moved to London and studied Italian, Spanish and Japanese cuisines. I travelled a lot from there and was fortunate to be exposed to different traditions and food cultures. That was when I heard about Dubai, one of the most exciting food destinations in the world. I was working in a Japanese restaurant here in Dubai, when I met a lady named Hessa Al Qassim who told me about a culinary project she was developing. When I saw it with my own eyes I fell in love with it, and couldn’t wait to be a part of something so new and exciting.

Why should Time Out readers try your restaurant?
Culinary Boutique is a food experience, not just a restaurant! We aren’t limited by one specific type of cuisine, which is great for me as a Chef. We have dishes like the Raw Spaghetti Salad, which is a mixture of different raw vegetables, or the Hokkaido Scallops and Gorgonzola Risotto, which blends Italian produce and Japanese cooking style.

What’s the best thing about dining at your restaurant in 2016?
We cook to please our customers, we use only high quality products, and we love to surprise people with interesting and unique flavours. We use lavender in several of our dishes and drinks – it’s become Culinary Boutique’s signature ingredient.

What’s your dish recommendation at your restaurant?
The Wagyu Carpaccio. It’s very delicate but full of flavour. For dessert, try the Lavender Créme Brûlée.

Aside from where you work, where else do you like to dine in Dubai and why?
I like Spanish, Japanese and Peruvian food, as they always base their dishes on fresh ingredients, so I’ve got a lot of favourites here!

What is the best dish you’ve ever tasted in your life and who made it?
I taste a lot of excellent dishes every week. I love food, and I love tasting new flavours so it’s impossible for me to choose only one dish!

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