Chef's tips

Paul de Visser Executive chef, Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Interview

Ruth’s Chris has a unique way of cooking steaks.
It is quite a unique system. Ruth herself co-designed the broiler we use. It’s now used worldwide, but we’re the only restaurant using the broiler in Dubai. It goes up to 1,000 degrees.

Do you ever burn yourself using the broiler?
No, I don’t burn myself.

You also slather the steaks in butter. That must be a heart stopper.
Our steaks aren’t really that high cholesterol. We do use a lot of butter, which is not that healthy, but it’s not that unhealthy. If you go to a steakhouse and eat a steak every day, it’s not a good thing, but if you eat one once a week or every two weeks, there’s no problem. You need some meat in your life, that’s what I believe. And meat and butter go hand in hand. The meat complements the butter and the butter complements the meat.

Are there any challenges to cooking halal meat?
Not really. It’s just a way of slaughtering the beef. The only challenge was that with the company we use to get the cattle, we were the only restaurant getting halal meat, so they had to get an imam in and provide that meat for us exclusively.

Where are you from originally?
Holland.

Have you been to More Café? The owner there is Dutch.
No, not really. The whole reason I left Holland was to get away from Dutch people, so I don’t really feel the need to be social with them. If they’re there, I love talking to them, but I don’t have to hang out with them all the time.

So what was the biggest culture shock in coming to Dubai?
For me there wasn’t any really. I love diversity, so I loved that Dubai was so multicultural. While I don’t have friends from Holland, I do have friends here from all over the world.

I hear you chefs don’t get out much. Have you managed to escape your kitchen and try some restaurants in Dubai?
I go out and about a little bit. The last time I went out was to Zuma. I love Japanese food, I think it’s amazing. My girlfriend’s Japanese, so we go to Japan quite a lot. I also went to Exchange Grill, but that was just a competition check. It was very good, absolutely. Also, I know it’s next door, but I really like Empire, the Monarch’s French restaurant.

So what’s your favourite thing on the Ruth’s Chris menu?

I love the Ahi Tuna starter. It’s really good, and comes with a mustard beer sauce that gives it a nice little kick. I also love our cowboy rib eye. It’s quite big, and it still has the bone in it, which gives the beef so much more flavour, and helps keep the juices sealed inside.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Monarch (04 501 8666). Open Sat-Wed 6.30pm-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 6.30pm-12 midnight.

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