Caterer Middle East

Saverio Sbaragli, Al Muntaha

The chef has joined Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as head chef at Al Muntaha

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How and why did you get into the food and beverage industry?

I started in the industry when I was still in school. During my summer breaks, I would take up waiter positions to help me earn money for partying. I then realised that service was not for me, so I asked to be transferre­d to the kitchen. That’s when I realised that cooking would be my future.

Tell us how your previous roles helped get you where you are today?

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with renowned Michelin starred chefs including chef Alain Ducasse and chef Alain Passard at the three Michelinst­arred l’Arpège in Paris. Working with them gave me technical knowledge and credibilit­y to grow in the industry.

Have you had any mentors in your kitchen career?

Alain Ducasse and Christian Morisse. From them, I learned that rigour is important when it comes to working and food quality.

What about any role models outside of the industry?

I have a lot of passions, but no speci c role models. It’s mostly about being surrounded by different people who share the same passion as I do. These, of course, include spending time in the kitchen, playing sports and admiring the great architectu­re.

What excites you most about your new role at Burj Al Arab?

Being in the most iconic hotel in the world, as well as the challenge to develop one of the most culinarily recognised restaurant­s in the city.

What challenges are you expecting to face in the role?

The biggest challenge will be to bring the Michelin star culinary and service experience like the level in Europe and share that with Dubai residents. That will only be achieved with consistenc­y, being surrounded by the best profession­als and with determinat­ion.

What’s a typical day in your life?

I arrive early to the kitchen and have coffee with the other chefs. I then start by checking the quality of all the products and begin preparing for service. I am always in the kitchen, never behind a computer. Like a musician before the concert, waiting for the show. As I said before, this has always been my passion.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in the industry?

Be passionate. Without passion, you can’t last in this eld, as we are always judged. There is a lot of pressure, so I advise everyone to think and have a passion to be successful in the hospitalit­y industry.

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