Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Lebanon and spent most of my childhood traveling between Africa and Europe where my family was based. Such a multicultural environment ‘opened the doors’ to different societies, traditions and customs which crafted my personality and character.
How did you get into your line of work?
Craftsmanship has been part of my credo since childhood. I always had an artistic mindset with a detail oriented approach. When I was a teenager, trying new cuisines and learning about food became my hobby, which then evolved to a real passion.
My appetite to the whole F&B industry started with my Gastronomic passion. And as a result, 2 years ago I started religiously working on brining internationally renowned chefs to the region. This was materialized by joining forces with Enoteca Pinchiorri to create The Artisan
Tell us a bit about the design and concept of The Artisan in Dubai?
The Artisan By Enoteca Pinchiorri is a refined casual concept with a mix of modern interior and vintage twist. We managed to outsource some artisanal elements like the chandelier, crockery and cutlery to keep the Italian elements strongly present.The guest should not feel stuck in an age cycle, for this reason we have created the modern bar design and kept the authentic spirit around the space.
What makes the restaurant so special in your opinion?
Dining experience is a combination of several elements and it starts from the moment you walk in until you leave. Three main pillars define the guest’s experience: food, service and ambiance. The Artisan concept is created in such a way that everyone is offered a personalized experience. We strive to ensure the guests feel like they are walking into their own dining room. The Artisan is a place that provides you with a unique dining experience and a feeling of home, as unfortunately it is not the case in a modern dining world.
Do you think there has been a shift in the way fine dining is being presented?
I believe people are shifting from the fine dining experience to the quality offering in a more chilled and easy going approach. We all appreciate good meals in a comfortable atmosphere, but some concepts are focusing on the ambiance and compromising on the food offering which shouldn’t be the case for a restaurant.
And if you noticed recently many big chefs are creating more easy going concepts yet respecting the product and the history of their brands.
Where does the inspiration come from for the restaurant menus?
The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri has a strong culinary history and the food offering has been crafted by one of the top 4 chefs in the world.Chef Annie aims to provide our guests with a true Italian experience. The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri menu has a selection of dishes which cater to different tastes without compromising on the identity of our concept.Our menu is developed by the team in Florence and our head chef in Dubai to offer something different yet authentic to the market.Inspiration comes from the brand core values which is Italian authenticity, in addition to the seasonal products which we usually take into consideration to create new dishes and keep the menu fresh and updated.
Can you tell us any of your favorite dishes, or menu highlights?
One of the most difficult questions to answer actually! Since I like all the dishes on the menu it is not easy to pick few. But if you insist I can say that there are few favorites. One of them is Burrata, which is imported specially for The Artisan from a small farm in Italy. Also, I’m really fond of the famous octopus due to the cooking technique. And of course, Agnolotti with mantova pumpkin along with baked sea bass.And obviously there is the traditional desert treat – amazing tiramisu.I can continue and name every dish from our menu but I’d rather stop here.
Do you think it’s important to champion local products and craftspeople?
As you may know each cuisine has its own preferred products, and sometimes you need to source your ingredients from the origin in order to get the particular taste. And Italian cuisine is no exception here; we always strive to source our products from Italythrough our credible suppliers in town. However, we are always open to outsource local high quality products and happy to develop dishes based on the same, as long as it is aligned with the brand identity.
What do you hope guests will expect when they walk into the restaurant?
We like to give our guests the impression of walking into their own dining room; I want them to feel that they own the place, and once they taste the food I hope they get addicted to it and The Artisan becomes their favorite restaurant.
What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit The Artisan?
I would say quality of our products and services! Dubai dinners have become sophisticated and appreciate quality food, therefore our drive is to provide exceptional product and friendly service.The Artisan team has great attention to details, from the menu offerings, to drinks and service. All these components work towards providing our guests with a complete personalized and unforgettable experience.
Find out more about The Artisan Dubai here |www.theartisan.ae