'UAE is impressively versatile': Executive Chef, Jens Muenchenbach

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UAE is impressively versatile: Executive Chef, Jens Muenchenbach

Dubai - After a long day at work, he unwinds by turning on the computer and playing games

By Purva Grover

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Published: Thu 9 Mar 2017, 8:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Mar 2017, 10:35 PM

What is your earliest childhood kitchen memory?
I remember my grandma used to make 'Dampfnudeln' (in a very old pot) on the stove. It's a yeast dumpling that is steamed with a closed lid. Nobody was allowed to touch the pot until they were just right. They were magical - it was obvious that her years of experience made them so good. I still can't make them as well as she did.

What has the UAE taught you about food and cooking?
UAE is a big melting pot of cultures. You can experience everything the world has to offer without travelling: it is easy to have authentic food experiences every day of the week without repeating. It goes to suggest that there is never just one way of
cooking and it teaches us to be versatile and explore different ways of doing things.

Which is your favourite dish?
That is difficult to answer - would you ask a mother of four, which child is her favourite?

If not a chef, what would you have been?
Many things actually; I love photography so I could have been a photographer. I love animals, so in my early years, there was a thought about working with them. I also have a nerdy side with a keen interest towards technology, so that could have been an option too.

What is your biggest food weakness?
Sometimes, it's a simple salad, sometimes a steak and fries. It really depends on the mood I am in.

Any tips for the chefs in making?
A chef's life, especially the first few years can be quite harsh and the money you make tends not to be great. I'll say never give up, be honest with yourself about your goals, and keep learning to improve yourself.

A chef that you look up to?
Phillip Foss, chef and owner of EL Ideas, Chicago. I worked as his sous chef. His friendship and guidance made me who I am today.

What's your culinary philosophy?
Teamwork and effective communication. First, you make it simple enough for everybody to follow and then build up on those basics. Let people have fun at work and make sure that you are there for them.
- As told to Purva Grover

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