'I admire the Lebanese way of cooking': Moritz Neumann


I admire the Lebanese way of cooking: Moritz  Neumann

The executive chef of La Ville Hotel & Suites lets us into kitchen

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Published: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 9:58 PM

Your best food-related experience.
I have loved food for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would spend some time daily after school in the kitchen, helping my mother to prepare the family dinner. I liked cooking so much, I then started venturing into the kitchen alone, and that interest has led me to where I am today.
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
To name a single one would be wrong. There are so many great chefs out there. Fortunately, I was able to see and work with some of them, and they've all formed my view on cooking into what it is today.
Your all-time favourite culinary destination, and why?
Beirut, Lebanon. The produce you can find all year long is just amazing. Top quality vegetables, spices, meat, seafood, cheese and more. Also, I admire their simple way of cooking, as they let quality ingredients speak for themselves, which I truly appreciate.
How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
Up to twice a week. I mostly eat out with my wife, trying out new places around town. If we are unadventurous, we enjoy places like 3Fils, Din Thai Fung or Tong Thai, as they are very consistent in producing food I will never be able to prepare at home by myself.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve him or her?
Jürgen Klinsmann has been an absolute childhood hero. I would cook him a good roast with spätzle and braised red cabbage.
You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
I would probably experiment around nose-to-tail eating dishes. Using any eatable part of the animal so nothing goes to waste is definitely a skill which will hopefully create new concepts in future. Right now, creative cooking of cheeks, sweetbreads, lungs, tripe, heart and other secondary meats has still not arrived in Dubai restaurants.
One ingredient or dish you can't stand - and why.
Okra or okra stew. I must have had a bad one when I was fairly new to the Middle East and, to date, I have goosebumps thinking of it. Nasty.
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
Almost never. If I do, it is mostly quick dishes that do not require a superior set of skills or attention.
Favourite comfort food?
"Leberkas Semmel". A speciality food found in Germany and Austria, similar to bologna sausage.
If you could choose a last meal, it would be...
Freshly baked bread, butter and sea salt.
Where can we find you, when you're not in the kitchen?
I enjoy going to the pool, beach, playing football or sleep. But you might be more successful finding me at work than anywhere else.
- Staff reporter

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