'My knife is my passion, and I sharpen my passion every day'

My knife is my passion, and I sharpen my passion every day

Table talk with Enver Can, Head chef, Table 9, Hilton Dubai Creek

Published: Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 12 Jan 2018, 1:00 AM

Your favourite memory of food.
My fondest memory of food is when I started cooking with my mom at home as a child. It's where my interest began to develop and I set about learning any recipe I could. We started cooking together regularly and she would often invite our neighbours to try my dishes.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
I find the ever-changing trends and new concepts in the F&B industry quite challenging. Also, often moving from country to country - which is the nature of the job - can be a challenge. That said, it is all very rewarding. As a chef, my job and the sector demand fierce competition. I believe it's all about loving what you do. This way, when you face challenges, you know they are worth it. Our guests want to see creative, remarkable and tasty food along with a classic touch - tradition mixed with innovation is key in this day and age. That inspires me to work quicker and take the initiative to come up with creative ideas for dishes. I believe those are the traits of a good chef.
Do you have a personal mantra or motto that drives the way you cook food?
It's all about passion and loving what you do. All chefs have knives. My knife is my passion - and I'm sharpening my passion every single day.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them?
If I could cook for a high-profile personality, it would be the President of Turkey. I would serve him one of my favourite dishes: pistachio lamb and plum jus.
How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
Usually, on my days off, I love to explore new restaurants hidden around the city. My favourite place in Dubai (so far) is the Simit Sarayi bakery at City Walk.
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
No, I usually don't. However, very often, I invite my friends and colleagues for dinner and serve them my new creations. It helps to get honest feedback from those closest to you. I also find it more fulfilling than eating all by myself.
You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
I'd love a combination of savoury and sweet ingredients, such as if I teamed poultry, like crispy skin duck, with wild berry sauce. The combination of diverse flavours would both complement each other and work together, creating something quite unique.
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
There are three chefs in the world I really like and follow: I admire Alain Ducasse, because his culinary skills are focused on simplicity, flavour, harmony and creativity; Japanese chef Nobu, because he is so highly skilled and intelligent; and, of course, Gordon Ramsay.
Favourite comfort food?
Asian food. I developed a love for this cuisine while I was in China.
One ingredient/ dish you can't stand, and why.
I'm not a fan of any organ meat variety, like haggis, tongue, kidney, sweetbread and fat of any meat. No matter how it's cooked, this type of food doesn't work for me.
If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
I think it would be a nicely made, medium-cooked beef burger with French fries. Even though I work in a fine dining restaurant, I still crave juicy burgers from time to time.
Your favourite culinary destination - and why?
France. This is where the culture of fine dining began. I really respect that and I would love to experience it for myself.
- Staff reporter

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