Kempinski Blog Article
Executive Chef, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai
If you have ever had a clay pot artistically shattered into pieces in front of you at the dining table, or eaten off a “flying buffet” held up by 100 helium-filled balloons, it is highly likely you have experienced the artistry and brilliance of Chef Sudqi Naddaf.
Chef Sudqi is in his 15th year with Kempinski Hotels. He’s been with the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, his fifth property, for six years. The Executive Chef is an evangelist of great service, unforgettable menus and perfectly staged artistic settings. In turn, recognising and valuing Chef Sudqi’s artistic genius, Kempinski fuels his passion and provides him with the freedom and resources to be creative.
“When guests go to a luxury hotel, they expect good food and good service. This is a given. I always ask myself: what can we do to make it an experience to remember? It has to be elegant, almost elusive, and rare. For example, cooking a signature clay pot dish isn’t enough on its own. I break the dish in front of our guests! That’s something they will remember forever,” he adds with a smile.
For Chef, these defining moments can happen both in and outside of the kitchen. “While I was working at Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Dead Sea seven years ago, a guest from Scandinavia fell in love with one of the traditional Jordanian dishes, called Mansaf. He wanted to learn how to prepare this special recipe made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yoghurt and served with rice. So I brought him and his wife into my kitchen and taught them. We ended up dancing and sharing the dish together in the kitchen."
“Kempinski gives me the freedom to be creative and innovative,” says the Chef. It is that freedom that saw him create an astonishing “flying buffet” with plates held at 1.5m by more than a 100 helium balloons. “It was not just an exercise in culinary artistry. It was a complex performance to execute from a logistical standpoint. When someone took something, you had to replace it very quickly otherwise the plate would overbalance.” Chapeau to Chef, for always thinking on his feet.
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