The Big Climb: Matteo Guerra

The hew head chef at The Fish House, InterContinental Dubai Festival City profiled
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InterContinental Dubai Festival City, THE BIG CLIMB, The Fish House, Matteo Guerra

What attracted you to this role?

Numerous reasons, one of the most significant being the concept of the boat-to-table menu. The freshness and quality of the ingredients and produce I cook with is very important to me so this was a huge plus.

As well as the main focus being seafood, I am a great lover of the ocean and the food that it gives us, so this, of course, makes my job even more enjoyable. In addition, the association with the InterContinental Group — it gives me great pleasure to work with such a big and established brand.

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How have your past experiences shaped you for this role?

I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot over the years, experiencing many different cuisines, flavours and techniques. All of these have influenced my style of cooking. From a very young age, I was introduced to seafood culture as I grew up on an island; I have always enjoyed cooking with fresh and local catch.

Running a kitchen is now second nature to me, having been head chef at multiple restaurants around the world, namely Frankie’s by Marco Pierre White, Dubai JBR, and Le Colisée Restaurant, Luxembourg City.

What are you most looking forward to as part of this new role?

I look forward to showcasing my skills and incorporating the the hotel brand in the style of the restaurant. This is a new experience for me as I have mostly dealt with independent restaurants in my career so far.

How do you intend to make the venue popular as well as profitable?

By maintaining consistency, in terms of high quality food and service, whilst continuing to evolve and innovate. I want to run a strong and solid team and always provide value for money.

Can you share your thoughts on ingredient sourcing: are there local ingredients or produce on the menu? Where are you importing your ingredients from?

Most ingredients on the menu are locally sourced, apart from perhaps two types of fish, which are imported from Europe. Being able to serve locally sourced produce helps us provide a local cultural touch, which we hope both residents of and visitors to Dubai enjoy and appreciate.

What is your favourite thing about the restaurant?

The Creek-front location. Our view and terrace provides the perfect setting for both day and night dining, as well as our signature grill that offers both great taste and a theatrical element to cooking.

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