Last Bite: Michel Roth
What is your earliest food memory?
My earliest memory is sharing food with my family; at home I helped my mother and grandmother to cook and they encouraged me to join them in preparing all family meals. There was never a dull moment in the kitchen with plenty of memorable recipes from cakes to traditional French dishes. I remember coming back from school and being able to smell the aromas of home cooking being prepared by my mother, wafting from the house. Family time around the dining table is one of my favourite childhood memories; from the sharing the food to French ambiance, and of course the food in itself which still to this day is a superb and strong emotional experience for me. These emotions naturally brought me to pursue a career in the restaurant and culinary field.
Name the proudest moment in your career so far?
When I was representing France for the Bocuse D’Or (Cuisine world cup) in 1991 against 23 other countries. The French chef association and committee trusted me to represent France, and I won. I wasn’t Chef Michel Roth, I was representing France! I received the award with the national anthem. It’s a feeling very hard to put in words but to be able to do something for my country by far surpasses everything.
How was it working with the Délifrance team in Dubai?
Great! The team and management are such welcoming people and working with a heritage brand such as Délifrance is quite a highlight in my culinary career. I get to train their young chefs around the world with the French know-how and it’s great to see their careers progress in front of me. A lot of them still keep in touch regularly.
What do you think are the standout dishes on the menu?
The chicken tartuffon is very refined and elegant, while still keeping to the French roots. Also, the whole breakfast experience at Délifrance (eggs benedict) is also a huge standout as we serve using authentic French flavours. I also truly believe that Délifrance has the best croissants in the world. It’s our signature item made from the flour that comes from Délifrance’s mill since 1983. And of course, the Le Pain surprise which we have just launched and can be found now as part of the winter menu.
How would you describe the food scene in Dubai?
Dubai has become a window of the world. The Dubai and UAE population is very well educated, well-travelled and very creative and hard working. All these values are bringing an exceptional result to Dubai and the UAE in the terms of cuisine and restaurants available. Dubai is offering a sample of each part of the world with every culture represented. All the major brands and cuisine traditions are respected and available to Dubai, with a very strong key element: quality and service commitment. I think it’s a very exciting culinary scene here.
If you hadn’t become a chef, what would you be?
I would have loved to be a police detective. I am fond of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot!, Or I would have liked to be the owner and the manager of the Burj Khalifa haha! The most beautiful, impressive and renowned tower building in the world!
What are you working on next?
Currently, I am working as a chef and culinary consultant for Délifrance. This constantly brings new challenges and opportunities every day. After going to Milan, Shanghai and Dubai, we are preparing openings in more locations. Délifrance will open in Indonesia, Oman and the Philippines in early 2018. We are very excited about the expansion of a brand that so prominently represents the French know-how through its genuine products and heritage.