Ever wondered what a two Michelin star chef cooks up for Valentine’s Day? He doesn’t, he goes out for dinner. That is if he isn’t working in one of his four kitchens across the globe. Famed in the Middle East for his namesake restaurant in the iconic Burj Al Arab, Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, we sat down with him to find out what’s for dessert and why sustainability should be at the front of our cooking plans.
Do you have any tips for planning a Valentine’s Day meal?
Yes, go to a restaurant and eat out! There’s nothing romantic about the stress of cooking at home unless you are really good at cooking.
What’s your most romantic dessert?
Passion fruit tart with chocolate sorbet. The words passion and chocolate say it all.
Any tips for the presentation?
Keep it simple and don’t go over the top. You don’t want to seem too eager!
What’s the most romantic meal you’ve ever had?
For my wife and I, probably eating at the French Laundry in Napa Valle, California, 10 years ago. It was our first time away without the children and the setting and ambiance were perfect.
What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
My favorite ingredients are whatever is the best seasonal produce at the time. I’m obsessed by the raw ingredients and I sometimes think it’s a real shame that customers only see the finished dish. I’m a great believer that you can’t cook good food with mediocre ingredients.
Why is sustainability in the food industry so important?
I think the biggest reason for me personally is so my children and my children’s children can eat the wonderful produce we do.
How can you ensure your meal is as sustainable as possible?
The way to ensure that is, to know where your ingredients come from. When you are buying your ingredients ask lots of questions about sustainability. The more you ask the more you can feel at ease that you have brought sustainably. If the greengrocer, fishmonger or butcher can’t answer your questions, they are probably hiding something, so don’t buy their produce.
Read Now: 5 Royal-Approved Restaurants in the UAE