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Dining & Nightlife Discounts UAE

In The Hot Seat – Head Chef At Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Hailing from Egypt, an incredible tourist destination, Chef Mohamed Abbas was inspired to join the hospitality industry and pursue a career in the culinary arts. While studying it became evident that his passion was to work in the culinary field. The kitchen, considered to be the most important cog in a hotel operation, challenges chefs to engage in learning throughout their career.

The appeal was in the challenge itself, a challenge that Chef Mohamed has enjoyed since graduating from hotel school in the culinary field, which required students to be the top performers in class. Chef Mohamed was first immersed into preparing Arabic cuisine, and then ventured out to conquer a variety of Mediterranean cuisines followed by running an American-style Steakhouse Grill.

In time for the winter season, Chef Mohamed’s primary focus as Head Chef at Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa is to create an entirely new collection of culinary experiences for all the outlets, with a few exciting new concepts to be launched.

How did you first enter the world of hospitality?

The tourism industry in Egypt where I’m from is massive and has historically been a destination associated with travellers from all around world. Having seen this world of hospitality in full flow back home, I was inspired to consider a career in hospitality, and have never looked back since.

Chef Mohamed, with your incredible experience within hospitality, you must have brought something new to the table at Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa in terms of ideas, dishes and so on?

Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, is very unique in terms of a destination, which is highlighted by the fact that even though it’s located amidst the Arabian desert, the resort is only a 45-minute drive from Abu Dhabi airport or an hour from Abu Dhabi city centre. My primary focus is to further develop the dining destination that the resort already is, by creating unforgettable memories through culinary experiences that will last a lifetime. As the winter season approaches, my team and I are working on new menus for our restaurants, theatrical dining options and a lot more. So, stay tuned!

In your view, what is a must-order dish at Al Wathba that diners shouldn’t miss?

We have two dishes that are a must-order. At Bait Al Hanine, we have the Seafood Mix, while at Terra Secca, our Lobster Bisque, both are impressive and an experience worth savouring.

What make a good chef great?

To become a good chef, first you need to keep learning and educating yourself about the craft – from new techniques, styles of cooking etc. you must keep yourself updated. Next it is important to be a team player, be respectful to everyone and have a set target and goal in front of you that needs to be achieved. If you fulfil the above, then you can be a great chef.

When you are off duty, what is your go-to cuisine? Why?

Japanese. It is a cuisine that no matter what you eat, however much you eat it, you will never get bored of it.

Tell us, Chef Mohamed, if you weren’t a chef, where would have life taken you in terms of your career?

I’m the only one in my family who is in the hospitality industry, it was a decision I took which was completely out of the box, since no one else in my family pursued a career in this industry. If I wasn’t a chef, I would probably follow my father’s footsteps and would have been a serviceman.