HAUTE DUBAI Magazine / Dining /
Interview with Michelin-Starred
Chef Atul Kochhar
Atul Kochhar is a graduate of the great culinary institution Oberoi and a Michelin star Winner. Like most Michelin-starred chefs, Atul is based in London but has visited Dubai regularly over the past 12 years. His interest and long affiliation with Dubai encouraged him to enhance the recently opened JW Marriott Marquis with his vibrant new restaurant - Rang Mahal, adding a new sparkle to the Indian food scene in Dubai.
How did you find your way to Dubai?
I’ve always travelled through Dubai and loved the culture and the city, so when the opportunity arose to open a restaurant there, especially with such a renowned hotel group, I couldn’t say no.
Dubai has a growing restaurant culture with more and more celebrity restaurants. Do you think Michelin guide should cover Dubai soon?
What is your feedback on the culinary scene in the UAE?
The culinary scene in the UAE is deve-loping rapidly and is becoming very diverse with many different influences, it is a great place to be and I look forward to contributing to the international dining scene here.
How would you define the cuisine at Rang Mahal?
The cuisine at Rang Mahal is definitely a fusion between my native Indian cuisine and European, Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Staying true to Indian spicing and cooking techniques, the menu at Rang Mahal was developed for a sharing-style dining experience.
How do you create a personal identity on dishes for a cuisine so wide and diverse?
I use traditional cooking techniques which I learned growing up in India in combination with inspiration gathered from my extensive travels to give all of my dishes that personal touch.
What’s your philosophy regarding food preparation?
I really believe in minimizing food waste, so in terms of food preparation I really try to use whatever ingredient I’m working with to its fullest potential – which many call the ‘head to tail’ philosophy.
What gastronomic proposals do you use to seduce your diners?
Aside from the food, we have really focused on developing the bar and lounge area in Rang Mahal. Inspired from the lounge in my restaurant Benares in London, we have introduced the concept of molecular cocktails to Rang Mahal so that diners can have a complete gastronomic experience.
What do you do to insure the quality of the food going out to diners?
Every dish that is prepared in any of my kitchens is subject to tasting prior to being served to a guest to ensure we are maintaining a high standard in both quality and presentation.
What makes Rang Mahal like no place else?
Rang Mahal is really one of a kind and offers an all-encompassing experience. From the beautiful space and décor to the food and the cocktails I hope that every guest that visits Rang Mahal feels they had a memorable and special experience.
How would you describe your Rang Mahal in one word?