MOJEHMEN Meets David Myers

Travel has always been a passion of celebrity chef David Myers. His distinct flavours and unique aesthetic are often inspired by his various globetrotting experiences, and it therefore comes as no surprise that he’s decided to join numerous other internationally-renowned chefs in setting up his own gastronomic space in Dubai. Having won several accolades, including the highly-coveted Michelin star, David speaks to MOJEHMEN about the three exclusive dining and drinking experiences he’s bringing to the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai.

Tell us about your partnership with the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai.
The partnership here with the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, seems like a match made in heaven. It’s located right on the waterfront by the iconic Dubai Water Canal, which is fantastic. The design of the hotel overall is very modern and edgy at the same time. Most importantly it is a place where I would personally want to stay if I were travelling through Dubai. It just fits the bill for me, from the style of service, to the layout of the rooms, and the unusual touches. You know, here I think they go for experiences, and that’s the same for me and our restaurants. We are all about experiences, so I think there is really something wonderful here along with a great synergy.

How does travel inspire your various restaurant concepts?
It has been the single biggest source of influence on the creation of ideas, so basically I would think that all the restaurants I’ve created, aside from my very first one, have been borne out of travel and my love of travel, and going out to experience new cultures, trying new spices and new types of cuisine and understand how people eat.

What do you hope guests will take away from dining in these various restaurants?
I hope that the guests are going to walk away with a sense of an experience after they dine there, that they’ve literally settled in the south of France and they’re enjoying a wonderful dinner in my home as if they were truly my guests. We just want to be able to bring out the best memories in people.

What are the challenges when opening up a new restaurant?
There are always challenges when you open up a restaurant. It’s a big production, there are a lot of moving parts. There is a lot of unknowns, you’re dealing with construction issues, you’re dealing with staffing issues, you’re dealing with getting the right product in. You know, opening here in Dubai I think we had a pretty good idea of what would be our biggest challenges, but I wasn’t quite aware to the degree of some. Getting certain ingredients in a timely manner from our selected farmers, and developing the right relationships on the ground. In addition to that, obviously being a part of a new hotel that was just built and all the details around that. Just getting everything to line up and be operating synergistically throughout the whole property was and is something that is still on-going and adjusting.

How does the F&B scene in Dubai compare to other regions internationally?
I think the beverage and food scene in Dubai is incredibly dynamic. It’s bustling, it’s highly competitive, it’s really at the top of its game and continuing on, and there are so many perfectly realised venues here. I think the real challenge is, you know, to be able to get in the mix and deliver a great experience and be able to get people here. It’s an incredibly dynamic city but it’s actually quite small you know, given the amount of population here. I think there is a lot of competition in restaurants considering Dubai’s population, so you have got to really be at the top of your game.