LM: What do you enjoy most about working at Ossiano, and do you ever get tired of watching the marine life?
GB: The bad thing about being a chef is that I only ever see the inside of the kitchen. What is it they say: “The shoemaker always wears the worst shoes?” However, in the evening when I come out to greet our guests, the sheer size of the aquarium never ceases to amaze me. I know that’s it’s here and I appreciate it, but I just don’t get the time to watch the fish as much as I’d like.
LM: Who is your main clientele, and what are they looking for at Ossiano?
GB: The world. We have 25 tables, and sometimes we have 25 different nationalities in one night. Trying to please all 25 nationalities can naturally be a challenge.
LM: Are there any dishes that are particularly popular?
GB: I am always looking for the visual aspect to define the taste in my dishes. A favourite – both with myself and the diners – is the Croque monsieur, a ham sandwich revisited made with veal ham. It is served in the shape of a clock with the time going backwards in order to take diners on a path of nostalgia – we are inviting guests to go back through time.
The veal ham is from Italy and it really is extraordinary. Then there’s the ‘Candle’, which looks like a real table accessory – we even light it! But then we slice through it and you realise that there is foie gras inside and the ‘candle wax’ is made from the fat of the foie gras.
LM: How often do you change what’s on the menu, and how much autonomy do you have to decide what goes on there?
GB: All three of our experience menus are developed by myself and my team, and we often change dishes in and out based on seasonality and availability.
Our menu is a journey, with each dish crafted to tell a story of my travels around the world. In most restaurants you see a menu, you pick a dish and you order, but a dining experience at Ossiano is entertainment. Expect the unexpected!
LM: What’s next for Ossiano?
GB: From an Ossiano perspective, we will be involved in more Four Hands dinners as they are an invaluable way to learn from each other and to exchange ideas so that we can all grow as chefs.
We will continue with projects that elevate Ossiano to a Michelin star level, and we are also in the process of finessing our branding in order to further elevate our status on the global market. My manager Badr and I are also in brainstorming mode. There are lots of exciting things to come, so watch this space!
LM: Thank you for your time Grégoire, and we hope to visit Ossiano very soon!
GB: You’re welcome anytime.
Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm – Where and How?
For more information on Chef Grégoire Berger and Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, visit www.atlantis.com/dubai/restaurants/ossiano
Read more interviews conducted by Luxurious Magazine our dedicated section here.