Eat Well is a new restaurant and bistro that creates mouth-watering gluten free dishes. With Vegan, lactose free and Paleo options, it also grants a space to learn about healthy cooking, conduct private events, seminars and delivers customized meal plans. We interviewed their executive chef about his views on the organic industry in the region.
Please tell us about yourself?
At just 29 years old, international chef, Patrick Ikinofo has spent 15 years in the kitchen, inside some of the culinary worlds most renowned establishments – from down under at the Langham Hotel, Auckland, NZ, to the exclusive One and Only Emirates, Wolgan Valley resort in Australia’s Blue Mountains, across the seas to the famous Savoy Hotel London, before landing on the shores of Dubai at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City.
Most recently Chef Patrick can be credited with much of the success of Dubai’s ‘The Cycle Bistro for Health’.
He has truly cemented himself as one of Dubai’s top wellness chefs, a true culinary artiste whose passion for flavor and variety sees health come to life on a plate in ways that you didn’t think possible.
With true ‘kiwi’ ingenuity Chef Patrick’s personal mantra – “Do it for the love of cooking” is injected into every facet of his work in the kitchen and beyond. There is not many a chef who can translate a career of fine dining experience into the creation of a health and wellness menu from the ground up as successfully as he has done, and his work must be tasted to be believed.
His food expresses all that he is, with creativity second to none, and looks forward to welcoming you into Dubai’s newest and truest healthy fine dining experience at E@t Well.
Do you source organic ingredients for your menu? Why?
We source as much as we can but due to the climate fresh produce is sometimes hard to come by. We work with local organic farms and suppliers to source what we can when we can and we change our menu seasonally so we have more control over serving produce at its prime.
Organic dry foods are quite easy to come by and we utilize these where ever possible for example all our breads and pastries use a 100% Organic gluten free blend of flour which we believe give us the slight edge above our competition as not to many of our competitors are doing this.
We have quite a large operation coming out of our little kitchen from monthly meal plans to trim down, stay healthy or other types of preventative care to a full functioning ala carte restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a drop in cafe/bistro with an ever changing grab and go counter with salads, organic gluten free wraps and sandwiches, cakes and sweets and a large grocery retail section and our Organic gluten free bread catalog where you can pre-order and take away a freshly baked loaf to enjoy at home. We are currently working on a similar cakes and sweets catalog serving the same purpose as well as our own Organic roof top garden to grow selected speciality items for our ala carte menu- the smaller the carbon foot print the better. And in-house cooking classes to help everyday people realize that changing the way you shop eat and produce your food can not only save the planet but save yourself.
In your opinion, how popular is the organic trend in the Middle East?
I believe the Organic trend comes and goes in Dubai so frequently and a lot of eateries claim to be Organic when they truly aren’t. One month Organic and healthy food is booming with some trendy new spot on the Beach Rd the next it’s some new Peruvian place in Jumeirah I mean there is nothing wrong with that, Dubai is a leading innovative city and trends here are always changing. What we are trying to make people understand at DHTC and Eatwell is that this way of eating combined with preventative medicine is not a trend for us but an everyday operation that could eventually save yourself from all sorts of sickness and create a change in behavior that could lead to changing the world.
How do you determine the source of your ingredients? Is it local?
Like I said earlier the closer we are to home, the better if we can decrease our carbon footprint as much as possible. Be Organic- that will make a bigger difference. For example what’s the point in getting an Organic Pumpkin from half way across the globe and serving that to customers when you can get a perfectly well sustained version right here in Dubai. Sometimes you have to weigh up your options and go with what feels right as a human being as well as a chef.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager