Some of the biggest hospitality Chains in Dubai are following the organic trend and are proving to be major buyers in the region. We interviewed Joe Diaz, Director of Culinary, Mina Seyahi Complex. Joe oversees culinary productivity for The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.
se tell us about yourself
I’ve worked in kitchens all around the world at a high level, and have spent the past several years in leadership positions in 5-star hotels throughout Singapore, Thailand and China before coming to the Middle East. I’ve worked in numerous Michelin star restaurants across the globe with the likes of Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, Ferran Adria at El Bulli and Alain Ducasse which have all been extraordinary experiences.
Most recently I was the Culinary Director for Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai, prior to being appointed as the Director of Culinary for the Mina Seyahi Complex, encompassing The Westin and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina here in Dubai.
ou source organic ingredients for your menu? Why?
All the time. We source the best available products in the market, with many of these originating directly from organic farms. Organic Ingredients end to be healthier as pesticides or hormones are not used in the farming process.
our opinion, how popular is the organic trend in the Middle East?
It’s certainly a trend that’s growing in popularity as we’re seeing a higher demand for organic products and special dietary requirements. Consumers are much more aware of the ingredients they are using these days, from the origin of the product, to how it was produced. The health factor also plays a key role in how we eat these days, with a lot more awareness around allergens and dietary requirements, making it very important that we can trace every single ingredient in order to provide our guest with the very best in terms of quality, products and overall service.
do you determine the source of your ingredients? Is it local?
Across all of the outlets at the Mina Seyahi Complex, we base our menus on seasonality, and ensure that we use only the best products available in the market. A majority of our products are imported, but we also work with several local producers for produce such as organic honey, dates and other specialty products.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager