Many of us have spent countless evenings and plenty of Friday afternoons at the beautiful St.Regis Doha, in one of the Hotels top food outlets, enjoying the various culinary creations on offer. Fact went to meet the new Executive Chef, Jean- Luc Morcellet to see what he’s bringing to the table…
The St. Regis Doha welcomed a new Executive Chef, Jean-Luc Morcellet to its culinary team, recently, and we were excited to meet the new man in charge of all the amazing dishes served at the hotel’s excellent fine-dining venues.
He’s only been in Doha for around six weeks now, after living in Dubai for 10 years, and already Chef Jean-Luc knows exactly what he wants to implement at The St. Regis Doha. “I think the most important thing, for me, is to find a system – to have everything at a certain standard and maintain that,” he says. “And after, find a way to get better, evaluate and improve.”
Today, Chef Jean-Luc was going to do something very special for us and cook up some of his favourite dishes. First up was Goat Cheese Millefiori, delicious layers of Goat cheese between pastry and a refreshing side salad – this was a textured treat for the taste buds. We ask Chef Jean-Luc to tell us a little bit about his culinary journey. “I’m from a farm, I come from the countryside in France where we would own cows, and other animals, but our main business was wine,” he tells us. “Because I’m from the countryside, restaurants and going out to eat was very rare, done once a year maybe.
People wouldn’t go out much. We used to have parties at home and make it very warm with family. “But I think what pushed me to really become a chef was to travel, to go, leave France, and see the world and meet people,” he adds.
Next out on the table was a beautiful Beef Brisket. Tender morsels of meaty goodness were plated with an assortment of delicious vegetables. We loved how filling yet simple the dish was, and as everyone at the table was a meat lover, this main went down brilliantly.
Chef Jean-Luc has a broad knowledge of food and professional cooking, so we’re surprised to learn that he hasn’t always worked in hotels. “I used to be part of several restaurants, here and there throughout my career, but it was in London that I decided to make that transition from restaurants to hotels,” he recalls.“I knew that hotels would expand my knowledge, and would give me the opportunity to travel – the independent restaurant business is limited as to what I wanted from my career,” he says.
Talking of London, this is one of Chef Jean-Luc’s favourite places, and the destination where he first moved to from France, when he was just 19. “Travel – that has always been my number one goal,” he says. “I love London. It’s a city that I always go back to. I’ve worked in Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, but I just love the ambience there.
“I think being in London opened my eyes to different things; different culturesand it pushed me to learn,” Chef Jean-Luc admits. “I arrived there 26 years ago when everything was moving at a fast pace, and getting supplies was a challenge. I think that evolution was my favourite thing about it,” he adds.
We’re curious to know how much Chef Jean-Luc has had to adapt his culinary style to meet Middle-Eastern demands. “I love everything,” he says. “I love food. As long as the product smells as it should be, I’m content. I knew that Dubai was a very fast-paced industry; everything is growing at such a fast rate and I knew what I was getting myself into.
“I follow culinary trends; it’s part of my job to be on top of what’s going on. Everything is a fast moving trend. At the end of the day, it’s all about the buzz. Everyone wants to be on top and work his or her way up, as quickly as possible. The competition is big,” he admits.
To finish off our exclusive tasting, we indulge in Caramel Fiore with Pistachio Ice Cream. First off, just like the other dishes, the presentation is spectacular. Bright with colour popping off the plate, aesthetically, Chef Jean-Luc’s dishes tick all the right boxes. When we take a bite, it’s very clear that taste also exceeds expectations.
The dessert is delectably sweet with each component complementing the other, very well. When it comes to choosing between sweet and savoury, Chef Jean-Luc prefers a mix of the two, and recalls that as a young boy, he would tuck into popcorn smothered with hot chocolate, just to savour that perfect balance of sweet and salty!
With over 25 years of experience in the culinary world, we’re convinced that Chef Jean-Luc’s expertise and guidance will be a positive addition to The St. Regis Doha’s foodie offerings. We’ll be back for more very soon!
GO: Call The St. Regis Doha on 4446 0000 for reservations and more information about all dining outlets.