With 12 restaurants and bars (four of which are set to open this spring), executive chef Loughlin Druhan had the privilege of being one of the first colleagues assigned to the project.
As a result, he developed many of the food and beverage concepts with a number of factors coming into play during the design process: “We looked at the iconic building itself and thought what would fit in with the strategy of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
“We also looked at the market segment and the local and international markets and the fact that it is primarily a business hotel. Take into consideration the other towers as well and you have a lot of segment markets. I think we’re quite diverse in what we chose in relation to the concepts.”
One of the highlights of the culinary offering is the upcoming opening of Scott’s — the renowned seafood restaurant from London which is part of Caprice Holdings, for which Jumeirah Restaurants owns the regional rights.
Druhan explains how the operation will be run: “Even though it is self-managed by Jumeirah Restaurants, we work together as a team and we’re there to support them. I think it will be the leading seafood restaurant in Abu Dhabi. Coming from London, it’s proven itself over the years and it will be a great addition to Abu Dhabi and to the Jumeirah portfolio.”
Having clearly worked hard to create some unique concepts, Druhan explains his strategy for success: “I spent a lot time selecting our chefs — it’s lucky I came in at such an early stage where I could actually take my time, flying them in and doing the tasting to ensure they fit with the concept.
“In today’s generation, it is important that you have chefs that can interact. The days where the chef stands in the back of the kitchen — that’s a thing of the past. It’s not just about cooking.”
Other initiatives include menus which not only take into consideration the seasons but also aspects such as nutrition.
“I don’t believe health and nutrition is a trend,” comments Druhan, “but it’s an expectation today. When we designed the menus we were careful to ensure we covered these areas.
We have a system that we’ve set in place as part of our ordering process and through this, we’re actually able to print out the nutritional values. That means we’re in a situation where we can print out the recipe if a guest asks and that’s something a little bit different” adds Druhan.
Chandeliers: Lasvit (Czech Republic) www.lasvit.com
Lobby mosaic tiling: Designed by DBI Design www.dbidesign.com.au
Blue & white chinaware: Bernardo
Carpets: Designed by DBI Design www.dbidesign.com.au
Bathroom amenities: ADA Cosmetics International www.ada-cosmetics.com