Nicolas Smalberger has joined the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa in Dubai as its new executive chef, overseeing its 15 bars and restaurants.
Smalberger comes with more than 17 years’ experience in the culinary world, having worked in kitchens in India, China and New York. He has also been executive chef at The Palace of the Lost City in South Africa, and was ont he opening team for Port Ghalib in Egypt.
He has just completed an 18-month consulting contract in Saudi Arabia, which saw him open five restaurants and a food emporium, although this is his first job in the UAE.
He said: “Dubai is a new experience for me and full of opportunities. I am eager to take all food offerings here at the resort to the next level and develop ideas and talent within the team in order to produce some sensational dishes.”
Smalberger added: “I was also delighted to learn the resort has its own bio garden which is a fantastic asset and something I definitely plan to take advantage of in my cooking. I firmly believe in the development and growth of the associates in order to achieve culinary success in leading 5-star properties, such as Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa.”
Fredrik Reinisch, general manager of Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, said: “Nicolas is a valuable addition to the team and brings with him a great wealth of experience, new ideas and a fresh approach. I’m convinced he will push the boundaries and I’m look[ing] forward to seeing some new creations on the menu.”
In Smalberger’s varied career, he has also hosted gala dinners for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, and a VIP lunch for Princess Caroline of Monaco. He has also prepared high tea for people such as Charlize Theron and Nelson Mandela at both the Victoria Falls Resort in Zambia and Robin Island Resort in Cape Town.