F&B director Anthony Tuttle and director of culinary Thomas Rebler say its taken a fusion of cultures to develop the world class offering at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
After much anticipation, the new JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai has opened its doors to the public.
Being crowned the tallest hotel building in the world at 355 metres, just 26 metres short of the Empire State Building, and which will feature 1,608 rooms once the second tower opens, the Sheikh Zayed Road situated hotel comprises 14 F&B concepts.
It goes without saying the hotel has certainly set its sights high with the challenge of filling 2,500 seats for dinner each night.
“We don’t want easy, we want the best,” asserts Thomas Rebler, director of culinary, adding that a big challenge was finding the right staff for the six lounges and eight restaurants. Roots are crucial, says the Austrian native, and convincing people of the greatness of the outlets through their authenticity was the number one priority.
At a glance
A list of outlets at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
Aqua Lounge – Poolside diner
VIP Room – Live entertainment venue
Izakaya – Japanese restaurant
Kitchen 6 – all day dining room
Kork – Wine bar
La Farine – the French bakery
Levant - Middle Eastern restaurant
Positano – Italian restaurant
Prime 68 - boutique steakhouse
Rang Mahal – by Atul Kochhar
The Lounge – Lobby bar
The Vault – Cocktail bar
Tong Thai – Thai restaurant
Velocity – Sports & Entertainment bar
Keeping it real
“It is critically important to have someone who has grown up with the food. In a Chinese restaurant you have a Chinese chef – who understands not just the ingredients, but the culture.
It was very important for us to have the right talent in the right restaurants and to source the right products. We were very thorough, and this took time.”
In total 800 F&B staff work across the hotel. American-born F&B director, Anthony Tuttle says with the competition growing in Dubai, it was essential to have a wide number of diverse F&B outlets, but he says while the “hardware” is spot-on with most hotels, the food is often “hit and miss”. This is something he and Rebler focused on tackling with teams during pre-opening.
“With having so many rooms when we open the second tower, and that it is such a competitive market, it’s almost expected to have that number of outlets in such a large hotel. What we wanted to do is provide the whole package in our outlets and have spent a lot of time with the concepts trying to implement that.”
While Thai, Japanese and a steakhouse all feature on the extensive list of restaurants, none are yet setting tongues wagging as much as the Indian restaurant, Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, which JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai partnered with renowned chef Atul Kochhar for. Rebler says Kochhar’s values proved “the perfect alignment” for JWMM and meant he was the obvious choice when it came to partnering with a celeb chef.
“As a chef, chefs want to be control of everything. As an operator we recognised it is critically important in Dubai to have on board extremely talented and recognised chefs. Atul Kochhar is a great example of this but again you could say Grosvenor House and Gary Rhodes. Atul Kochhar I dare to say stands for what we as a company stand for, crafted food, authentic food and he instills the same pride into his cooks that we do with our cooks. There are probably plenty of chefs that wouldn’t fit into our brand but they fit into other ones but we think it’s important to have professional apprentice, have the names on those outlets as well.”
It’s an ambitious move, believes Caterer, slightly concerned that the other 13 outlets may be overshadowed by the success, demand and footfall Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar will potentially receive. On the contrary, believes Rebler – it means the other outlets are going to have to up their game.
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