Head to Head: Vida Downtown Dubai

The culinary offering at Vida Downtown Dubai is being reinvented

L-R: Anke Glässing, general manager and James Knight-Pacheco , executive chef
L-R: Anke Glässing, general manager and James Knight-Pacheco , executive chef

What makes Vida Downtown Dubai special in comparison to its competitors in the market?

Anke: Vida Downtown Dubai is an upscale lifestyle boutique hotel. We pride ourselves on our environmentally-friendly credentials and our guests appreciate the ethical dimension built into the hotel’s philosophy.

James: Our vision for the hotel’s culinary landscape is to continue living the creative Vida ethos, with its stylish vibe conveyed through food. It is a chic yet casual setting that attracts a very cosmopolitan audience.

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How do the front-of-house and back-of-house teams at the F&B outlets in the hotel support each other?

Anke: Guest satisfaction is the essence of hospitality and we focus on ensuring service is personalised yet unobtrusive. I work with my team to set clear guidelines on service standards. Our philosophy is about realising dreams in an environment where creative minds meet and connect.

James: The hotel has a community feel. My kitchen flows seamlessly and I feel lucky to be part of such a great team, which is very innovative. We are always coming up with new ideas and dishes; we have a licence to be creative, which is not something you often find in the industry.

How do you ensure the hotel’s outlets are busy and profitable?

Anke: I foster a dynamic and positive culture that inspires our team to be the best they can be, and this trickles down to our guests and the experience we create. A strong leader surrounds himself/herself with great people who are motivated to achieve the best they can.

James: Not only do we offer great service and culinary experiences, but we cater to Dubai’s cosmopolitan audience. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than by our pool, in the tranquil setting we have created and trying dishes from our new lunch menu.

What are the biggest business challenges you face?

Anke: The hospitality industry in Dubai is competitive and fast-paced. We take great pleasure in reinventing ourselves through providing not only the best services and amenities, but embracing our creative ethos. This foundation helps us stand out from the crowd and ensures we remain at the forefront of hospitality within Dubai and the wider region.

James: The food scene in Dubai has taken off in the past couple of years and we have some of the best restaurants in the world here. That’s why we always try to think outside of the box and make sure we stay true to our identity and the Vida Downtown Dubai ethos. That way, we ensure that we do not get lost in the crowd.

What does the future hold for Vida Downtown Dubai?

Anke: We have innovative projects in the pipeline and will continue our collaboration with Dubai’s fashion and artistic community; we have become the home of artists, designers and the region’s culinary curators. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s hip in Dubai.

James: The future is bright for us as we are reinventing the culinary vision of the hotel, and have exciting new concepts to launch in 2017. We are looking to give the entire menu a creative and contemporary feel. We will also be changing up the Vida food truck menu.

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