Day in the life: Oscar Rito, head chef, Tortuga

Oscar Rito, head chef at Tortuga, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam, Madinat Jumeirah

Oscar Rito, head chef at Tortuga
Oscar Rito, head chef at Tortuga

07:00am — Breakfast time, the most important meal of the day. I kick start my morning by turning on some tunes and getting straight in the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and breakfast.

07:30am — Family is really important to me, so I like to get some quality time in with my children before I head off to work. I also scroll through social media and update my own platforms with some of my favourite dishes from the previous day.

08:30am — I make my way to Talise Fitness at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Madinat Jumeirah. Exercise is a key part of my routine and I try to head down there at least five times a week to keep fit and healthy.

10:45am — I arrive at the kitchen. Every day, I greet all my colleagues with a “Hola” and a big hug, as it’s important to get the team motivated for a great day ahead.

12:00pm  — I open the service kitchen, and check hygiene reports and focus on day-to-day operations. I review stocks, ensuring all our produce is of the highest quality standard and in line with the authenticity of the restaurant. I also check the bookings for the day, including VIPs and special requirements with the hostess.

03:00pm — I have a briefing with the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam head chefs, followed by daily service training.

06:00pm — At this time, I host a briefing with my kitchen staff.

06:30pm — Now for one of my favourite parts of my job: getting to taste some of the delicious dishes that we create in Tortuga! There is a rigorous sampling process to ensure the dishes we are serving are bursting with flavour and presented to the highest quality standard. I also use this time to plan the layout for the evening in correlation to the bookings to ensure a smooth and efficient service.

07:30pm — This is the busiest part of the day: the service. I’m very fortunate to have a strong and skilled culinary team.

10:30pm – After a long day, this is key planning time to make sure the restaurant is set up for the following day.

11:00pm – Before I leave, I make sure that I recognise the teams efforts.

11:45pm – I squeeze in some more family time, and spend time with my wife before getting a good night’s sleep.

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