Five minutes with: KAYTO Pop-Up executive chef
Jumeirah Al Naseem’s Christian Goya talks about pop-ups, food trends and the keys to his success
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in the F&B industry?
Food is something that has been important to me since I was a child. Growing up, my parents worked long, tireless hours and therefore the responsibility of cooking the family meals fell on me. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to dedicate my career to showcasing the mix of my Japanese heritage and Argentinian upbringing.
What would you say are three key things that have made you successful?
My passion for food, my ability to think outside the box and not being afraid to take elements of different cuisines and fuse them together.
What are the elements that make KAYTO stand out from its competitors?
KAYTO pop-up is exciting because it allows guests to experience the result of two different cuisines colliding – Japanese and Peruvian. People visiting can expect exceptional sharing-style food in a relaxed atmosphere and stylish venue. The prime views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah are impressive too.
What are the challenges and opportunities associated with operating a pop-up concept?
I’m very lucky to have a hard-working, dedicated team behind me that makes the challenges that much easier to tackle. Pop-ups tend to generate a lot of buzz within the dining sphere as they only operate for a limited time. It’s important to impress guests from the moment they step through the door to the moment they leave – word of mouth and pop-ups go hand-in-hand so the reputation is often determined within the first few weeks of operation. I’d say that’s our biggest challenge.
Why do you think pop ups are so popular right now?
I think people associate pop-ups with offering something new, exciting and innovative – something that they have never experienced before.
What are some trends that you see emerging in the F&B industry?
The overall vibe and experience has become increasingly important. When selecting a restaurant, guests want great food, service and an atmosphere that keeps them coming back for more. I also think that cuisines are changing, particularly as many chefs now travel, work and live in different countries and regions throughout their careers. KAYTO pop-up, a Peruvian-Nikkei restaurant in Dubai is a great example of that.