Meet The Chef
Nobu Dubai’s chef de cuisine Damien Duviau reveals what it's like to work with culinary master Nobu Matsuhisa.
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Chef Nobu Matsuhisa may be 70 years old, but the culinary master is still hands-on when it comes to his award-winning restaurants.
The celebrity chef got his beginnings when actor Robert De Niro suggested he open an outlet in New York City, and the brand has expanded now to not only scores of restaurants across the globe, but also a collection of Nobu hotels, from Manila to Marbella.
Damien Duviau, the chef de cuisine at Nobu Dubai, explains that Matsuhisa visits the Dubai branch of his Japanese-fusion restaurant at least twice a year – and the top chef shows no signs of slowing down. “For someone with such an empire, Nobu is still very hands-on, cooking, making sushi and teaching us new recipes. He’s an impressive man,” Duviau explains.
What's On The Menu
Internationally, all Nobu outlets are uniform in that they use the same dry products and source the same high-quality ingredients globally, including the components of the famed black cod marinated in miso, which has become a renowned Nobu signature dish.
Duviau has worked for Nobu for the past nine years and says from a young age he felt compelled to be a part of the Nobu family. “When I was 18, I was living in London and my uncle came to visit me. He took me to Nobu for a meal – it was my first experience with the brand. By the end of the meal, I knew I wanted to work for this restaurant one day. I loved it; the food, the style, the service. And since I joined, I’ve never looked back, never thought about leaving.”
The 32-year-old was sous chef at Nobu Dubai from 2010 to 2013, before being recruited as executive chef of the Russian Nobu, but says he never felt like he was finished with Dubai’s branch. “I knew that when I left Atlantis, one day or another, I would be back.” Five years later, he was invited back to Dubai as the chef de cuisine.
The stylish outlet in Atlantis, The Palm, has become a stalwart of the Dubai dining scene. Nobu Dubai celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 – and it’s still one of the most popular restaurants in the city. When Duviau is questioned on what makes Nobu a success in a city with such a competitive dining scene, he says it’s down to two things. “Well, we are in Atlantis, an iconic location and destination in itself, and Nobu is Nobu – you know, people love the brand.
Madonna once said "You can tell how much fun a city is going to be if Nobu has a restaurant in it."
No matter where you dine, there’s that combination of consistency, quality and Nobu’s name,” says Duviau.
“The idea and philosophy of Nobu haven’t changed in the past 20 years, which is why it has been such a success. Chef Nobu has always maintained his style – his simplicity. Nobu is simple food made using the best possible products. The amazing Japanese-South American influence, which is using prominent flavour, makes the food so amazing,” says Duviau. “For me it’s some of the best in the world. It’s perfection.”
Dine At Nobu Dubai
Nobu is open daily from 6pm at Atlantis Dubai. To experience the elevated Japanese-South American cuisine at Nobu Dubai, book a table now.