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FOOD & DRINK

Dubai Chef: Michael Berehovoy from Argentina Grill

Words by Nathan Irvine

Head Chef at Argentina Grill La Mer and The Pointe, Michael Berehovoy tells us about his inspirations and his career so far

Hailing from Kiev, Ukraine, Michael Berehovoy heads up the delicious meats and treats found at Argentina Grill in La Mer and The Pointe in Dubai. As head chef, Berehovoy is in charge of keeping the menu relevant and interesting for new and returning diners.

In a chat with EDGAR, chef Berehovoy tells us about his career, his influences and much more.

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What was the first ever dish you made from scratch?

That would be a beef wellington. I know it sounds like a difficult dish to make, especially when it’s your first attempt, but it’s how it all started for me. I’ve always been ambitious, and my first solo cooking experience is the best example of this. Maybe this is where my love of cooking meat came from?

Which country has had the biggest impact on your culinary skills?

We’re all influenced by where we grew up. I’m from Ukraine, so I think that’s where I amassed my first cooking skills and started to experiment with different techniques. Ukrainian cuisine is based on sourcing the freshest ingredients that provide incredible flavours. Instead of using lots of herbs and spices to create something nice to eat, the taste comes from the homegrown, quality ingredients. I’ve also taken a lot of inspiration from Italian cuisine. You’ll notice that we have some unique pasta dishes even though we’re a grill restaurant. I want to include some diversity.

See the delicious cuts before you choose at Argentina Grill

Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures and tastes – what advantages and challenges does this offer you and your team?

I love the diversity and all the unique dining opportunities we have here. I always tell my team to get out and explore what Dubai has to offer. There's so much inspiration for our menu that’s available to us on our doorstep. Also, we can all learn from one another. It’s always going to be challenging to work in a city that’s got such a huge number of restaurants, but I think as long as you’re sure of what you’re offering and confident in your service and food, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

How has the dining scene changed since you started out?

As Dubai is a lively tourism hub, before lockdown we were learning to accommodate so many new guests from all over the world, who were only here on holiday. Before global travel restrictions the majority of our guests were not frequent visitors, but tourists who wanted to see La Mer or The Pointe. Since we’ve had fewer tourists, we’ve started to notice more frequenting resident guests, who live locally, to both our branches.

What are the key ingredients to a successful restaurant?

Diversity in the menu. We like to try and accommodate different palates by providing not only meat, but unique vegetarian, vegan and fish dishes. I also think that service is key to any restaurant, and we like to try and serve our menu interestingly and memorably.

What star dish should everyone be able to make?

Steak. It’s not a dish, but it certainly involves a lot of technique and doesn’t taste good if done wrong. When working with any steak from tenderloin to a T-bone, it’s crucial to ensure that you prepare it correctly before cooking and that it’s not over done as this can ruin taste and texture.

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