Nestlé Professional MENA appoints Elie Lteif as culinary advisor – hotel news me

Nestlé Professional MENA has appointed chef Elie Lteif as culinary advisor. Here, we interview the mastermind behind the kitchen to find out more.

Chef Elie, please tell us a little more about your trip before you land at Nestlé.
I started my career as a chef in 2001, then I graduated in hotel cuisine and pastry arts in 2004 with honors. Passionate about cooking and all its aspects, and passionate about culinary preparation, I specialized in French cuisine, working for international brands such as Le Bistro De Beirut and Entrecôte de Paris.

I then joined the international Buddha Bar chain, joining the pre-opening teams as a chef de partie. Passionate about more than 11 types of cuisine, I tend to create themed menus and nights, as well as special and private events that mix different tastes.

In 2005, I joined the hospitality sector at the Royal Hotel Beirut, a 5 star hotel, as chef de partie where I was promoted to junior sous-chef. In 2008, I moved to hotel management as a chef, then I was promoted to executive chef for pre-opening projects at Noir Motion Lounge in Beirut.

In 2013, I moved to Dubai for an Executive Chef role at Cedar Dining Hospitality Management, leading a culinary team of 120 employees and managing seven outlets and a central kitchen production serving international and modern Lebanese cuisines with an operation massive restoration.

In 2016, I was part of the pre-opening team as the Executive Chef of the Metropolitan Boutique Hotel under Habtoor Hospitality Group, managing the six outlets, including a pub, an Italian restaurant, a sushi bar, all day dining, banquet and room service, plus catering events.

From 2017 to present, I have been Executive Chef at Nassima Royal Hotel, which has been transformed into VOCO Hotel Dubai under IHG leadership and part of the pre-opening team of the first VOCO brand in the Middle -Orient, managing all culinary operations.

What aspects of cooking are you most passionate about?
I have been a chef for over 20 years, each stage of my career surrounding me with more than 15 types of cuisine. I found myself constantly looking for new, fresh concepts that appealed to me more than the traditional ones. I use this mindset in all of my recipes and also implement it with cooking methods / style.

I try to stay up to date with new cooking technologies and new types of cooking and then I use my creativity to finally create it my way.

In terms of innovation, what do you plan to bring to the position?
As it’s a tough time in the F&B industry when it comes to budgeting and manpower, I intend to provide chefs with a faster, tastier, more creative, more consistent and more cost effective.

What are some of the most important trends you will focus on?
Plant-based / vegan / flexitarian lifestyles are all the rage right now. I will focus on driving SWEET EARTH® as one of Nestlé’s brands, bringing it to life on restaurant and hotel menus by creating new recipes using this premium range.

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