LaLuz - Mediterranean cuisine, but not as we know it
Having spent nearly a decade as Ferran Adrià's right-hand man at the famed three Michelin-starred restaurant el Bulli, Alain Devahive has decided to make it on his own. Last month, as he opened the doors at his new DIFC-based Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant LaLuz, he sat down with Esquire to talk about his life in food.
On philosophy… I believe that food is more than what you taste, see and smell. Feelings and passion need to be translated to the customer. I want everyone who I cook for to feel something, and have something come to mind when they take a bite — whether it’s something new or a memory of when they were young.
On food memories… After school I used to come home and the smell of my mother’s or grandmother’s cooking would always fill the house. It’s something that has always stayed with me and first made me want to learn to cook.
On being different… There are other restaurants in Dubai that offer Spanish-Mediterranean cuisines, but the Spanish ones tend to centre on tapas, and the Mediterranean ones focus more on Italian and French cuisine. At LaLuz our concept is different. It’s a sharing concept of very well-presented plates, but not one that is traditional in Spain or common over here.
On the menu… Catalonia is an area that throughout the centuries has been influenced by many cultures and civilisations, and
all the while, its cuisine has been absorbing those influences and evolved into something unique. I want to represent these flavours in using modern tools and techniques.
On el Bulli… Spending nearly a decade working for the restaurant rated the best in the world for five years in a row taught me the importance of high standards in everything from discipline and techniques, to team-building exercises.
On running a restaurant… It’s like a theatre production — the food is important but it’s not the only thing that matters. You have to make sure that the staff are trained, stimulated and happy, and you have to make sure that every person who walks through your doors enjoys the experience. I am constantly looking out for little bits of inspiration everywhere I go. Even a random toilet somewhere can trigger an idea of how to improve my restaurant.
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LaLuz, Four Seasons Hotel DIFC, Dubai, +971 (4) 506 0000