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Meet the Man Behind Gaucho Dubai’s Restaurant Opening Next Month

Plus how to cook a steak!

We all love a new restaurant opening, don’t we? Well with Gaucho, the London-born Argentine restaurant concept opening in Dubai at DIFC in the first week of October, FooDiva met with chef turned operator, South African Ryan Hattingh, Gaucho’s International Operations Director to chat all things beef, why he won’t be dishing up Wagyu, the all-Argentine wine list, and plenty more. He even tells us how to cut, prepare and grill a steak! Gaucho by the way is an Argentinian or Argentine as Ryan prefers to say, cowboy.

1. You’re scheduled to open first week October. Will you open with your alcohol and pork licence?
We’re not doing pork. In London we only have two or three items on the menu, so as it’s not a core part of our business, it doesn’t make sense to include here. We should have our alcohol licence by the time we open. If not, we would only open for dry runs until the licence comes through. The Gaucho experience is about the food and the wine.

2. So with that in mind, how would you briefly describe Gaucho to a potential diner?
We are an Argentine restaurant, and we put a lot of time and effort into making sure our menu is authentic. It’s all about the provenance of product. I really don’t like to be referred to as a steakhouse. It’s more of a lifestyle brand, with a very sexy tango-feel!

3. Will Gaucho Dubai differ from your UK restaurants, and also Beirut in terms of interior? If so, how?
We’re tailoring it quite a lot for this market. If we start with upstairs, we have a very new element for us; a ceviche bar with a DJ and an 18-metre long white marble bar. So one side is a kitchen and a Robata [charcoal] grill. We have a wood-burning oven for empanadas and slow-roasted meats. There’s a nine-metre floating bridge to get to the bar. We have a ten-metre wine wall from floor to ceiling; all glass.

And a glass lift that goes through a wine room, with a massive marble staircase that along with the lift lead into the carpark, where we will have a valet car parking service. Access is easy. Downstairs, we have a 100-seat terrace overlooking Emirates Towers. Big open windows. Plus a private dining room for 18 people.

4. In the UK bringing local farm to table is achievable, but unfortunately not as realistic for Dubai. Understandably, your beef is imported from Argentina. Where is the rest of your produced sourced from? Anything sourced locally?
From Argentina, we have the beef and wine. And dulce de leche which can only be sourced from Argentina. As much as possible we want to source locally, but when we say locally here, it broadens out across the region. So we will use potatoes from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, a lot of vegetables from Lebanon such as tomatoes. Shrimps and prawns from Kuwait. Hammour and crab from the U.A.E. If it is not available at the quality we need, we will import, but as much as possible we want to work with local produce. It makes sense for us and the local market. It’s about what’s available and seasonality, and we change our menu accordingly.

Continue reading on FooDiva

Gaucho is located at DIFC [Dubai International Financial Centre].
Reservations soon on the Gaucho website (through OpenTable)
or via dubai@gauchorestaurants.com




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