My dad has been raving about Marina Social for months, so I’ve been absolutely dying to try it.
And last month, not only did I finally get to sample the menu, I also got to sit down with Tristan Farmer, the head chef Parton of one of the marina’s most stylish haunts. Originally hailing from Scotland, Tristan has been working in fine dining for over 10 years, became a head chef at just 26-years old and honed his culinary skills under the watchful eye (or should I say palette) of none other than then Michelin start chef Gordon Ramsey.
Where did you get your passion for food?
I’ve always loved food; I’ve never been a fussy eater and I always used to eat everything. When I was 12 I got a part-time job washing pans and I just loved the environment and the buzz in a restaurant, so six months later I asked to become a chef and the rest is history!
How does running a kitchen in the UK compare to running one in Dubai?
It’s actually quite similar; to me, a kitchen is a kitchen. The only challenges here would be food deliveries. In London you get food deliveries six times a week, three times a day, whereas in Dubai you only get deliveries twice a week because everything is imported.
If you weren’t a chef you’d be…?
I love music festivals and I play the drums, so I’d be a musician.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
Your favourite dish to cook on Marina Social’s menu is…?
I love making pasta. We’ve got four different dishes on the menu, and rolling the pasta reminds me of my youth days as a chef.
Your favourite dish to eat on Marina Social’s menu is…?
The social dog – it’s a duck a foie gras hotdog!
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can only take five foods with you. What are they?
Coffee, cheddar cheese, ketchup, salt and flour, so I could make bread and have cheese on toast every day.
M: What was it like working for Gordon Ramsey?
T: It was amazing. I worked with him for eight years and he was my role model. He taught you about discipline, perfection and how to run a kitchen, which always inspired you to work harder. When I cook now, I always think “what would Gordon say if he saw this?” – it always stopped you doing anything wrong! M: What was the meanest thing he’s ever said to you? T: I couldn’t possibly say it out loud, but I was so excited that he actually knew what my name was!
If you could have any celebrity (dead or alive) eat at your restaurant, who would it be?
Johnny Depp always used to come to my restaurant in London, which was great because I’m a huge fan. He’s the nicest guy ever! But if I had to choose someone else it would probably be Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot Chilli Pepprs or James Cordon.
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