Born and raised in Singapore, Chef Akmal Anuar’s culinary journey started on the tender age of 10, amidst the colourful hustle of his dad and mom’ hawker meals stall.
“I grew up seeing my dad and mom work actually laborious within the meals enterprise, and I set out with related willpower,” remembers the second-generation Singaporean Malay. A connoisseur of Malay delicacies, Akmal’s childhood love for fragrant coconut-based curries and rice continues to affect him.
Within the early 2000s, he joined as a prepare dinner at one among Singapore’s prestigious French eating places, Les Amis. “From a younger age, I knew I wanted to work laborious and earn cash, so ultimately working at cafes, taking on part-time shifts in hospitals and thru associates, I lastly secured a job at Les Amis.”
Beneath the tutelage of celebrated Singaporean chef, Justin Quek, he honed his abilities and purchased the finesse of haute delicacies. “I received fortunate, however from there, from that French restaurant in Singapore, my life picked up and made me what I’m at the moment,” Akmal humbly acknowledges.
Akmal’s culinary journey led him to Dubai in 2014. Collaborating with the Starwood Group at Le Royal Meridien, he spearheaded the creation of Zengo, a restaurant mixing the flavours of Asian and Mexican cuisines. Nonetheless, the influence of the oil value crash in 2015 forged an unexpected shadow on the service business in Dubai, prompting Akmal’s eventual return to Singapore.
“Once I left the lodge in Dubai in 2015, it was at some extent the place I already informed myself I’m by no means going to work for any individual anymore,” he asserts. “I needed to let folks take heed to my voice.” Akmal embraced partnerships and co-founded his first restaurant, 3Fils, in Dubai , in 2016, alongside two Emiratis. After Akmal’s departure in 2019, the restaurant swiftly soared to prominence and secured the highest spot on the MENA (Center East and North Africa) 50 Finest record in 2022. Moreover, it earned a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand this 12 months.
“I’ve no diploma in enterprise. I didn’t graduate from culinary faculty,” he says. “Every little thing I do know is from years of money and time invested in travelling, studying books and studying by apply alone within the kitchen. Many didn’t imagine in me and it didn’t work out very often however with time, I taught myself every little thing I do know at the moment — each within the kitchen and in enterprise.”
Whereas the pandemic forged a shadow on the culinary business, Akmal unveiled Goldfish, an off-the-cuff sushi and yakitori restaurant, in Dubai in 2021. “I’m not a sure man, and I like folks difficult me,” he declares. “I knew I wanted to work on my own, have my very own enterprise, create my very own menu, purchase my very own place…”
Following his success with Goldfish, the chef famend for his experience in Japanese delicacies ventured into one other culinary endeavour in Dubai — 11 Woodfire. The main target right here has been on delivering distinctive flavours through the use of superior substances cooked over hearth. As a testomony to his culinary prowess, Goldfish earned a Bib Gourmand from Michelin this 12 months, whereas 11 Woodfire proudly secured a Michelin star for 2 consecutive years, beginning in 2022.
“The Michelin star is like Grammy for any chef, it’s a recognition of our craft. For me, it’s my commencement certificates I earned for placing in all these hours into my craft within the kitchen, “ he says.
From Abu Dhabi to New York, he additional expanded his culinary empire with Otoro, a contemporary Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi, Fifty Three, an Asian restaurant in New York Metropolis, and Mavia, a restaurant in the course of the Al Faya desert, in Sharjah, leaving a path of remarkable culinary experiences throughout the globe.
“I’ve many eating places now. It’s very tough to get folks to know what I would like. However I’ve a core workforce that has been with me for greater than 10 years, and I’ve my chef who has labored with me instantly for 12 years. These persons are those who assist me set the muse,” he explains, noting that he has now taken a backseat within the kitchen.
“I’m extra of a curator now. I do know what is smart, what the client desires, the worth for cash, and learn how to make these companies as sustainable as potential,” he provides.
Discussing the upcoming eight-course dinner he’s internet hosting in Bengaluru, he says, “I wish to play with temperatures and textures. Visitors can count on meals that go successively from sizzling to chilly to sizzling, with a give attention to umami and premium substances.”
The dinner with wine is priced at ₹8,500 plus taxes per individual and can be hosted on June 28 and 29 at East – The Asian Dwelling Room, JW Marriott Bengaluru Status Golfshire Resort & Spa.