On the Daily: Marea Dubai Executive Chef Yunus Emre Aydın

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Executive Chef Yunus Emre Aydin from Marea hails from Marmaris, a town on the Mediterranean coast. He began his culinary career 17 years ago, when a siren call of the culinary took him to the kitchen; his love for and experience with seafood can be tasted in each coastal Italy-themed dish at the restaurant.

What are some moments in your career which have shaped you to become the chef that you are today?
I have been so lucky in my career; I’ve travelled the world and worked with so many wonderful people. One of the main moments that sticks out would be in 2013, when I decided to take the chef position with Michael White, where I got to work with him in Istanbul Morini. It was one of the best (and I must say hardest) experiences in my career and catapulted me to where I am today.

What can we expect when dining at Marea Dubai?
At Marea, we’re focused on quality, freshness and consistency. We source only the best seafood and produce from across the globe; our pastas are all handmade daily. We like to elevate life’s moments at Marea and have customers indulging their senses with some of the best food that Dubai, and the world for that matter, have to offer.

What are the main differences between Marea Dubai and the NYC venue?
The wonderful thing about the New York Marea and Marea DIFC, is that we work and coexist as one big family and team. From the quality control of our dishes, to ensuring that whether you eat in our NYC or Dubai branch you will be dining on the best pasta or seafood. We all work very closely with each other to ensure that the highest standards are maintained at all time.

What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
Ask any chef and he will say he doesn’t cook enough at home. I don’t have a favourite dish, but I love cooking breakfast for my family and just spending quality time with them.

On the Daily
8am: I wake up and have my espresso.

8:30am: I head over to the gym in my building, for my daily exercise session.

9:30am: I prepare myself freshly squeezed orange juice.

9:45am: I jump in the shower and then I’m ready to commute to work.

10am: I walk into my kitchen, make sure to greet each and every person. A quick briefing with morning team, testing daily prepared sauce and stocks. Marea has some of the best, freshest pasta; we handcraft this daily, from garganelli, gluten-free pasta options, to gnocchi and gnocchetti, if it’s on our menu it was handmade that morning.

I then check in with my purchasing team on the ordering status of the fresh products, both sourced locally and from across the globe; we order and serve only the best produce which the team tirelessly searches for.  

11am: I take a quick coffee break with the Marea general manager and we discuss daily operations.

11:30am: I make sure we’re ready for lunch service. Every single item, including our pasta, is prepared by hand, fresh every morning.

12:00: Lunch service begins and we’re ever ready to welcome our lovely clients. Our “special lunch” is extremely popular; it’s a 3-course set menu featuring some of our most famous dishes, which guests travel from across the globe to taste, both in Dubai and Marea NYC.

3:00: After our lunch rush, I sit with our purchasing team and follow up on our order statuses. As Marea captures the essence of the international seafood market, we ensure we provide specific, fresh and quality products, including seabass from Canary Islands, scallop from the USA, Gillardeau Oysters, live lobsters from Canada, seabream from France, tuna from Spain, fresh clams from France, and salmon from Norway, amongst others; this is what makes Marea restaurant an absolute heaven for seafood aficionados.

4:30: I check my e-mails and daily report.

5:30: This is my quiet time, where I get to sit and enjoy dinner with our team.

6pm: We have a quick briefing with the team, and I make sure we’re ready for dinner service.

6:15pm: Preparing the setup for dinner service to be ready for operation for 7pm.

6:45pm: Daily tasting of the dishes before service.

7pm to 1am: Enjoying the dinner service with team and making sure we’re creating lasting memories, with our food and service.

11:30am: Check with team before we’re about to close the kitchen if there are any requirements. Then, I follow up with the team in case there’s any feedback from guests or staff to improve our standards.