DUBAI: LA-based celebrity chef David Myers creates food that is, in his words, “influenced by travel, but based on very simple, clean flavors and impeccable ingredients. There’s an element of minimalism, I’m always searching for absolute purity in a dish that I create.”
Myers recently opened two restaurants in Dubai, giving Middle Eastern diners a taste of that signature style: Bleu Blanc, a chic, modern take on a Provencal farmhouse-inspired eatery, and Basta!, a hip, casual Italian restaurant.
As Myers tells it, his career as a chef was a happy accident. His main goal was to develop a career that allowed him to travel.
“I never imagined in a million years that I would work in food,” he told Arab News. “I just knew I wanted to travel. For me it was always intriguing to be able to dive into another culture, and thankfully I can do it through a great medium such as food.”
Myers started cooking while studying international business at college, throwing dinner parties for friends. He enjoyed it, so figured he should see if he could get a job as a chef. The easiest way to do that, he decided, was to walk into one of the top restaurants in his city and ask for a job. He got one.
This sort of gumption, combined with passion, a bit of luck and hard work make up the recipe for success as a chef, according to Myers.
“I’ve always found the harder I work, the more luck I have,” he said. “Being able to sacrifice and persevere are the two other most important traits you need to have in this business. This is a really hard life. It’s not just intense physically, but (emotionally too). It’s like boot camp, but for much longer.”
With accolades including Michelin stars and James Beard awards under his belt, Myers is living his dream — travelling around 330 days every year, and well on his way to achieving his goal of global domination. He plans to have a presence in “15 key cities.”
For their first year, though, his Dubai restaurants will get 50 percent of his time, while he also explores expanding elsewhere in the Middle East.
“The dining scene in Dubai is world class,” he said. “But Saudi Arabia has also come up in conversations. It sounds like there is great potential there.”