Lloyd Roberts – from software engineer to Executive Chef at Wakame Dubai
Lloyd Roberts – from software engineer to Executive Chef at Wakame Dubai. Read here more.
You started your carer as software engineer and changed later to become a chef. Did you find your real passion?
Yes!! I started my career in the hospitality business as a waiter, I work 8 years in the front of house.
Apart from the general learning during that time, what did you learn for your life at this cooking school?
The first uptown New York location by legendary chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Which learning you took from that time with chef Nobu Matsuhisa?
Never give up on your dreams, there is always another way to create sometime beautiful.
Nobu Moscow´s co-owners the Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro. Did you ever cook for him; and was he happy with you work?
The Nobu offers new style Japanese cuisine combined with classic dishes. To be open; how difficult was it for you as a young American chef to cook this Japanese style menus?
Not Difficult at all, because of my training with Jean Georges it was much easier.
In 2006 you moved as Executive Sous Chef to the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. That sounds like to have a great job: regular working hours in a great environment. Did you have any culinary freedom at that time, to create new menus, dishes… ?
Unfortunately, I was in charge of the day to day running of the kitchen, ordering, scheduling etc.
2007 followed a promotion as Executive Chef at the Gramercy Park Hotel in NY city. Responsible for four kitchen outlets, with individual menu for each and a several million USD budget. Did you still feel to be a chef; or more a manager?
Both, once you move from line cook to Sous Chef Executive Sous Chef, Executive Chef, you start to where two hats. Plus in this day and age Chefs are now more in the front of house them ever before.
2008, Nobu Restaurant was calling you again; however this time as the Executive Chef in Moscow. In what sense Moscow was new / different for you to work as a chef?
Language was something as no spoke English, had to learn some Russian. It was difficult to fine ingredients and stay consistent.
As Executive Chef of a multi – million dollar Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant in Moscow, Russia you have been as well in charge to plan and create seasonal menu using local and international ingredients. In what sense was this job in Moscow different from the same task in NY?
In New York I am able get fresh ingredients by just making a few phone calls. Therefore, vegetables that I was able to get in the spring was very hard to come by in Moscow.
In 2010 you moved on with the Nobu as opening Executive Chef of Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant in Budapest, Hungary. In what snese Hungary was different to work for you as a chef?
There was a lot more English speaking line cooks, products where a bit easier to come by and stayed more consistent then in Moscow.
From 2012 to 2013 you added some time in Moscow and Kiev. Summarizing your several years as American chef with specialisation on high levelled Asian cuisine in eastern Europe time; what did you values most out this time?
Been able to adopt to my new environment and not changing or compromising my standards.
You were born in Jamaica. Do you still have any culinary connection to Jamaica?
Yes, I still have connection there. I am planning culinary get together this year.
You believe in big flavours and in dishes that are simple but unique. Can you give us some examples?
In the restaurant we have a Crispy Japanese Eggplant & Burrata with a Black Truffle Yuzu Dressing, where the Yuzu Juice is the bold flavour. Waygu Slider with a Aji Amarillo & Truffle Mayo, again the bold flavour with be the Aji Amarillo Pepper.
Your work stands for Asian cuisine with modern and bold approach. Which of your dishes describes it best?
Crispy Japanese Eggplant & Burrata with a Black Truffle Yuzu Dressing
Consequently to your specialisation; will you work one day in Japan?
Yes, its something on my bucket list to do.