Raised in a “food-focused” family, Lucas Glanville was inspired by his mother to pursue a culinary career while he was still in high school. He studied culinary arts at a London catering college before joining the Michelin-star restaurant Le Gavroche and subsequently joining Browns Restaurant Melbourn, an award-winning restaurant. Here, the senior executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre shares his insights into the Saudi culinary scene and how he is tackling the issue of sustainability in the kitchen.
What are some of the current culinary trends in Saudi Arabia that you’re excited to implement at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre?
We are enriching our menu with a variety of flavors and ingredients from the region, in addition to introducing vegetarian and vegan options to cater to the growing demand for plant-based dishes. We are also incorporating modern cooking techniques and utilizing locally sourced ingredients to create a unique dining experience.
How has the culinary scene in Saudi Arabia evolved over the past few years?
The culinary scene in Saudi Arabia has evolved significantly over the past few years, with a greater focus on local flavors, ingredients and cooking techniques. We have seen an increase in the number of restaurants offering regional cuisine as well as a greater emphasis on healthy eating options.
How are you addressing the issue of sustainability at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh?
We have noticed a shift in customer preferences toward more sustainable and eco-friendly dining options. To address this, we have implemented several sustainable practices in our kitchen, such as reducing food waste by using compostable packaging and utilizing energy-efficient equipment. We also prioritize local sourcing and products by partnering with local farmers and suppliers.
Furthermore, we’ve implemented energy-saving initiatives, such as LED lighting and low-flow water fixtures, and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by minimizing food waste and using sustainable packaging. We also strive to use organic and natural products, as well as those that are sustainably sourced.
How have Saudization and gender equality initiatives in the kingdom impacted your hotel? Have you seen an increase in the number of women working in the kitchen?
In terms of Saudization and recent gender equality initiatives, we have seen an increase in the number of women and Saudi employees joining our kitchen staff. At Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, we always strive to create an inclusive environment that encourages diversity while providing equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender or nationality.