French meets Italian with chef Saverio Sbaragli

French meets Italian with chef Saverio Sbaragli

Born in Tuscany, chef Saverio Sbaragli grew up with a deep understanding and appreciation for Italian cuisine. He has worked alongside renowned Michelin-starred chefs Alain Ducasse, Alain Passard and Christian Morisse, who gave him the technical knowledge, confidence and credibility to grow in the industry. In this exclusive interview, we discover how the head chef of Al Muntaha is guided by three pillars — innovation, authenticity and creativity — to create magic in the kitchen. 

What drew you to Dubai and how would you describe its culinary scene?
My career began in France, where I studied under Michelin-starred chefs Alain Ducasse and Alain Passard. I honed my French cooking skilld and discovered the value of consommé and sauces. Thereafter, I traveled back to Italy and started working at Florence’s Enoteca Pinchiorri, before joining Il Lago restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva in 2012. It was there that I received my first Michelin star, followed by my second star at Tosca Geneva, where I served as head chef.
At Al Muntaha, I am reimagining traditional French and Italian dishes, and offering Dubai’s diners an exquisite gastronomic experience.
The most exciting part of running Al Muntaha is undoubtedly having the opportunity to work in one of the most famous hotels in the world and further develop one of the city’s most renowned restaurants.
Dubai’s culinary scene tends to be more international; it is influenced by global trends, while European cuisine tends to be more traditional and rooted in local culture and history. The introduction of the Michelin Guide will further attract guests and chefs, thereby giving us the chance to showcase our innovation and cuisine.

What defines a Michelin-starred chef?
It is a mark of excellence and dedication to delivering an exceptional dining experience. When Al Muntaha was awarded a Michelin star, it was an exceptionally proud moment for all of us. It is a testament to my team’s dedication to consistently enhance the guest experience and pay constant attention to every detail.

How would you describe your cooking style?
Through my cooking, I aim to leverage my experience and creativity to take guests on a culinary journey through France and Italy. It brings me great joy to share my love and passion for food with my team and our guests, so I aim to constantly innovate to communicate emotion through my food and plating.

You believe in passion and perseverance. How do you convey that in your kitchen and with your staff?
The team is always focused on meeting the ever-changing needs of our guests and strives to serve up an engaging and unique culinary experience. Dedication and hard work have helped us succeed, and I constantly motivate my staff to excel.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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