A Chat with Nobu Doha Chef Andrew Bozoki
Thirty-three restaurants spread over five continents, nine hotels, and a luxury cruise ship comprises the Nobu restaurant empire. Logic will tell you that the sheer size of the group is proof enough that the operation is filled with talented folks. Yet many of these people go relatively unnoticed by the many patrons who dine at a Nobu restaurant. It’s for that reason that we wanted to highlight Andrew Bozoki, chef de cuisine at the newly opened Nobu Doha in Qatar.
The title of chef de cuisine is bestowed upon the chef responsible for running the kitchen on a day-to-day basis. To earn that title at any restaurant is an accomplishment, but to do so at a Nobu-run operation is essentially tantamount to winning a culinary award, albeit with better pay and more hours.
The Daily Meal: Given the restaurant's location relative to the predominant culture of the area in Doha, what sort of adjustments have you had to make to the menu, relative to the typical construction of a Nobu menu?
Andrew Bozoki: We decided to use the same menu which we have used very successfully in Dubai. This menu has already been approved by Nonbu. Over time we will definitely have some changes due to the differences in guest preferences in Qatar.
What sort of split do you hope, or perhaps expect, to see with regards to your clientele and where they come from? Do you expect a predominantly international crowd, or will the Qataris take advantage of all this opportunity to dine at Nobu?
At the moment we are experiencing a good mixture of both Qataris and an international crowd.
We had the pleasure of meeting Jephte [Tagod], who serves as your head sushi chef. What sort of relationship have you two built and do you collaborate at all on the menu?
Jephte and I have known and worked with each other since I joined Nobu in Dubai in 2009. We both work closely together, as well as inspiring each other, to create new dishes and menus. We are not only colleagues but also very good friends.
On average, how many types of fish do you have on the sushi menu on a given day?
We have twenty items and seven of them are different kinds of fish.
You mentioned that the tempura rock shrimp is the most popular menu item. About how many orders a night do you produce?
Yes, this is correct at the moment. We sell fifty to eighty portions a day.
We talked a bit about the fact that Nobu-san's rice relies on the use of alcohol in the vinegar and that you've had to make some adjustments to that due to the import laws. Can you talk a bit about how you solved that problem?
This was actually not a problem, as these adjustments were already made at Nobu in Dubai due to the similarities of the rules and regulations of the two countries.