Dubai, UAE: A relative newcomer on Dubai’s F&B scene, European-inspired lifestyle restaurant Mondoux has quickly established itself as one of Dubai Creek Harbour’s must-visit destinations. Combining incredible food, attentive service, upscale interiors and stunning views, it is the perfect venue for all occasions, be it a family meal, a dinner date or a coffee catch-up. Taking it up a notch, the restaurant has recently appointed Colombian executive chef Luisa Fernanda Caicedo who is already making waves by revamping some of the venue’s signature dishes.
Passionate and adventurous, Caicedo has an interesting story to tell. “I credit my love for cooking to my family,” she says. “My grandfather, mother and uncle were my daily sources of inspiration. Some of my fondest childhood memories include spending time with them in the kitchen.”
Interestingly, Luisa’s grandfather forbade her from going to culinary school, convincing her to opt for a career in nursing instead. Having relocated from her native city of Medellín, Colombia to New York City, she continued her medical career – until a sudden realization hit her. If not now, when? It was time to pursue her dream of becoming a professional chef.
After completing her studies at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, Caicedo launched her career in New York’s upscale restaurant, Perry Street, the brainchild of renowned Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Jean-Georges’ son, Celebrity chef Cédric Vongerichten, helmed the kitchen at the restaurant and over their 10 years of collaboration, has proven to be a great mentor and source of inspiration to Luisa. Prior to her appointment in Dubai, Luisa spent three years in Jakarta, Indonesia, heading up the kitchens of two upmarket restaurants, Vong Kitchen and Le Burger, both curated by Jean-Georges and Cédric Vongerichten.
Having been stranded in Nepal for seven months during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Caicedo was excited to embark on her new life in Dubai once the travel restrictions were lifted. “I was on my first flight out,” she laughs, reflecting on the challenging experience with a smile. “I learn so much by living in places with a different culture than my own and with Dubai being such a melting pot, it’s hard not to fit in.”
Luisa wishes for every single guest to have a memorable experience at Mondoux and is keen to emphasise that the restaurant uses only the finest produce. “At Mondoux, we serve an international menu and are passionate about showcasing the natural flavours of ingredients. We source most of our products locally and prepare everything from scratch in our kitchen. I’m not a fan of fleeting culinary trends and prefer a back to basics approach. Simple can be, and is, delicious!”
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