Five minutes with Christophe Muller

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The French masterchef is a special guest of the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche during Gourmet Abu Dhabi. He speaks about the importance of staying humble and dining with friends.

My earliest memories in the kitchen was holding a knife. I started when I was 13 years old in France.

The first dish I remember making was Meuniere Trout Fillet using butter lemon tomato. I used to go fishing when I was ten years old with my grandfather and it was the first dish I learned to prepare naturally. I used what fish I caught and prepared it and if it wasn't perfect my grandfather and I would go fishing again.

The best cooking advice I ever received was from Paul Haeberlen when I was doing my apprenticeship; he one the most famous three-starred Michelin chefs. He told me to stay humble, stay accessible, give pleasure and always be available to people.

If I could choose a dish for a last meal it would be a papaya salad in Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche. I like that it was really spicy.

I feel happiest when I get to dine so I can chose the people to sit with at the table: my friends and family and the ones I love. My mentor [the French chef] Paul Bocuse once said 'a table avec des amis, le temps ne compte plus' which means: at the table with friends, time doesn't count.

For me, the culinary scene in the UAE is really diverse and great quality. I like to travel to new countries, meeting people and sharing my skills. When I'm in my couch I like to imagine my friends in Abu Dhabi swimming, my friend in Mauritius sleeping, my friends in New York jogging and my parents in France working the garden. I enjoy imagining what people around the world are doing and laughing to myself. I realise at the end of the day no two people are doing the same thing at the same time.

Muller is the guest chef of Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche’s La Mer restaurant until Thursday. He will be designing a five-course lunch menu from 12pm to 3.30pm and a seven-course menu to be served from 7pm until midnight. For details click here or call 02 813 7777