Michelin-starred chef Quique Dacosta: ‘I preserve my own culinary language’

Spanish chef's Vanguard concept offers a unique sensory dining experience at the Palazzo Versace Dubai hotel.

Quique Dacosta. Courtesy Susana Martinez
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Enigma, the signature restaurant in the Palazzo Versace Dubai hotel, has opened, featuring three Michelin-starred Spanish chef Quique Dacosta and his Vanguard concept.

Every three months, the restaurant will invite a new, world-renowned chef to take over the menu.

Dacosta, whose eponymous restaurant in Spain is ranked 39 on the esteemed list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, is eager to show discerning diners in Dubai what he has to offer.

What do you think about Enigma’s concept and why did you want to participate?

It’s unique in the world. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s a challenge and I felt the need to take it on.

My goal is to do something unique in Dubai, to set the bar very high and motivate everyone to come live it intensely.

Enigma is something truly interesting and I encourage everyone to come and experience it in person, because it is something unique in a magical atmosphere.

What can diners expect from your food?

Magic. Affinity. Fragility. Strong flavours. Intense textures. A sensory universe. Vegetables are the thread running throughout my culinary offerings. My cuisine would not exist without them.

What signature dishes will you be serving?

This is one of the enigmas. I can’t give you an answer. I hope that each diner experiences each of the dishes in his or her own way.

Will you adapt your cuisine to the market?

You’ll see my own cuisine. No concessions are made in that regard. I think people will be able to enjoy my essence as opposed to an adaptation to local cuisine. I preserve my own culinary language.


The menu is an Enigma

I tried Dacosta’s Vanguard concept at Enigma and it’s a multi-sensory overload you don’t want to miss. I can’t reveal details because the element of surprise is part of the experience.

Dacosta does things with food I’ve never seen before – the molecular gastronomy on display is masterful. At one point, the lights are turned off and servers come out with a glow-in-the-dark dish that Dacosta calls “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

There is no menu, you won’t know what’s coming, and you’ll eat things that confuse the senses, but, rest assured, Dacosta puts on a culinary show worth digging your teeth into.

Vanguard is held from 7pm to 10.30pm until April 12. Dh650 early-bird reservations; Dh750 weekdays; Dh850 weekends. To book, visit www.enigmadxb.com