Chef and Business Partner, Flavio Briatore Group
The talented Reif Othman has been incredibly instrumental in transforming the culinary landscape of Dubai and the U.A.E. An outstanding culinary career and is currently one of the most sought after chefs, and has gained global recognition and a celebrity status through his culinary genius and expertise.
Reif Othman and PLAY Restaurant and Lounge has already caused quite a stir in Dubai winning the What’s On Chef Of The Year, The Pro Chef Most Innovative Chef, Time Out - Best Asian Restaurant, Time Out Restaurant Of The Year and has been inducted into the Bord Bia Chef’s Irish Beef Club.
Reif adds “You know how the feeling is when you are young and learn to ride a bike, you have your mum or dad cheering you and the pride you have in learning to ride the bike after falling off the bike numerous times. That’s exactly how I feel. When I set out to do something, I pursue it diligently and after the end of the day when my hard work pays off that in itself is most rewarding. Most of all, winning all these awards is greatly accredited to my team. It is such a morale booster for all those long hours in the kitchen, not seeing daylight and the lack of a social life. They feel proud of where they work and who they work for. Their time and commitment, and I am very blessed to have a team that has lots of energy.
As an ambassador and being the first Asian to be inducted into the Bord Bia Chef’s Irish Beef Club was a wonderful surprise for Reif. On the other hand winning the Restaurant Of The Year was the icing on the cake. “PLAY has only been operational for 12 months and we bagged the most coveted award on the night. It is a great achievement and it goes to show that when you are focused at what you do and have got the best team (both front and back of house) any chef can work with you who shares the same vision as you, well you are already a winner. We have guests that come back again and again and every time they come back they expect the same level of consistency – taste, presentations and right up to the service” adds Reif.
Reif recounts his early experiences in the kitchen, “I first started cooking at the age of 14, helping my mom in the kitchen. I would cut and wash the vegetables, for lunch or dinner, I would make the pastry and do the baking. My first kitchen experience was with my mom, in her food stall, preparing our traditional Javanese cuisine (a mix of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine).” Later he went on to learn with Violet Oon, a Singaporean chef doing Peranakan cuisine. Reif recalls Violet Oon mentoring him and saw the potential he had which gave him the drive to be where he is right now. WHAT’S ON CHEF OF THE YEAR / PRO CHEF MOST INNOVATIVE CHEF TIME OUT BEST ASIAN RESTAURANT / TIME OUT RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR Reif Othman is the first Asian to be inducted into the Bord Bia Chef’s Irish Beef Club!
Reif began gaining international recognition for his culinary talents in 2007 when working with One Rochester Group in Singapore as Group Executive Chef for some of the city’s top
restaurants and hotels. In 2009, Reif joined the Zuma Dubai team as Executive Chef and quickly moved up the ladder as he displayed extensive talent being both creative and disciplined in the kitchen, finding inspiration in all types of cuisines. His culinary excellence helped establish Zuma as one of the most renowned restaurants in Dubai. Winning awards is not new for Reif, a disciplined kitchen and his creative inspirations, Reif stirred Zuma Dubai for four consecutive years on the San Pellegrino World’s Best