In this interview, Chef Picco Alapatt of The Gulf Hotel Bahrain opens up to Bahrain Confidential about his work, the evolving restaurant scene in Bahrain, and his love for food.
With 23 years in the hospitality industry, Chef Picco Alapatt’s culinary journey spans India, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. The Executive Chef at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain believes that good food is the key to ultimate happiness and a memorable dining experience. In his third tenure on the island, Chef Picco helms the food and beverage offerings across the five-star hotel with a focus on blending simplicity and creativity.
In your opinion, what makes the food at The Gulf Hotel special?
It all starts with good, consistent, quality food. While it’s important to create an overall experience with great service, crafted ambience and perfect location, the key is always to prepare good food which in my humble opinion makes the restaurant special. I truly believe that good food brings peace & ultimate happiness, and I‘m excited to put together a simple yet creative approach to food, offering our guests an excuse to mingle at the table and relish a unique dining experience.
What is your personal favourite dish?
Hailing from India, the land of spices, my personal favourite is Biryani. Although there are many varieties of Biryani, I’d be happy if it has the right elements in the right proportions with an extra touch of Chili to give it a spicy flavour.
How do you ensure your hotel always meets the highest standards of quality?
There is no secret to quality. It’s in the ingredients, the recipes and a team of passionate and qualified chefs who can maintain the quality of food consistently.
What are your thoughts on Bahrain’s restaurant sector?
Bahrain has always catered to the demand of its diners. The Kingdom has come a long way since my last tenure here. One of the things that makes Bahrain’s dining scene so remarkable is its sheer breadth of offerings, executed at different levels. The Gulf Hotel is one such example of diversity where 17 restaurants, bars & lounges with varied cuisines handled by native chefs merge under one roof. I’m sure Bahrain in a few years from now would lay claim to such high-quality representation of traditional, modern, and innovative cuisines from all parts of the globe.
What are three dishes you would recommend guests try at The Gulf Hotel?
At The Gulf Hotel, there are plenty of outstanding dishes that one should never miss, however, if I had to pick just three, they would be the Lamb Shank Massaman Curry at Royal Thai, Carnitas Taco at Margarita Mexicana, and Jojey Kebab at Takht Jamsheed.
If you were allowed to keep just one ingredient from your kitchen with you, what would it be?
It would be garlic. I personally use garlic in most dishes as I believe in its ability to elevate my preparation. In almost every cuisine and culinary style, garlic reigns supreme, due to its deliciousness and its flavour profile that can enhance any dish.