Natalie A. Gerhardstein: What’s the inspiration behind the dishes prepared in the pavilion--and your personal favourite?
Kim Kevin de Dood: The exploration of the menu basically comes from the idea of the Luxembourg pavilion itself. The idea of the pavilion was to show Luxembourg as a young, modern country with a lot of international influences… Due to restrictions in Dubai, some of the very traditional Luxembourgish dishes containing some foods and wine were not possible to do. So, all the dishes on the menu are based on Luxembourgish dishes, but always with an international hint, or a little twist to make them interesting--even for Luxembourgish guests.
One of my favourite dishes is Kniddelen, which classically have bacon and cream. But in Dubai you can’t use bacon due to halal restrictions, so I make them with smoked duck. As smoked duck doesn’t work that well with cream, I make a reduction of duck jus with fresh herbs. We take the Kniddelen, pan fry them slightly crispy, toss them with the jus, then garnish with smoked duck. It’s so hearty, but also light and delicate. It’s very nice.
How will you source ingredients? Will you bring some from Luxembourg, or have to source them on site?
Unfortunately, for the ingredients, we will have to source most of them in Dubai, due to issues with the import regulations. For the UAE, they need to have a halal certification. And for most Luxembourg companies, it’s simply too expensive… So, unfortunately, we don’t have many Luxembourgish products, but we still try to present Luxembourgish products and food as much as we can.
Are there any particular pavilions in Dubai where you’re keen to try the food?
I’m actually not sure how many pavilions have food, but I definitely hope to visit all of them because I’m obviously there for a long time, so I hope to be able to check them all out. But the ones I’m most interested in is the pavilion of the Philippines, as my partner is from there.
An alternate version of this article was originally published in the October 2021 Delano International supplement.