Chef Ibrahim Osseiran is a Lebanese food connoisseur and the Executive Chef at Flooka Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He learned his trade by attending KAFAAT catering school in Beirut under the expert training of one of Lebanon’s premier chefs, Chef Ramzi.
After several years of working in some of Beirut’s best restaurants including Alhan, a seafood restaurant where he learned the art of seafood, he brought his expertise to Flooka Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Chef Ibrahim has a plethora of achievements at Flooka, including increasing average spend and profitability by monitoring costs and expenses, creating innovative products and events, enhancing guest satisfaction scores, and redesigning the menu. He has also been shortlisted for ‘Best Seafood Restaurateur in Dubai’ in the Time Out Dubai Awards.
Chef Ibrahim Osseiran speaks fluent Arabic, English and French, is technologically savvy and enjoys reading, swimming and playing basketball. In his professional and person life he always strives to develop himself and others. His motivation is his passion for his work, which drives him to reach and exceed his day-to- day challenges.
Dr. Nasrine Abushakra had a chance to dish with Chef Ibrahim Osseiran, the Executive Chef at Flooka Dubai and Abu Dhabi, about his culinary achievements and being a chef in Dubai.
Tell us about your personal experience of being an Executive Chef here in the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates.
I have spent over 6 fantastic years here now and bing here in the UAE has made me even more passionate about my job, because of the mentality towards culinary experience in the region – people love food and are always happy to try something new.
Why did you decide to work here in the Middle East?
Middle East and UAE specially has become a global destination with a very interesting culinary culture. With a wide variety of specialty restaurants from different parts of the world, people love food here and are more open to try new things, giving us, chefs, the opportunity to let our imaginations flow.
For those not familiar with Flooka, what region is your culinary style modeled after?
Flooka combines the finest in Mediterranean seafood with a modern Lebanese twist. The menu includes well-known classics as well as trendy new dishes, such as fish shawarma, fish falafel and taouk to cater to both expats and GCC nationals.
What has been your impression of the local food scene over the years here in the Middle East?
The food scene here in the UAE has gone through a big change and has reached the peak. Throughout the years the culinary field has been filled with incredible outlets that offer all types of food. A large part of the success of it is due to the rise of social media and marketing.
When you manage to find a little time to step away from Flooka, what are some of your favorite spots to dine or socialize?
I like to try new restaurants and different cuisines to freshen my knowledge and get inspiration for new dishes and ways to cook them. One of my favourite restaurants here is Loca. The food, ambience and the service make the outlet stand out.
What is your favorite restaurant, besides the one you work at?
There are many that I really enjoy, but if I have to choose I would go back to my Lebanese roots and say Karam and Nafoura.
If you had not pursued a Chef career or the life of a rogue restaurateur, what do you think you would have been?
I haven’t though about it too much, as ever since I was young I’ve known that being a chef is my calling. If not, I think I would be
What three ingredients you MUST have in your kitchen?
Fish, vegetables and spices are my must have items.
Are you launching any new projects in the near future that you’d like to share with us?
We are always working on new ideas and projects. For example we have just recently started cooking classes for women in Abu Dhabi and it has proven to be extremely popular already. And we are also planning to do fish master-classes where we’ll teach fish filleting skill and give tips how to best prepare it to produce beautifully tasting fish dishes.