Interview with Chef Sanal, Bateaux Dubai, UAE

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am Senior Sous Chef onboard Bateaux Dubai. My career path started at St Mary’s Institute of Hotel Management when in 1998 I embarked on a Management degree. During this time my entire life changed as I learnt, developed and embarked on my career. Every country in the world has a hospitality industry and the skills you learn are readily transferable and so the key to discovering new countries, culture and people. As I developed, I found that my main passion was food. The excitement I felt for being in the kitchen and discovering new recipes brought me to Bateaux Dubai where I have worked for 12 years.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes. 
It can be tough working in the kitchen. You must always be professional. After finishing my studies I started training with a well-known hotel group. One day I came to my breakfast duty late and the executive chef punished me in a very interesting way – by putting me on butchery for one week solid. After that I was never late to my duty again and still keep very punctual while on duty at all times.
What’s the best part of your job?
There are so many aspects that I love in my job but the highlights are working with such a professional, caring and passionate team. My staff show integrity, creativity and focus and I feel very lucky to work with them. Also, I love being in the position where I can help reinvent and take forward our ever popular Bateaux Dubai menu by being creative and innovative. When I walk around Bateaux Dubai whilst cruising to meet with our guests and they complement the food, it fills me with pride. We really do have a fantastic offer onboard Bateaux Dubai.
What’s your personal favourite meal/ drink onboard the Bateaux Dubai?
This would be the starter dish – Chevrie Goat Cheese with Beetroot, Cauliflower Couscous Cucumber Carpaccio and Ponzu dressing. For me, this is the perfect balance of textures – smooth and crunchy. It’s creamy yet not heavy or overbearing.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Bateaux Dubai is challenging but it is not crazy, which is what I like most about it. However, some of the more surreal moments in my career have been onboard when I’ve been lucky enough to cook for some amazing and inspirational people from national leaders, Hollywood film stars, and professional sporting stars..
The perfect day off would be…
My days off are very special and I use them to rest, revitalise and most importantly spend time with my family – my wife and daughter. Our routine is to wake up late in the morning, relax around our home and then usually visit one of the new hotels for dinner.  I see this as a good way to review other menus and see what else is on the market. Although the best evenings during my time off are when I’m at home eating one of my wife’s homemade dishes and having lot of fun with my daughter.
A day in the life of a chef is…
Personally to me, each day as a chef is memorable and I’m always very thankful for being able to do a job that I am passionate about. My daily tasks change from guiding the kitchen associates, planning the menu planning, coming up with new recipe creations, food and supply ordering, and some specific cooking duties for the day to day preparation on the Bateaux Dubai.
What do you do for fun?
My number one fun thing to do is play around in the kitchen, coming up with new recipes that take on my own style and name.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Bateaux Dubai?
Bateaux Dubai is like no other dining experience in Dubai. It’s most certainly different from any other cruise experience on the Dubai Creek. We serve a varied choice of international cuisine over four-courses. Upon boarding, guests can select their four-course dinner from the international à la carte menu, which is then freshly prepared in the vessel’s fully fledged kitchen on board – like no other! The specially designed seasonal menu offers a choice of seafood, poultry, meat and vegetarian options, along with salads, local Arabic delicacies and desserts like the famous bitter chocolate fondant. Guests can also select the finest luxury beverages, fresh juices and soft drinks to accompany the cuisine of their choice. Guests can enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views of the romantic old Dubai shoreline. During the two hour cruise, there is a constant flow of food, and by the time we dock, they are quite full and pleased!
What’s your view on the Dubai food scene?
Dubai is a foodie’s playground. It’s diverse and multicultural with lots of international brands from Zuma to The Ivy and dining styles from take away to four course sit down meals. There is something for everyone and with late night service, you can pretty much eat at any time during the day or night. The food offering is also very dynamic, with a new openings almost weekly and some of the world’s top chefs opening up restaurants here, showing that Dubai really is a city to be present in.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
There are exciting times ahead for Bateaux Dubai. We are working on a new menu, which we will launch soon and will include dishes such as roasted pink Sea Bream with miso butter nut puree, and homemade smoked duck with baked apple and geese liver puree and juniper berry sauce. Keep your eyes peeled!


  1. Yes, being professional is important in any job…and punctuality is a virtue, unlike our Malaysian "rubber time". Tsk! Tsk!

  2. Monica and Co.
    Sanal seems to know his trade to perfection and to be on I gather a luxury resort / cruise ship
    on and off Dubai city would be just fantastic.
    Punctuality is something I hold dear. People who can't tell the time don't last long with me.
    "Rubber time" – that's a new one to me????

    Yes the word "Brat" must go – it is unbecoming of we three "Triplet" matadors.
    What about suave, sophisticated, bravado ???

    Rain is now needed here for the greening up for the summer. I think it must drizzle a bit
    overnight, but that is not enough.
    Hoping that Junior Cordobes is being a good bloke in the sunny Caribbeans??
    El Colin Cordobes, the middle suave and sophisticated Triplet.
    PS: Oh yes and VERY PUNCTUAL. (Most important)

  3. A very nicely done interview and he seems caring and passionate about his work…and his family!

  4. Sounds a really nice man who care about his family and his food..

  5. very interesting. i believe this is a dine on a cruise? probably i would try it out. since i am in Dubai everyday lol.

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