A protégé returns! Gordon Ramsay’s star man to open own place in Dubai

Celebrity chef Jason Atherton will open his first restaurant in the Middle East when the exciting InterContinental Dubai Marina opens its own doors later this year.

The Briton first achieved success in the region when he served as Executive Chef of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant Verre in 2001. He went on to gain worldwide recognition in 2011 when his flagship London restaurant, Pollen Street Social, was awarded a Michelin star just one year after opening.

In between times Atherton has been Executive Chef at Ramsay’s Michelin-starred Maze in London, while he lists chefs Pierre Koffmann, Nico Ladenis and Marco Pierre White as colleagues. In 2014 he co-hosted the Sky Living TV series My Kitchen Rules.

The son of a Skegness hotelier and her joiner husband, Atherton ran away to London at the age of 16 while his parents were on holiday. After training at Boston College, Lincolnshire, he spent six weeks training with the Army Catering Corps, before embarking on his chosen career. He now has restaurants in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.

Speaking at the announcement of his new restaurant, Atherton said: “The Marina has transformed by leaps and bounds since I last lived here ten years ago. It’s exciting to be a part of the area’s vibrant culinary scene. I’m looking forward to working with InterContinental Hotels and Resorts and being a part of their repertoire of world-class signature restaurants.”

And those who know Atherton – who won  GQ Chef of the Year 2013 – have been quick to praise him; Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard food critic, wrote in 2008: “Should you hold a knife to my throat and force me to say which one of the chefs in the Gordon Ramsay group I thought was the best, my answer would be Jason Atherton. Actually, I’d admit it without any coercion.”

InterContinental Dubai Marina is set to open by the end of 2014 as part of the Bay Central development. Within walking distance of JBR, the luxury hotel will also offer direct views over the water at the Marina. It will feature 132 hotel rooms, 196 InterContinental Residential Suites and seven additional food and beverage outlets, including restaurants, bars and a 600m2 night club.

A spokesman for Select Group, owners of the hotel said: “This is an exciting time for Dubai, a world class holiday destination, and being able to put these two exceptional brands together in Jason Atherton and InterContinental is something we are very proud of. Jason Atherton’s exquisite culinary skills and IHG’s ability to deliver world class five-star hotels will ensure an incredible experience for all InterContinental Dubai Marina’s guests.”