What’s On meets Raphael Duntoye, Chef Patron at La Petite Maison, the best restaurant in Dubai, according to What’s On Awards 2013, 2014.

Raphael Duntoye
Talking with La Petite Maison’s chef patron

When I was at boarding school in England I washed pots and pans in a kitchen in the summer. My boss asked me if I’d like to be a chef. I said, “Never! Are you mad?”

I don’t take my customers for granted. Every morning we ask ourselves: How can we be better today than yesterday?

Food should have feminine appeal. Because where women go, men will follow.

I don’t see myself as a chef but more of a salesman. I repackage things and sell them.

I love London and won’t live anywhere else. Dubai has grown on me. I was a sceptic, now I’m a believer.

I’m an accidental chef. It’s temporary insanity. I’ll wake up one day and do something different.

We don’t mess around with the food at LPM. The best things in life are the most simple.

I insist on the same quality of produce in Dubai as in our London restaurant. It’s not easy, but it’s a lot easier now than two years ago.

I crave Asian food. I love the tom yum soup at Smiling BKK.

I don’t want a menu of ten dishes where three or four stand out. With every dish, I want people to say, “I must eat this again.”

La Petite Maison, Gate Village 8, DIFC, Dubai, daily noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4390505. Metro: Emirates Towers. lpmdubai.ae