Mexican Chef Jaime Mendoza is the Executive Chef of the world renowned TODD ENGLISH’S OLIVES at the Venetian Village in Abu Dhabi. A veteran of about 17 years in the kitchen for the brand, Chef Jaime started cooking in 1998 as the master chef for the opening of OLIVES in Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada – and from then on to date, is connected with the TODD ENGLISH brand. He has assisted celebrity Chef Todd English in several live cooking appearances in his HSN network in Tampa Florida as well as different diverse culinary events across the United States of America.
Chef JAIME C MENDOZA’S is originally from the City of Durango, Mexico.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
I have been working and cooking since 1982.
Where did you train to cook?
Las Vegas Nevada USA in a Gourmet Restaurant named The Chateau Vegas.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
International but for the most part Mediterranean Style of Cooking.
Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
Consistency is always the key for success.
Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
Our “BEEF CARPACCIO” by all means is one of my favorite dishes in our restaurant.
Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Truffles, you can do so many things with them as long as you don’t overpower.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off around UAE?
La Mamma at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi, simple but good flavors and consistency.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
The most fun is when I get to do special events that requires special menus other than a la Carte.
What would be your “last request” dish?
To me there is no last request dish, that is all depending on what you like, to me all food is good.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
I always like Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Jean George.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Number one they need to know this is what they like to do for your career and also need to be committed to hard work.
Which talent would you most like to have that you don’t possess?
Believe or not but I don’t have much talent on paperwork, I’m more a cook that I’m administrative wise.
Was there anything that you thought you wanted to do before you started cooking?
Since I was young I always wanted to be a cook, no doubt.
What foods are you craving the most right now?
My home country food for sure, Mexican homemade food.
What personal quirks does your team or friends tease you about?
Is there one food that you’re secretly obsessed with having at home?
Since I’m Steak Lover I crave for one specially after work.
Is there a food that you hate?
I don’t hate food but there is always some things you don’t like and I just stay away, no reason to hate food.
Is there a childhood comfort food that you think about?
Soup is always have been one of my comfort foods since i was a child.
What kinds of ethnic food do you think are underrated right now?
To me I think some food from South America, parts of Africa, some Middle Eastern Countries are a bit underrated since for experience I have eaten their food and it’s really good but It’s a matter of personal choice.
Tell us about what you think of UAE’s dining culture—what do you think of this city?
The dining culture in this country is great and interesting so many new ingredients to use specially using them in our menus. This city is also very nice and very safe and most of all the respect every body has for each other.
Has there ever been an ingredient that you weren’t able to master and have given up on, like blood or lamb brains?
I have faced some challenges over my career but always able to master.
In your mind, what’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in the kitchen?
Leaving a big roasted beef in the oven overnight by mistake, don’t know how it happened.
What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness to me is to be able to be in peace with your self and able to give happiness to others.
What is your present state of mind?
Happy as always.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
You’ve have travelled widely as an executive chef. What’s your most memorable meal ?
Eating real Kobe beef while working in Japan and also Korean Barbecue dinner while there.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share e.g. new developments at the restaurant?
Keep experiencing new things in this country and hopefully using them in our restaurant. And as for the restaurant – to keep working hard and efficient and to go to the next level as always.
Olives by Todd English,
Venetian Village at Ritz Carlton
+ 971 2 4041941