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Dariush Rakhshani, CEO of Prime Gourmet, on curating a premium butcher that supports sustainable farming and focuses on providing superlative produce.
What do you do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
My days start very early with a jog on the beach at 4.30am before jumping into daily calls with our suppliers in the Southern hemisphere and then reaching the office at 7.30 am.
What inspired you to start Prime Gourmet in Dubai?
Prime Gourmet was initially created to provide a showroom and a place to produce value-added products for the chefs that were already using our meats in their restaurants. Although this was the very start, I soon realized that Dubai was missing a place where customers could enjoy quality steaks and ingredients at home, while being assisted by professional butchers. Prime Gourmet soon became a place where we could promote all different cuts beyond the tenderloin, ribeye or striploin, which is the only way you can eat meat sustainably.
What are your hero products?
Through the years we have developed such a variety of steaks and value-added products that it is very difficult to identify one in particular. In the beginning, the most popular products, besides steaks, were our all-natural and gluten-free sausages and burgers, but today our smoked brisket, our Japanese wagyu selections of cuts for shabu shabu and yakiniku and our new dry-aged meats have become extremely popular. We have been the first butcher shop to make Japanese wagyu widely available in retail and again proposing to our clientele the least known cuts.
You also have an incredible selection of condiments -how do you sustain client interest by switching these up?
Every ingredient you find in Prime Gourmet is carefully selected to be paired with the different meats and cuts we offer and according to different methods of cooking, from the Asian condiments for the stir fry and shabu shabu, to the gourmet sauces, mustards and cheeses for the burgers, to special rubs mix for the grill masters. We aim at offering to our customers all the necessary ingredients to enjoy their cooking and eating at home while remaining focused on meat.
What are the next plans for growth?
We are looking at expanding regionally and internationally, since we have the necessary know-how, and can produce high value-added products, cooked and uncooked, ready to go and grab&go. With this in mind, we will have to be aware that any expansion of Prime Gourmet beyond the UAE will have to take into account different rules and regulations in other countries and customer preferences, while making sure we stay true to our standards of quality and sustainability. I can imagine a Prime Gourmet in London, Paris, New York and many more locations that concentrate on halal produces when it comes to wagyu and angus both Australian and Japanese. Furthermore, our expansion plans will be a mix of fusion between East and West, Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere cuisine, producing the best of fusion between Occidental and Oriental cuisine.
This is ‘The Sustainability Issue’ – how are you personally and professionally contributing to a more sustainable way of living?
Since I started my company, I have always focused on products and companies that prioritize, sustainability and quality. When we talk about meat and especially red meat, I always make sure that the products I import are not mass-produced, are absolutely hormone-free and naturally farmed. All our suppliers follow the highest and most sustainable agricultural standards. I am very proud to work with farms from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Holland that have put sustainability at the center of their production model, which is reflected in the quality our customers enjoy in Prime Gourmet.
Emirates Man SS22 – Download Now
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Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Unsplash @emerson-vieira