Jason Atherton. Image Credit: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM

Jason Atherton is in town to promote his Dubai Restaurant Week Menu. Before we sat down with the acclaimed chef, we were lucky enough to enjoy a four course meal made by the man himself.

A delicious snap pea’s salad, his signature tomato burrata and some freshly baked bread to start the meal off. For our second course we tried some delicious grilled jumbo shrimp along with the famous pumpkin gnocchi. A dish that definitely stole the show. We finished the meal off with a black forest chocolate bar and Greek yoghurt mousse, roasted pear, coco nib crumble.

Jason Atherton is the proud owner for 17 restaurants in the UK and the UAE. Asking him which one is his favourite is like asking which of his children he loves the most. All of them are different and special in their own way. They all serve different purposes is impossible to choose. Marina Social will most likely be the only one he has in Dubai. “There’s so much more work that still needs to be done on this. So many ways we can improve and be better. We are not finished yet. Even in four years’ time, there’s still so much I need to do before it’s finished”.

While many restaurants in this city tend to drop in quality after their first year, Atherton is wary about this fact and wants to constantly keep improving Marina Social.

He started cooking when he was around 12 years old, when he helped out in the kitchen of his parent’s bed and breakfast guest house. It was his mother who encouraged him to cook fresh food with simple ingredients “Fresh bread, fresh roast beef, puddings custards. It was always a good upbringing because I was around fresh food.”

Looking around Marina Social, you can instantly see the chef’s love for art. The modern sculptures at the entrance of the restaurant, the paintings hanging in the dining room and of course the rock n roll crockery. “I have a really nice Peter Blake in my office, which I keep just for me. It’s called the Stardust Elvis” it’s quite abstract. It kind of makes me laugh. My more serious collection, I keep in my restaurants. I bought two Andy Warhols from the soup can collection. I have the black bean soup and the tomato soup. I actually don’t know if people even notice them. I think a lot of people don’t think they’re real. I have two pieces of history sat there and people are just there eating”

The menu at Marina Social is full of deliciously elevated British classics with creative beverages. “We are looking to change a little over the summer, while Dubai quiets down. We are definitely renovating our bars. One of the bars I own in London is the one I want to emulate here in Marina Social”

We can’t wait Jason!