New Cluster Executive Head Joins Yas Island Rotana

Yas Plaza Hotels appoints Mokhtar Mohamed Ekholy as Cluster Executive Chef at Yas Island Rotana. Ekholy will lead the kitchens of the renowned Choices Island outlets, Blue Grill, Rangoli, Aquarius and Y Bar at Yas Island Rotana and oversee future menu, event and offering developments.

Ekholy first tasted his culinary career in Egypt and from there went on to learn and produce the magic of food and service on the plates of international hotels and top restaurants. In 2000, he decided to explore opportunities abroad, starting by working as a demi-chef de partie at the Movenpick Hotel in Doha, then at the Intercontinental in Abu Dhabi. Ekholy learned the ropes of the fast pace and demand of hotel dining scenes, and quickly rose through the ranks of luxury kitchens in the UAE and beyond. Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, The Palace – The Old Town in Dubai, The Oberoi in Sahl Hasheesh Egypt, Fairmont Ajman, Fairmont Baku Flame Towers and Four Seasons Alexandria have all groomed the hardworking chef for greater responsibilities. In 2019, he accepted the role of Executive Chef of the cluster by opening the Boutique19 Hotel and Art Gallery Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan. And in 2020, he decided to return to the country he prefers to call home, the United Arab Emirates. He served as executive chef at Saadiyat Beach Club Abu Dhabi before finally taking on his final challenge at Yas Island Rotana, managing its kitchens which house 308 rooms, five dining outlets and seven meeting rooms.

“I believe that the brilliant qualities of cooking are created from the simple concept of combining fresh ingredients and high quality produce. Using these and the skills and experience I have acquired over 21+ years, I am excited to lead Yas Island Rotana’s kitchen operations and add new dishes that will hopefully delight our guests,” says Ekholy.

Ekholy has been instrumental in mentoring junior chefs, managing large teams as well as conducting performance advancement courses to develop the capabilities of kitchen talents. He took fundamental training courses like advanced food hygiene, performance management systems and was educated at the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, seasoning most if not all of the disciplines necessary to manage a commercial kitchen to world standards.

His extensive knowledge of cooking can be tasted, felt and seen in the dishes he produces as he continues to inspire brigades of young and experienced chefs in his kitchen leadership today. Equipped with an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of commercial catering, a broad understanding of the culinary and fundamental disciplines of cooking as well as a versatility in hospitality, Ekholy seeks to marry his abilities with his determination to produce nothing less than excellent quality in their food and their team at Yas Island Rotana.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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