A Narrative from Idam by Alain Ducasse


Some things you plan. Some things just happen - unplanned, unexpected, without any preparation time. And, of things that happened that way, one day I was standing in the kitchen of Idam taking a masterclass.

And, as I shared them over my story, what took me by surprise was that the number of people who didn't know of the existence of such a restaurant in Qatar, and hence, I decided I would write this post. Idam by Alain Ducasse sits on the fifth floor of the Museum of Islamic Arts. Easily being more a museum than just a restaurant, if you are in Doha a visit to Idam is something I highly recommend. I had been putting off my visit to Idam for the longest time, and then things happened. I was there!

I for once cannot just go into a place of such beauty, and start dining right away. Details that need attention from the lamps right outside the restaurant to the carpet, the seats, the plates, the cutleries, there is nothing that you would want to skip seeing, and knowing more about. Of course, since I haven't done that yet this only means I need to be going back there to know more of the details of the restaurant itself.

I attended a masterclass on Gourmand winter recipes with Chef Damien Leroux. Born into a family of restaurant owners, Damien developed the love of cuisine at a very young age. At 16, Chef Bruno Cirino from L’Hostellerie Jérôme on the French Riviera introduced him to gastronomy, an experience that confirmed Damien’s love for “haute-cuisine”.

There is nothing that stays in my memory more than experiences that teach me, and enlighten me in some way. The Masterclass at Idam is worth speaking about. If you are looking into joining them at one of the Masterclasses, keep watching the space of Museum of Islamic Arts for their date announcements.

During the class I attended, we made 5 dishes each of which the chef taught with more than just the recipe itself

  • Chestnut Soup with lightly spiced Labneh

    • While cooking especially recipes likes soups, keeping the lid of the dish on top is very important. The reason being all of the moisture that evaporates condenses on the lid, and goes back into the dish. All the moisture/ water content inside the vegtable go back into the dish, and no flavor is lost outside. He compares it to rain where the water content evaporates into the sky forming clouds, and comes back down. I had never seen it that way before.

    • When you make soup, you need to make it into an experience. Every spoon you try, you shouldn't know what to expect. It could be creamy, crunchy, and many other things more depending on the ingredients you add in. The soup we tried in that day was just excellent not sure if I can recreate the same one again. Perhaps when I have my very own kitchen!

    • In France, they compare stove to a piano. They say the stove is talking, she has feelings. You need to listen to the feelings. It talks to you through sounds, and aromas. It expresses. You just need to respond to it in the right way to create magical recipes.

  • Tourte Cabbage and Apple

    • And, I thought the soup would be the best dish, I would try. This dish was as delicious as the soup.

    • You can always add ingredients to your dish but you can never remove them. So always, make sure to add ingredients little by little to make sure you don't add too much of something.

  • Potatoes Gnocchi

    • This was the easiest and quickest dish of the day- easily reproducable.

  • Sea bass in salt and crush with dil

    • My favorite dish of the day had to be the sea bass. I am really not a fan of sea food but this being my fave dish of the day clearly is a sign of how good it was.

  • Free range chicken zaatar and pumpkin gratin

    • I mean how good can a dish be. How good can cooking feel! I normally do enjoy cooking but being in the kitchen of Idam made me realize why I enjoy cooking. Cooking to me is an art. I love art, and believe that there is something to add to the art I know with every new experience.

My time in the kitchen got over faster than I wanted it to. We went back home with some goodies from the pastry chef. If you have any special occasion that you want to commemorate, or want once in a lifetime experience when you are in Qatar, make sure to add Idam to your must-do list.

Alain Ducasse’s first restaurant in the Middle East recently opened an exclusive outdoor terrace extending out from the restaurant’s 5th floor location. The space that is open as of now serves only beverages, and is an open dining area designed by Philippe Starck with unmatched sea views of the Doha skyline.

Every lesson that I attend I know I will take back something new. Learning is a passion for me. And, this experience for me was one of the most memorable ones in a long time worth sharing it with you all.

A post shared by Qatar Blog by Khansa (@creativitywithkay) on Feb 13, 2018 at 6:11am PST

Disclaimer: Creativity with Kay was invited as a guest to Idam by Alain Ducasse. All opinions and pictures here are my own.