Russell Impiazzi is a renowned British chef who has been working in Dubai’s hospitality industry for over 25 years. He is currently the executive chef at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk hotel, where he oversees five different dining areas. Impiazzi is passionate about sustainability and reducing food waste. Under his leadership, the hotel has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives. 

Some of the sustainability practices introduced by Impiazzi include having a zero food waste to landfill policy. All food scraps and leftovers from the hotel are composted on-site rather than being sent to a dump. This turns waste into useful compost. The hotel also has an in-house water filtration and bottling system called ‘Dubai Can’ which eliminates plastic water bottles. Additionally, the hotel partners with the UAE Food Bank to donate excess food to those in need in the local community. 

Impiazzi believes sustainability should be an important part of any kitchen. He says chefs should avoid throwing anything away if it can still be used. The chef feels strongly that attitudes towards food need to change. Currently, people in many places eat too much meat which is not healthy or sustainable long-term. Impiazzi thinks whole grains, pulses and vegetables should be the main focus of meals, with meat playing a smaller role as a side dish or garnish. 

Eating less meat is better for both personal health and the environment. However, Impiazzi acknowledges not everyone will become vegetarian overnight. His goal is to encourage people to have a few meat-free days per week by offering tasty pasta and risotto dishes as alternatives. Industrially produced meat has caused health issues due to hormones, steroids and processing. The chef wants to help shift diets for future generations.

Impiazzi arrived in Dubai from the UK in 1996 and has witnessed huge changes in the local food scene. When he started, Impiazzi was one of the youngest chefs but was determined to prove himself. He enjoyed being exposed to new authentic flavors and multicultural teams. Over the years, Impiazzi has worked in some of Dubai’s top restaurants. The city now offers far more variety in high-quality local produce and an improved seafood supply. 

As the executive chef at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Impiazzi oversees all culinary operations across five outlets. Outside of work, he enjoys spending quality time with his family at home, cooking meals on the barbecue and teaching his children basic cooking skills. Impiazzi continues championing sustainability initiatives through his role on the hotel’s Sustainability Committee. Under his guidance, the property has received prestigious eco-certifications from Dubai authorities.

Impiazzi strives to showcase the variety of healthy local vegetables available in the UAE through school visits. His passion is helping to transition Dubai’s food industry towards more sustainable practices without compromising on taste and quality. Through dedication and leadership, this British chef is pioneering positive change and raising awareness about important issues like reducing waste and promoting healthier diets.