Tom and Serg

6/19/14 9:55 AM

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10 Minutes With Tom

Tom is one half of the duo, which makes up the success that is called Tom & Serg.

If you haven’t been, you’re not in the know.

Tom & Serg opened in 2013 and their Al Quoz café has created quite a stir. We caught up with Tom.

 

MV: So, Tom & Serg has been an instant success, what was the motivation to start?

 

T: I had been working hard to establish somebody else’s business and was aware of the opportunity that existed.

 

MV: How did you get started?

 

T: I was enrolled to start Uni in Melbourne, I was notified in October and due to start in February, so to bridge the gap I took a summer job at a restaurant, just washing dishes, helping out and learning. I really fell in love with the culture of the kitchen and how the restaurant worked…. There were some pretty girls there too so I guess that didn’t hurt.

When Feb rolled around I had decided I wanted to pursue this further.

 

MV: Classic, so you followed your dreams?

 

T: Yep, I went to work with Shannon Bennett at Vue de Monde, He was inspirational because he started his own restaurant at 24. I learned a lot from him and he instilled a great work ethic in me and I realized you had to put the effort in as a young chef.

 

MV: So how did you end up in Dubai?

 

T: I went to Singapore first, I applied for a position as head chef and was up against some serious talent with stronger CV’s and more experience, I was offered the position at just 22 years old. I spent some time there, which was great, saved up some money, then went back to my hometown of Tourquay in Melbourne for time off and to surf. I also ended up back with Shannon Bennett.

 

MV: And then?

 

T: I got an offer from Jones the Grocer in Abu Dhabi to help them expand, and I was off again.

 

MV: So we seem to be experiencing a growth in Café culture what are your thoughts on the scene?

 

T: We want to be seen as the guys that bring something authentic to the city, it’s going the right direction and the city deserves that. It’s a contributing factor to why we chose Al Quoz, we didn’t want to be in the typical areas. Nobody wanted this place, we have a sand pit out the front and a warehouse out the back, nobody would think to put a café here, but why not? Its perfect, there is plenty of parking and a great space.

 

MV: What’s next?

 

T: We have been approached by a lot of people, to expand this (Tom and Serg) but we have stuck by our guns and we are not going to franchise this, we aren’t going to create another Tom & Serg, because the minute we do that its going to loose its personality its going to loose its edge and character, but what we are going to try and do, just like you see back in London and Melbourne, New York, South Africa and other parts of the world. Is you see all the owner operated places, that aren’t the same they aren’t franchises, so we are going to try and do that create more cafes, different names different cultures different menus but same genre, so that’s what we want to do and create that real café culture in Dubai.

 

MV: Anything in the pipeline?

 

T: Yeah, Yeah there is, we are working on a project right now. Its going to be very cool, its very different to this in terms of concept but still a café, still going to serve amazing coffee simple light nutritious food which is what we know…

  

 

Tom & Serg
15 A Street, Al-Joud Center, Al Quoz
Tel: 0503675332
Opening hours : 08:00 – 16:00

hello@tomandserg.com
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