dining celebrity chefs Chef's Corner: John Lagundi
Chef's Corner: John Lagundi
Updated on 09 December 2022

Cooking is an essential life skill for all, although only some have achieved the mastery of the craft.

Chef John Lagundi, Chef de Cuisine at The Birdcage is a great example of showcasing his love for food through a delicious fusion of Asian and Latin American flavours.

Having started his culinary journey by cultivating knowledge and training across Asia and Europe, Chef John then brought his expertise to Michelin-starred restaurants in New York.

Wanting to make a difference in the culinary world in the Middle East, Chef John was a part of the opening of three outlets for ME Dubai, Botanica, Central and Deseo.

Now part of the Pullman Hotel Downtown, Chef John is making a difference by creating delectable dishes for all to enjoy at Birdcage, and shared his thoughts on his years in the culinary world.

How did you get started in the food industry?

I began my culinary journey a long time ago. During my first internship in Miami, Florida, I worked as a food runner and spent a lot of time in the kitchen observing chefs and the way they cook with love and passion. It was then, when I was serving food to the guest’s tables, that I saw how much joy they found in the dishes being served to them, and I knew I wanted to be a chef. Most importantly, I used to love the vibe and energy inside the kitchen, I wanted to be a part of that.

What is your earliest cooking memory?

As a child, I used to attend Boy Scout camps during the summer, and I used to look forward to being assigned as the cook for the whole group. Getting positive feedback from everyone who was tasting my cooking used to make me feel so proud. This is one of the childhood memories I treasure the most.

What is your favourite dish from your country?

A dish that every Filipino citizen loves is Adobo, which is a dish that originated in the Philippines and has become a national dish of sorts. Adobo is prepared by using pantry basics like white vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, peppercorns and bay leaves to create a marinade. The meat is then marinated overnight to enhance the flavours before being simmered on the stove until thoroughly cooked. It is delicious and reminds me of home every time I make it.

What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings?

One of my midnight go-to snacks is instant noodles, which do not even require cooking! But after a long day at work, I enjoy the simple and easy dishes that do not require time or effort.

What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country? 

Garlic has to be the most important ingredient in Asian cooking. It adds flavour to every dish and also has a lot of nutrients. Without it, the food that I cook just would not be complete.

What is the best dish to try at your restaurant?

In general, everything on the menu is a must-try since it has been curated based on my experiences and travels all around the world and boasts so many flavours and fusions. However, if I had to choose just one dish, I would say that I personally enjoy the chorizo gyoza the most.

Chef John Lagundi

Chef de Cuisine

The Birdcage

050-2135827

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From foot juggling, hand balancing and aerial acts, the show has it all!
Exciting events to definitely check out this week!
No plans? We've got you covered!
Amazing events to make this weekend one to remember
The show will be held on 3 October at Coca-Cola Arena
The shows will be held on 6 and 7 May
Cricket fans in Dubai have a lot to look forward to now that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has kicked off in the UAE. So, if you were still wondering where to catch the big matches in Dubai, we’ve found you just the right spots
Enjoy paddling around the lagoon with dolphins!
The award-winning actor and comedian will be performing at Dubai Opera on Saturday, 7 November from 8pm onwards, and early bird tickets are available until Monday, 12 October.
The three day festival for all things music, fashion, visual arts and sports
Fun activities to curb boredom this weekend!
Ten full weeks of Dubai Summer Surprises starts from 1 July running until 4 September
The event will run from 31 March to 9 April at Sound Stages, Dubai Studio City with up to 90% off on various books
If you are in Dubai and are eager to maximise this festive break, Discover Dubai has put together the perfect guide for the ultimate long weekend experience.
Known for hosting some of the most extravagant celebrations worldwide, and after following its successful 2023 edition, Elrow Dubai XXL is gearing up to dominate the Middle East once again in 2024.
Get ready for a December full of fun and festivities in the UAE! As 2023 winds down, the UAE is buzzing with amazing concerts, shows, and events that promise a good time.
The September Selfdrive Laughter Factory Tour features Dane Baptiste, Karen Rontowski and Jack Gleadow
The event will run from 27 to 29 May
Brilliant events to check out this weekend
Time for some fun activities over the weekend
Time to have fun for the weekend
Fun things to do this week.
The final run will be held on 26 March
Celebrate Eid with loads of fun and activities in Dubai
Enjoy a five-day comedy tour with brilliant comedians Ahmed Ahmed, Chris Forbes and Rick Kiesewetter
Are you looking for something exciting to do in Dubai over the weekend? Look no further! Discover Dubai has got you covered with its ultimate guide to the best events in the city.
The show will feature live entertainment, aerialists and special effects and lighting
The festival will run in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood from 15 to 24 March
Enjoy watching movies and Ramadan markets this year
The camping experience is available every Friday and Saturday from 2 June to 29 September
Maroon 5, the Grammy-winning band will grace the stage in Dubai this November. The band will deliver an outstanding performance at the upcoming Dubai Airshow during Dubai Airports' Gala Dinner.
Winter has begun, and with the onset of winter, Dubai’s most loved open-air VOX cinema is back with a cool new look! Now called Vox Moonlight, it's on the rooftop of Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road, where all the action is happening.
The shows will be held on 4 and 5 March in Dubai and from 10 to 12 March in Abu Dhabi
The event will be held from 10 to 13 November
Make this Eid Al Adha break a blast with amazing events
The sale will run from 25 to 27 November
We cannot keep calm, as UNTOLD music festival is just two weeks away. The full artist lineup is yet to be revealed, the day-wise schedule is now available, adding to the anticipation for an unforgettable event.
Time to get up to some fun this new year!
The comedian will perform for one night only on 15 April at Coca-Cola Arena
The multisensory experience will be available to the public from 23 September
A round up of some exciting things to do over the next 7 days starting from this weekend!
Amazing events to make this weekend a great one!
The show will be held on 9 October
Time for some weekend cheer!
The concert will be held on 6 October at Coca-Cola Arena
Delight in amazing dishes this week!
Enjoy live performances, dining, music and more
The race will be held on 16 July and 20 August and offers a 2.5km and 5km course
The annual summer shopping event will run from 1 July to 4 September
Coffee lovers, mark your calendars for World of Coffee Dubai 2024, a major event in the coffee industry. Hosted by DXB Live, it's happening from 21 to 23 January 2024.
A comedy show without getting off the sofa
The singer will perform on 8 October at the Coca Cola Arena
Let loose for the weekend!
The concert will be held for two nights on 30 September and 1 October at Queen Elizabeth II Theatre
Exciting events to try out
The musical will run from 3 to 12 October at Dubai Opera
The Coldplay concert will be held on 4 February, with the Queen showcase held on 3 and 4 March
Art lovers, get ready to celebrate art in Dubai since the iconic Art Dubai is coming back for its 17th edition on 1 March. It will be held at Madinat Jumeirah and feature new commissions and premières by internationally recognised artists.
The festival will run up to 30 January 2022
The packages are aimed at children of all ages.
The Laughter Factory is back for more laughs!
Fun events for the weekend!
The festival will be held from 9 to 11 December
The first week of February fun!
Enjoy the matches while the kids stay entertained!
Enjoy amazing dining options and live music sessions and performances!
The show will run from 21 to 26 February 2023 at Dubai Opera
The year 2023 is almost over, and if you're still figuring out your New Year's Eve plans, consider ringing in 2024 at Global Village
The season will shine a light on the amazing creators from writers to artists
Top things to do in Al Barsha, Barsha Heights and Al Quoz
Amazing events to make it a memorable Eid Al Fitr!
The event is held from 7 to 17 July
Fun activities to try over the weekend
The concert will be held on 8 June at Coca-Cola Arena
The Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra will host a concert on 19 June to raise money for children affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
Journeys taken by taxis has grown to their highest level compared to previous years
Dubai residents, brace yourselves for an electrifying December as global superstar Sean Paul and iconic rapper T.I. are ready to perform at Coca-Cola Arena on 30 December.
The show will be held on 30 October
The 8th edition of the Custom Show Emirates will run from 10 to 13 March at Expo City Dubai
The event will run from 8 to 11 June at Coca-Cola Arena
Delight in up to 50% to 80% off discounts on books for 10 days
Discover Dubai has put together the best things to do guide to make sure you have an amazing weekend. Read on and add these events to your weekend plans.
The firework show will be held at 10pm at Dubai Festival City Mall
Delight in a great show with comedians, Paul McCaffrey, Joe Larson and Meghan Hanley
Get ready to make the most of the new month!
Enjoy watching amazing street artists from 8 to 20 March
Now that Iris Dubai will be moving back to its Meydan location tonight, 5 October, we can tell you for sure that you wouldn’t be running out of things to do anytime soon.
The concerts will be held at The Agenda, Media City
Say goodbye to 2021 having fun with friends and family!
Dubai-ites, get ready to party, sing and dance as the most anticipated musical event, UNTOLD Music Festival, is making its Middle East debut at Expo City Dubai from 15 to 18 February, 2024
Dance the night away on 25 February from 9pm to 2am
Make this long weekend a fun one!
Brilliant events that are sure to make the month a fun one for all!
With new offerings, immersive experiences and attractions, Dubai knows how to keep its visitors and residents entertained. And now, to add more to the entertainment, Dubai gets one-of-a-kind live-action go-karting experience.
The artist will perform on 3 December
The concert will be held on 17 October
Dubai’s longest-running comedy night has announced a new lineup for October with three international acts taking the stage at different venues across the city. 
The show will begin from 18 June
Kylie previously performed at the resort's grand opening in 2008
If you're seeking weekend fun in Dubai, and don't know what to do, worry not, Discover Dubai is back with the ultimate guide that'll help you make the most of the upcoming weekend. 
Dave Crane is coming back to Dubai with his iconic 'The Dave Crane Comedy Stage Hypnosis Show' on board the iconic QE2, located in Port Rashid. Tickets start from Dhs 99.
American Afropop artist Davido is set to perform in Dubai on 2 September at Coca-Cola Arena, popular for the 2022 World Cup soundtrack 'Hayya Hayya'
The solo concert will be held on 30 April at Coca-Cola Arena
Create some great memories for New Year's
Fun events to enjoy this weekend
Discover Dubai speaks to Sharleen Spiteri, on performing in Dubai and her career with Texas
Make this weekend a fun one with these amazing events
Special shows will be held at Dubai Festival City at 7.30pm and 8.30pm with the Russian flag on display at 9.30pm
A1 and 911, popular boybands from the 90s, will perform on 22 September at The Agenda, Dubai Media City
The event will be held from 29 October to 27 November
Get excited for festive fun!
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Expo City Dubai will host 'Hai Ramadan', promising an array of cultural festivities, family-oriented activities, traditional iftars and suhoors, and a vibrant artisanal market.
Events to enjoy yourself this weekend!
Make your Dad feel his absolute best and show him how much you love and appreciate him!
Use this weekend as a warm up to the long holidays
Get ready for a fun event-filled weekend!
UNTOLD Dubai, Dubai’s first mega music festival, is taking the excitement up another notch with the announcement of even more musicians, DJs, and singers to light up its incredible stages.
The Halloween celebration will run from 20 to 31 October
Things to check out this weekend
The concert will be held at Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium on 22 October
The Butterfly Carnival Music Festival will be held on 11 November at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
The lineup will feature Michael Gelbart, Emmanuel Sonubi and Dana Alexander
Fun events to do in Dubai!
Fun events to check out this weekend!
If you're all set to make the most of your weekends, Discover Dubai's ultimate weekend guide is for you. Read on to know what Dubai has in store for you this weekend. 
Spend the weekend the right way!
Indian actor and comedian Vir Das is set to perform in Dubai in 28 September at Dubai Opera
Brilliant events to check out this weekend
Time to break out the fun shoes for this weekend!
After enthralling audiences in India for eight years and making its first international debut in London in 2023, Jashn-e-Rekhta, the world's largest Urdu language, literature, and cultural festival, is coming to Dubai on 27 and 28 January.
The dates for Dubai's iconic Madinat Jumeirah festive market are finally out. The market will make a comeback from 15 December to 7 January 2024. Located on Madinat Jumeirah Fort Island, the festive market will be spread across 1,750 sqm.
Dubai-ites get ready to dance 'Gangnam Style' as the South Korean sensation and K-pop idol PSY is all set to perform in at the UNTOLD Dubai festival.
Exciting events to check out this weekend!
Discover Dubai has put together the perfect guide for you. Keep reading and start making your weekend plans today!
Make the weekend a fun one!
The lightsaber will be on display till 31 March at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium
Dubai Parks and Resorts, the largest theme park destination in the Middle East, has exciting holiday experiences, including a new festive laser show, events, workshops, live shows, parades, and, of course, thrilling rides.
The singer of 'Young, Dumb and Broke' is now scheduled to take the stage in Dubai on 2 March 2024, at the Coca-Cola Arena.
Fans can enjoy meet-and-greet opportunities with the star!
Tiësto, Ne-Yo, Armin van Buuren and more are set to perform!
Dubai Parks and Resorts has announced an impressive New Year's Eve spectacle. Everyone, including UAE residents and visitors, is welcome to witness a spectacular laser show and enjoy family-friendly fireworks on Sunday, 31 December. 
The event will run from 9 to 13 March
Dubai is always lively, with lots to do. Whether it's events, activities, or concerts, something is happening all the time in the emirate. And if you're looking for fun things to do on the weekend, Discover Dubai has you covered with the best guide.
It is time for the long Eid holiday fun!
Three shows will be held at L'Alliance Française and at Skylight at Arjaan By Rotana
The show will be held on 26 December at Sofitel Dubai Downtown
Amazing activities to enjoy this weekend!
The June tour will see Liz Miele, Khaled Khalafalla and Scott Bennett perform
The festival will be held for three days from 8 to 10 December
Dubai's Miracle Garden, the world's largest natural flower garden, returns for its 12th season, featuring breathtaking displays of over 150 million natural flowers from more than 120 varieties.
From enjoying live concerts at Coca-Cola Arena to watching WrestleFest DXB and comedy shows, here are some fun things you must do in Dubai over the weekend of 8- 10 September.
The concert will be held on 30 September
Watch performances from the boyband BTS and experience Parasite live
Jubin Nautiyal, the renowned Indian playback singer with his enchanting voice, is gearing up to mesmerise the city in a magical evening of melody on 30 December.
The four-day international motion picture gala, META Film Fest, is all set to return for its second edition in Dubai from 9 to 12 November. The four-day fest will take place at VOX Cinemas, Wafi City.
Spooky Planet, The Green Planet's outdoor Halloween extravaganza, will transform the indoor rainforest into a Halloween wonderland from 6 to 31 October. 
This year's edition will run from 1 to 6 February
Watch funnyman Robby Collins perform in Dubai on 7 July
Three shows will run over 2 days on 10 and 11 June
The show ill be held on 5 May at 2pm at Galeries Lafayette Atrium
The day to night concert will be held on 11 February at Zero Gravity Dubai
Get ready for a great tour filled with loads of laughs!
Things to do this weekend when bored!
One of the biggest and most popular Sufi singers in Pakistan and globally, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, is set to perform in Dubai on Friday, 29 December 2023 at Coca-Cola Arena.
The festival will be held from 15 December to 29 January 2023
Get ready for unlimited fun!
Time for a break and some fun this weekend
Coke Studio fans, it's time to unite and glee in excitement since the highly-anticipated second edition of Coke Studio Live is all set to take stage at Coca-Cola Arena on 25 November.
Dubai Parks and Resorts, the Middle East's premier theme park destination, is gearing up to enchant families with a spectacular fireworks display at Riverland Dubai, beginning on 27 January, 2024.
Here's to an amazing weekend!
Indian comedian, actor and television host Kapil Sharma will perform at Coca-Cola Arena on 24 September
After enthralling the audience with his melodious voice on 8 December 2023, The Kid Laroi is all set to take over Dubai again on 19 April 2024.
The concert will be held on 27 November
Make this May a special one with Disney Concerts!
Known as the Godfather of EDM, Dutch DJ and record producer Tiësto is all set to headline UNTOLD Dubai, the mega festival taking place at Expo City in Dubai from 15 to 18 February. 
Exciting news for Marvel enthusiasts! It's time to dust off your capes and masks because the Marvel Universe LIVE is bringing iconic superheroes like Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy to Dubai.
Fun activities for the weekend
The 28th edition will run from 15 December to 29 January 2023
Some last weekend of the month fun!
Activities to make the weekend worthwhile!
Here are some things you can do this weekend!
From laughter shows, concerts and more, there is something for all to enjoy!
Time to get ready for some weekend fun!
AP Dhillon is all set to take over Dubai with his soulful voice and foot-tapping songs at the Coca-Cola Arena in February.
Indian singer Neha Kakkar is making her way to Dubai for a one night only concert on 22 October at Coa-Cola Arena
Exciting events to enjoy this weekend!
Sean Paul is all set to perform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on 21 October. The Grammy-award-winning artist will be performing for one night only, and tickets are on sale now at Coca-Cola Arena's website.
Cityland Mall, the world's first nature-inspired family-friendly shopping spot, has teamed up with Spacetoon, a top family content provider in the Arab region, to bring you the Cityland Dubai Toy Festival.
The LOADED live concert at The Irish Village in Al Garhoud will see performances from Dodgy, Toploader, Stereo MC and Fun Lovin' Criminals on 4 November
Exciting events to be a part of this month!
Amazing things to make this weekend one to remember!
Time for some laughs with the Laughter Factory!
The artist will perform on 27 March
The event will be held from 21 to 25 June at Expo City Dubai
The exhibition will run till 30 November
Love Trance? This Friday night, Grab your free tickets for InnerTrance
Enjoy endless fun throughout the summer at Dubai Summer Surprises
Experience the vibrant culture of Japan in the heart of Dubai at the Museum of the Future with Salt Camp's Japanese festival.
Sit back and enjoy watching Esther Manito, Julian Deane, Tabarak and Imah perform
If you're looking to kick off the new year by attending exciting events, Discover Dubai has you covered with its ultimate guide.
The concert will be held at Coca-Cola Arena
Exciting events to enjoy this week!
UK comedian Michael McIntyre is making his way to Dubai for a one-night-only show on 13 January 2024 at Coca-Cola Arena
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the biggest celebration of stories and ideas in the region, is set to come back from 31 January to 6 February 2024 at the Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City.
Get ready to rock and roll in Dubai as the Grammy Award-winning reggae and dancehall star Shaggy, joins forces with the legendary R&B group Blackstreet for a sensational concert at Coca-Cola Arena on 11 May 2024.
Enjoy a spectacular show this National Day
Tine to kick of the three day weekend with some fun!
Spend this weekend having fun!
Fun activities for the weekend!
The exciting Cirque du Soleil experience will have 11 shows from 11 to 18 January 2023
The concert will be held on 30 July at The Agenda in Media City
The band will perform on 2 October
Fun things to do this weekend.
Discover Dubai has prepared the ultimate guide just for you. Dive in and discover the excitement!
The silver anniversary June tour has an amazing line up
Sheyla Bonnick, a founding member of the iconic ‘70s band, is bringing the  ‘Boney M Experience’ to the UAE. The legendary artist will perform in Dubai on 6 October and Abu Dhabi on 7 October.
As we observe the International Day of Sign Languages today, we’ve rounded up a few places in the UAE that teach sign language, so you can learn a new skill while opening yourself up to a whole new world.
The concert will be held at the Coca Cola Arena on 28 October
The show will be held on 3 September at the Coca Cola Arena
Fun events to check out in Dubai!
Watch Blue, Boyzlife and Five perform on 13 October at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
Roxy Cinema has announced a Saturday brunch, inviting cinemagoers to indulge in delicious treats while watching their favourite movies.
The 'Shape Of You' singer Ed Sheeran is all set to take over Dubai on 19 and 20 January at The Sevens Stadium on Al Ain Road.
The set will run from 5pm to midnight on 22 April
Are you missing travelling and exploring new places? Even with us being confined to our homes, you can still keep discovering new places through complimentary virtual tours arranged by digital platform Google Arts and Culture.
The festival will be held till 16 October
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