Chef credits female relatives for teaching him secrets to excellent cooking

Kuwaiti chef Ziyad Hamada. —KUNA photos

KUWAIT: Usually men in Kuwait seek jobs that are more akin to their abilities and social status; however, there are many who venture forward towards realizing their dreams in becoming topnotch chefs. In their gatherings and even on social media, those Kuwaiti men not only know the names of local and international dishes, they also provide intricate details about how to cook the said meals and what were the best materials used to reach that ‘finger-licking’ taste.

Kuwaiti chef Ahmad Al-Bader.

“I first began cooking for family and friends before venturing on to the masses and opening a restaurant,” chef Ziyad Hamada said. Hamada, who specializes in Kuwaiti cuisine at a famous hotel, said that he was interested in becoming a chef since he was a little boy. The chef indicated that his first teachers were his female relatives who taught him the secrets of cooking excellent Kuwaiti meals. Hamada added that he was curious about the process of cooking, asking questions whenever he ate a delicious ‘Machbous Dajaj’ (rice topped with chicken) or any other Kuwaiti meal.

A dish by Kuwaiti chef Ahmad Al-Bader
A dish prepared by Kuwaiti chef Ahmad Al-Bader

The Kuwaiti chef affirmed that he developed his skills locally by joining the cooking staff of a well-known hotel and working for 13 hours daily. Chef Hamada also indicated he went on various specialized courses abroad to add to his arsenal. On his future plans, Hamada said that he would hope to open a cooking academy catering to the needs of local chefs and developing their skills in the food service sector.

A seafood dish by Kuwaiti chef Ziyad Hamada

Meanwhile, Ahmad Al-Bader, another Kuwaiti chef and owner of a number of local restaurants, said that the future of promoting the profession was in attracting youths. He affirmed that becoming a chef was a legitimate profession for Kuwaitis that would reward those who have a passion for cooking, indicating that his parents and family played a huge role in encouraging him to seek work in the food industry. Bader also called on Kuwaiti youths to seek ventures beyond cooking whether they were interested in carpentry, sewing, or mechanics, stressing that it was about time that Kuwaitis pursued their passions rather than settling for jobs beyond their scope of interest. – KUNA