Munch With

In conversation with Manahil Javed, Aspiring Chef – COTHM

  1. Tell us about yourself and your journey as a chef till now?


I started my cooking journey as a teen when I was only in 7th standard. I keep learning and performing experiments with cooking by playing with different combination of ingredients. I mostly cook savory items as I prefer them over baking, but with time I have taken up baking as well. As I progress, my interest in cooking increased and its turn me towards chef meeting my dream. Ultimately I decided to choose cooking as my career. I get registered in “Graduate Program” in College of Tourism & Hotel Management (COTHM). It gives me immense pleasure to become part of such great team of chefs at COTHM. I really feel blessed having such chefs as my mentors. My journey with COTHM is continue and within next 6 months I will complete my current study program.


  1. What inspired you to choose being a chef over any other profession?

Everyone would like to show or prove his /her ability to conquer the world. My love for cooking motivates me to keep accelerating in the field of cooking. I love to watch almost every cooking program on TV on different channels not only locally but International channels as well. Day-by-day, my Interest keeps increasing and inspired me to become a “CHEF”. Also if we go back few years, there was no concept of becoming a Chef or to choose this field as a career because a lot of people don’t appreciate you for this and this fact sometimes demotivated me. On the contrary the same fact motivated me to choose this field as a career to show the world that this field is also a great profession and had as much scope as the other fields. I’m also inspired by my grandmother and my mom’s cooking skills.

  1. Name few ingredients that you love to work with?

According to me, a chef should know how to cook something with any ingredient because for a chef kitchen is a playground and ingredients are his/her game from which they have to play to construct an unbeatable dish. But talking about my favorites, I love red chili flakes, hot sauce, jalapenos (as I love spice) and also garlic, cumin and bay leaves.

  1. What are your best creations so far?

During a competition at my college, we were given a task to make any sort of dish with chicken. So I constructed flaming hot chicken strips with a spicy marination and coated with Flaming Hot Cheetos crumbles and breadcrumbs, served with cheese sauce. The dish turned out really tasty everyone in my class loved it including chef. According to me it was a perfect dish for a spice lover. So for me this was definitely my best creation so far. And I’m looking forward to more such creations.



  1. How do you work under pressure?

As I’m currently studying therefore I don’t have any sort of job experience so clearly I can’t tell about the pressure at job. But yes I participated in a competition held on “International Chef’s Day” and for me it was a big day as it was first time when I was participating in a competition. My chef told me to work calmly as nervousness and stress will lead into a total mess. So the key points are don’t hesitate, don’t be nervous and make your mind set to avoid any sort of mess and to achieve a good result.

  1. Any plans to publish your cook book?

Definitely I want to publish my cook book but I guess it will be too early as I want to polish my skills more and have more adventures in this field. So in future I would definitely do that.

  1. What are your career goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

First of all I want to specialize in our cuisine as this cuisine is not popular internationally and being a true citizen my first duty is to promote our food and culture so I want to promote our cuisine as much as possible. Moreover I see myself owning a restaurant in 5 years, I know this is tough and it’ll not be an easy journey but I’m very optimistic.

  1. Who do you consider your inspiration?

Talking about Pakistani Chefs, Chef Mehboob and Chef Zakir are my inspirations their cooking skills are really good. Internationally, I like Gordon Ramsay and Hesston Blumenthal, their way of cooking and techniques are mind blowing.

  1. Three things you love and hate about being a chef?

Honestly there’s nothing that I hate about being a chef but if you’ll ask this question to other chefs so most of them would probably say that kitchen intensity, body cuts and wounds, stress and pressure is the thing they hate they hate about being a chef. But for me this is my dream, my passion and moreover my happiness. Cooking is something which gives me joy and satisfaction. So in short I love everything about being a chef.

  1. Any message to the people who want to be a chef one day?

To all the people out there who want to become a chef, I would suggest them not to hesitate while stepping in this field. Especially for guys out there who think that what would the world say if I’ll join this field and all that stuff as this field belongs to women, don’t think that because it’s just a myth. So if you have passion for cooking and this is something you absolutely love to do then don’t stop, follow your heart and fulfill your dream. Best of Luck for your career!

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