Q: Share your success journey with our readers?
A:
It’s a long story; I started off with a fast food chain in 1989, at a very young age, in Australia. I learnt management, work ethics and other duties there, so all the credit goes to my very first job. Overall, it was a very good experience which still helps me. When I moved to Pakistan, I joined Sheraton Hotel as a management trainee where I learnt dish washing as well. After that, for about 8 years I worked at a French restaurant. This is when I came to know about new world cuisine, comfort food or fast food and one of my jobs there was also to train employees.

Q: Were you always interested to be a chef?
A:
I don’t know if I was always interested, but I was a good student and when you go out of Pakistan, the first job you do is mostly in restaurants. I got it from my father; he was a foodie and he used to take me to different restaurants to taste food.

Q: Any special training you have taken before entering the food industry?
A:
I have taken special trainings and have also done hotel management courses in Culinary Arts, which further developed my interest in the industry. Then I got my MIS degree in Computer, but never proceeded with a career in that field.

Q: How often do you cook at home or for your family?
A:
Very rarely, once in a while for my kids. I used to do it on every Sunday but because of my routine, I don’t cook at home anymore.

Q: What is the most essential item in your kitchen?
A:
I think pasta and pizza sauce, I can make anything out of them.

Q: What is the most challenging ingredient to work with?
A:
Lobster.

Q: Do you like to experiment with food?
A:
Well, recently I developed an experimental food. One of my jobs is to create different cuisines, now I am working with a brand which requires fusion cuisine. So it’s very challenging.

Q: What’s your Ramzan specialty?
A:
Pakoray.

Q: How do you feel when somebody critiques your food?
A:
Well, you feel bad, but that’s how you learn and that’s why I take criticism positively.

Q: What is your personal favourite dish?
A:
Depends on the mood and time. I am a rice lover; daal chawal, pulao or biryani are all my favourite dishes. I’m not a big meat lover, so I mostly eat vegetables.

Q: Your best creation so far?
A:
I don’t really create things, but improvise them.

Q: Any plans to expand your expertise?
A:
I have a restaurant, but I am not involved with it much. I have a plan to work on organic food, and then we are also moving towards digital.

Q: Do you conduct any cooking classes for people who want to learn from you?
A:
No, I don’t. It’s not just the issue with time, but also the studio, as it is very hard to manage such things.

Q: Your personal favourite restaurant?
A:
Mews or Chatter Box and I also go to Okra often.

Q: What do you think about the food industry of Pakistan, especially after the extensive demand of fast food?
A:
I think it’s growing really fast, but we need more tourism and culinary schools. People are learning about new food and love to experiment with it.

Q:  Any important tip for our readers and your followers?
A:
Just be thankful for what you have, and enjoy the nature and food. Highlight more local food items and farmers.

 

Beef Satay by Chef Saadat:

Ingredients

Undercut Beef – 500 gm
National Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
National Soy Sauce – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Fish Sauce – 2 tsp
Parsley – 1 tsp
White Pepper – 1/4 tsp
National Haldi Powder – 1/4 tsp
Coconut Milk – 4 tsp
National Red Chili Powder – 1/4 tsp
National Salan Masala – 1 tbsp Oil
Peanut Butter Sauce

Method

Cut the beef in slices. Pound the meat to make it thin.
Put the meat in a bowl. Add National Ginger Garlic Paste, National Soy Sauce, Sugar, Fish Sauce, Parsley, White Pepper, National Haldi Masala, Coconut Milk, National Red Chili Powder and National Salan Masala to it. Mix well. Let it marinate for 30 min. Fold the meat on skewers. Heat up a grill pan and brush it with oil. Cook the meat for 2 min on each side.
Serve with Peanut Butter Sauce. Enjoy!