TCB: How did you start your career?
CHEF: My career started in 1986. I did diploma in Food and Beverages from Karachi. If you tell someone that you want to become a chef at that time, people used to look at you in a very strange way.Then I did trainings for 2.5 year. First in Sheraton, Avari and then in PC. From there, my journey as a chef started.
TCB: You give healthy life tips too. Have you also got your education in healthy foods?
CHEF: My dad was a heart patient, at that time I became interested in knowing about healthy foods. My first TV show on-aired in 2007. For that I told them to start a healthy diet show and suggested that the host should be a doctor. I have not studied specifically, but I have studied enough books related healthy foods. Whenever I get a chance I read about every new research on the internet about healthy food and diet.
TCB: As being a celebrity chef how do you handle criticism?
CHEF: The first thing I am not a celebrity. The second is that my fate has been good that I have not heard much bad words about myself. So I believe it’s my good luck that people don’t criticize me.
TCB: How do you think Pakistani dishes can make an example in the world?
CHEF: Pakistani foods have to go a long way. Our food has not change for a long time. For that, I started a show ‘The Cooking Show’, the show was intended to introduce new meals. Pakistani food had to be taken forward, so that something new is introduced in it. Here we have a similar formula for every dish for example Qourma and Biryani. Whereas, British keep different names of the same dish just by the difference between black pepper. But now I have a great chance, I am traveling with Pakistan Training and Development Authority. There are festivals regarding Pakistani Food, I try all my xperiences and new dishes in festivals and have been successful. TCB: What are your future plans? CHEF: When I came in this field, I had only one hobby which is to teach. I don’t say that I have learned everything and time have come to teach. But as much as I have learned, I try to teach. It is a problem, that people take away all the secrets from the world. Many people would have heard that his or her grandmother used to make good meals, but never taught their recipes. My teachers knew the secrets of a lot of food but they never taught us. I am very keen to teach, right now I am teaching on TV show but I want to teach in hotel management school. I still have offers but due to my busy schedule I am unable to avail it but in future I definitely will.
TCB: Taste is the hand of someone who cooks or in the recipe?
CHEF: I think none of them. It comes from understanding the food. What ingredients and quantity you will put in the food, this is taste. People who says that they have taste in their hand, it means that they understand cooking, that’s how taste comes.
TCB: What would you like to say to those who are newcomers in this field?
CHEF: Those people who have diploma or do courses, and think that they have become a chef, it’s not like that. It takes a lot of time. It is not necessary that you become a celebrity chef by working on TV, keep interest in your job it can take you to many good places. Not necessarily on TV but you can also work on a good position in a known hotel too. Have a little patience, work hard and love your work.
TCB: One of your dish your family like the most?
CHEF: My kids like Pizza, Briyani, Lasagna and Crispy Burger. In my family, all are experts in criticizing me. When my family comes home, I go through an anxiety phase. You must be thinking I have been cooking for so many years but it does not happen like that they criticize me well. This is a good thing. In my home all are food experts and the most difficult task is to cook for my mother and sisters. I feel scared cooking for them, but I learn a lot from them.
What is your favorite dish?
Namkeen Rosh Pakistani or Continental? Pakistani
Tea, Coffee or Cold-drink?
Sweet or Chatpata? Sweet
Where do you like eating food, restaurants, hotels or shelves?
Hot kitchen or Bakery?
Marco Pierre or Gordan Ramsay?
Recipe show or book?