Zakir Qureshi

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TCB: Where were you born and where you spent your childhood?

Chef: I was born in Pakistan, Karachi. I spent my childhood in Pakistan but from the very young age I went abroad for studies.

TCB: Where did you get your education from? You always wanted to become a Chef or is there another story behind it?

Chef: No! I never wanted to become a chef but yes! I wanted to join forces. It was my childhood dream but there are many chefs in my family they forced me to join hotel industry and now here I am as a chef. As far as education Is concerned it is unfortunate that there is no cooking institutes in Pakistan that teaches quality  cooking, so I had to go different places of the world to learn cooking. If you think you can take knowledge from one place then you are actually wrong you have to move around to learn.

TCB: How was your experience in other countries? How did you find their cuisines?

Chef: It is always a pleasure to explore different cuisines, cooking is like a sea, every country and city has its own culture and taste. I always try to understand the basic foods of that country because if you will understand the roots then it’s not difficult to understand the tree. But if you are busy counting the fruits on that tree then you will never understand which tree it is.

TCB: You were in media too for some time how did it happen & how was your experience?

Chef: It was a good feeling. Let me clear all the readers that I was a chef even before coming on media and I had big name nationally and internationally. When I came back from abroad media, approached me to tell about my cooking skills. So I went to a show. From there it clicked in someone’s mind that they could start a show with me and yes from there my media journey started and now it’s been 15 years I am associated with media industry.

TCB: The restaurants you own was there any aim behind them?

Chef: My dream or aim regarding my food and restaurants is that in Pakistan cooking methods are difficult like people use micro-wave ovens and pressure cooker and frozen meat a lot. So it was my aim that when i’ll open my restaurant, I won’t keep micro-wave, pressure cooker or frozen meat. You will get fresh biryani whether you order it on 6pm or 11pm. This won’t happen that biryani cooked at 6pm will be heated in microwave and served even after hour’s. We make fresh food every time people order. So far this idea is working successfully.

TCB: You earned a lot of respect internationally how do you feel about it?

Chef: I feel proud and happy. If we look back 15 years from now no one knew about Pakistan. People used to degrade and call Pakistan as 3rd world country. But now when my name is called in a crowded place I feel proud that I am able to spread my country name internationally.

TCB: Who is your role model? Do they’ve any part in your career & success?

Chef: There are many people I cannot name one. Ofcourse my family members are one of them. My father, my brother are chef too then my teachers from different countries who taught me. There is no one who will tell you how to be successful, its you, your strength and determination will lead you towards success. For that you have to sacrifice and compromise a lot of things for example your family, friends, wedding, events, sports and every other entertainment. Then, when you will step in your field you are able to give 200% in your work. People will guide you but if you think they will take your hand and will take you towards success so this isn’t true.

TCB: Are you satisfied with your work?

Chef: One thing is learning, then when you are done with it. It’s time to spread your knowledge and I am spreading it with honesty and when people come up to me saying that they made dishes out of my recipe and it was perfectly cooked so I feel really happy about it that I am beneficial for my country people and even for the people living abroad.

TCB: How do you discover new recipes?

Chef: There is a proper procedure. You try several times and make changes in it. Then it is discussed with the seniors and they check them with their knowledge. It’s not about one day thing.

TCB: Did you face criticisms or hurdles during this journey?

Chef: This is in Pakistani culture. No one can see other people’s success. It’s on you how you take criticism. For example you know it will take 15 min to climb stairs and reach at the 10th floor of a building but if I start thinking about people saying you can’t ,I’ll be never able to do that. It all depends how much time you take to achieve something.

TCB: Who cooks mostly at your home?

Chef: My wife.

TCB: What vision do you have for cooking in future?

Chef: I am opening a restaurant in November and on the top floor I am opening cooking institute for needy people and I will trained them well even if I have to be strict with them.

TCB: Which Chef’s work do you admire the most?

Chef: Every chef is good whether they are local or international. Everyone has their own style.

TCB: Your son (Ahsan) is also a Chef, it was your dream or he followed your footsteps?

Chef: Yes! He like cooking and he also follows me. He also comes up and make me taste his dishes and try new dishes.

TCB: Mutton or Beef?

Beef

TCB: Rice or Roti?

Roti

TCB: Food cooked by yourself or wife?

Wife

TCB: Hotel Restaurant Or Dhabba?

I think homemade food

TCB: Tea or Coffee?

Tea

TCB: Taste is in the hands of someone who cooks or in the recipe?

It’s in the way how you cook it.

TCB: Desi or Continental?

Desi

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