Start-up of the Week: Saudi chef’s fusion cuisine aims to satisfy all cultures

The main encouragement to start his business came from his family, friends and followers on social media. (Supplied)
Updated 19 September 2018
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Start-up of the Week: Saudi chef’s fusion cuisine aims to satisfy all cultures

RIYADH: Mansour Ismail, owner and head chef at Chef Culture, said what makes his establishment unique is that people feel as if they are eating at home.
Chef Culture, in the north of the eastern province of Alkhobar, specializes in traditional Gulf and international fusion cuisine. It was launched on May 25 and provides catering and takeaway services.
“I started my restaurant because I believe I have a unique touch which is going to spread across the world,” Mansour told Arab News.
The main encouragement to start his business came from his family, friends and followers on social media, he added. Chef Culture’s signature dish is tandoori lamb, a reflection of the fusion of Gulf and Indian cuisine. “What makes this dish unique is the balance between the two cultures in terms of spices and flavor. This has always been the best-selling dish on our menu,” said Mansour.
Another example of mixed flavors is the Japanese dish shrimp tempura, which is made with Halabi pistachio. Mansour added that a popular order with their catering services has always been the cherry kebab, in which Gulf and Armenian flavors are blended together. What gives this dish its distinctive flavor is that its cherry sauce is made from fresh produce.
“Our main concentration in Chef Culture is in mixing different influences of food from around the world,” said Mansour. He added that all the dishes were created from scratch and took him through trial phases of tasting the food before he was satisfied with the end result of his creations.
The goal at Chef Culture is to showcase Gulf cuisine with an inter-national twist by providing a blend of flavors and a taste that suits the palates of different cultures.
Mansour’s message to aspiring chefs is that the food industry is growing at a rapid pace and that there are big opportunities for talented people to thrive in the culinary world.
He started cooking 12 years ago as an amateur, then decided to develop his hobby by attending cooking courses in India. The chef also attended local and international live cooking shows. This gave Mansour the idea to mix Gulf cuisine with others from around the world, particularly from India, to create his fusion food menu.


US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

In this file photo taken on May 2, 2018, Romaine lettuce is displayed at a grocery store in San Anselmo, California. (AFP)
Updated 25 min 22 sec ago
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US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

  • Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec

WASHINGTON: US health officials warned consumers Tuesday not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw away any they might have in their homes, citing an outbreak of E. coli poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the warning against all Romaine lettuce just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families gather and feast together.
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said, after 32 people were reported sick from E. coli poisoning in 11 states, with 13 of them hospitalized. One of those had suffered kidney failure.
Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
“This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad,” the CDC said, noting that it had not been able to pinpoint precisely where the suspect leaves had originated.
“If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away,” the CDC said.
It advised anyone who had stored romaine lettuce in their refrigerator to wash down the shelves where the leaves had been kept.
No deaths have so far been reported.