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

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.


Six ways to deal with uncertainty, anxiety in the face of COVID-19

Updated 29 min 25 sec ago

Six ways to deal with uncertainty, anxiety in the face of COVID-19

DUBAI: After months of living in a “new normal,” we still don’t really know what the future holds and this can lead to anxiety and stress. Reem Shaheen, clinical director at the BE Psychology Center in Dubai, shares her tips for coping with uncertainty.

Keep moving

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Exercise is known for increasing serotonin levels, also known as the “happy chemical,” so keep moving — even if it’s in your living room.

Avoid scare-mongering

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It’s important to stay informed but make sure you’re using a reliable news source and you’re not in a spiral of constantly looking for anxiety-inducing updates.

Get more sleep

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This is the foundation of stress management. Establishing a regular bedtime routine is one of the few things we can control and the result is renewing your body for the next day’s challenges.

Shift your focus

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Where you’d normally be planning ahead for big holidays, spend time looking into short-term, safe activities.

Talk it out

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You’re not alone in your uncertainty and sharing your feelings with loved ones — or a counsellor — can act as a way of releasing stress.

Breathing exercises

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Try meditation or simply sit in a quiet place and take some slow, deep breaths to anchor yourself in the present.