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.


What We Are Eating Today: Made Rustic

Updated 10 July 2020

What We Are Eating Today: Made Rustic

Made Rustic is a home-based Saudi business specializing in healthy snacks — both sweet and savory — that are free from artificial colors, additives and refined sugar.
Made Rustic offers a variety of artisanal dips, spreads, and crackers, as well as a range of flatbreads seasoned with traditional Middle Eastern combinations of herbs and spices, such as zaatar and sumac. Other toppings include rosemary, parmesan, kalamata olives, chili flakes, spicy cheddar, lemon and lavender.
Their signature product is the charcuterie board — or cheese and meat board — topped with an array of snacks, including crackers, breads, cheeses, seasonal fruit and veggies, meats, nuts, dips, and spreads.
The charcuterie board, with its attractive presentation and variety of options, is a sophisticated way to serve light morsels, whether at in-home parties or office gatherings.
Made Rustic’s platters are sure to make a good impression. They are customizable based on dietary needs; there is even a vegan option.
Made Rustic’s grazing platters come in two sizes: A medium platter for small gatherings of eight to 12 people and a large platter for more than 15 people.
A vegan customized grazing platter of your choice is also available. Prices range from SR25 ($7) to SR100. Products are available through @crate.ksa and @lugmety.