Aysh Academy aims to bridge skills gap for people with culinary interests

Aysh Academy aims to bridge skills gap for people with culinary interests
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The Culinary Arts Commission in Saudi Arabia was established February 2020 to strengthen the food sector. (Supplied)
Aysh Academy aims to bridge skills gap for people with culinary interests
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Summaiya Suhail, the founder and general manager at Aysh Academy, says when she was starting out, there were rarely any places available that provided culinary education. (Supplied)
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Updated 17 August 2022

Aysh Academy aims to bridge skills gap for people with culinary interests

Aysh Academy aims to bridge skills gap for people with culinary interests
  • Kingdom opened its Culinary Arts Commission in 2020, and first cohort graduated from Saudi Culinary Academy this year
  • Aysh was one of the first academies of its kind to open in Saudi Arabia, bringing baking into the mainstream

JEDDAH: Food is an important part of any culture, and Saudi Arabia has been focusing on creating an education system that will equip people with enough knowledge to excel in the culinary arts.
This year saw the first graduation ceremony of students from the Saudi Culinary Academy.
The Culinary Arts Commission in Saudi Arabia was established February 2020 to strengthen the food sector, creating a source of income for many people.
Speaking to Arab News, Summaiya Suhail, the founder and general manager at Aysh Academy, a specialized baking institution, said that when she was starting out, there were rarely any places available that provided culinary education.
Her own journey consisted of workshops and short courses in baking all over the world. After accumulating enough knowledge, she decided to spread it in Jeddah.
“My dream … was to make this path easy for my community and me, as well as (to) empower them by providing this skill set and knowledge,” Suhail said.
The main goals of the academy are become a hub for all people interested in this aspect of cuisine in Saudi Arabia, to create recipes that will be used as references for baking, and to create a framework for future businesses.
The academy offers baking courses and shorter masterclasses that are focused on different areas and techniques.
Classes cater to people at different levels, teaching how to bake from scratch. These classes cover sweet and savory bakes, bread, cakes, pastries, croissants, and much more.
The academy also offers courses related to starting food businesses, food photography, plating, and marketing.
“The name is inspired by aysh, the word for bread in Arabic. Another meaning of aysh in Arabic is also ‘the living’,” Suhail said.
Becoming one of the first certified baking academies in the Kingdom was not easy. “It felt like we had to walk and pave the road for all the people behind us. It was not easy, but I can’t say that it wasn’t enjoyable as well,” Suhail said. “Aysh was really made by the people here.
“When someone comes up to us and says that they are very happy that we exist, people say that they have been looking for something like this for a very long time.”
Another thing that the founder looks forward to is when people graduate and receive their certificates, the happiness is clear on their faces.
“Sometimes there are tears and once they are done they go around hugging others. These are the things that make me want to keep going on this journey.”


Saudi Crown Prince receives written message from Sweden’s prime minister

Saudi Crown Prince receives written message from Sweden’s prime minister
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Crown Prince receives written message from Sweden’s prime minister

Saudi Crown Prince receives written message from Sweden’s prime minister
  • Walid bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, received the message from the Ambassador of Sweden to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, received a written message on Wednesday from Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s Prime Minister.
In the letter, Andersson expressed her appreciation for the Crown Prince’s role in ‘mediating the exchange of prisoners in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis’, according to Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA.
She added that Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts reflected ‘keenness to support all international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis politically and mitigating its impacts’.
Walid bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, received the message from the Ambassador of Sweden to Saudi Arabia, Petra Menander, who delivered it at the Ministry's headquarters.
The pair reviewed bilateral ties between the two nations during their meeting, and exchanged viewpoints regarding issues of common interest.


Saudi police bust four-member gang dealing in counterfeit money

Saudi police bust four-member gang dealing in counterfeit money
Updated 6 min 17 sec ago

Saudi police bust four-member gang dealing in counterfeit money

Saudi police bust four-member gang dealing in counterfeit money

RIYADH: Saudi police arrested four citizens for counterfeiting banknotes in Riyadh, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The suspects used houses located east of Riyadh as their headquarters to make fake money.

At the site, police found tools for counterfeiting money, counterfeit money and a stolen vehicle.
All items were sized and the vehicle was recovered.


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince meets with Kingdom’s Minister of Defense

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince meets with Kingdom’s Minister of Defense
Updated 24 min 23 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince meets with Kingdom’s Minister of Defense

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince meets with Kingdom’s Minister of Defense
  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his gratitude and appreciate for ministry of defense’s efforts
  • The event was attended by commanders from the ministry of defense and the armed forces

JEDDAH: Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, met with the Kingdom’s Minister of Defense and commanders, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his gratitude and appreciate for ministry of defense’s efforts and the progress achieved in the development program.
The Crown Prince also commended the increase in internal self-sufficiency of military industries, which saw a 13-percent rise from two percent to 15 percent, hoping it reaches 50 percent under the supervision of the minister of defense and the military personnel.
Prince Khalid highlighted the ministry of defense’s achievements throughout the various development programs in addition to the achievements they wish to fulfill in the future.
The event was attended by commanders from the ministry of defense and the armed forces.


KSRelief continues assistance to communities in disaster-stricken areas

KSRelief continues assistance to communities in disaster-stricken areas
Updated 40 min 21 sec ago

KSRelief continues assistance to communities in disaster-stricken areas

KSRelief continues assistance to communities in disaster-stricken areas
  • New humanitarian campaign to spray residual pesticides was launched in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has continued providing assistance to vulnerable communities living in disaster-stricken areas.

Five tons of food baskets were distributed among 678 people in residential areas in the Red Sea State in Sudan as the country reels from the damages of torrential rains and floods that recently hit the country.
In Lebanon, 1,600 beneficiaries received 21 tons of food baskets as part of KSRelief’s efforts to serve Palestinian and Syrian refugees and the host community in Lebanon, according to a statement by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
A new humanitarian campaign to spray residual pesticides was launched in Yemen to eliminate disease-carrying mosquitos in Al-Mahra Governate. The campaign, which targets 1,677 homes, will be carried out by 46 workers and 14 observers.
Meanwhile, shelter materials were distributed to 1,200 displaced people in Al-Atira camp of Lahij in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Aid distribution continued in Pakistan, where the center has already sent nine relief planes for those affected by the heavy floods. On Monday, the center’s teams distributed 1,900 food baskets, 350 tents and 1,200 mosquito nets in Punjab and Sindh provinces, benefiting 11,200 people.
A new campaign was also launched in Bangladesh under the Noor Saudi Volunteer Program to combat blindness. Since the start of the campaign, which will run until October 1, the center’s volunteer medical team has examined 3,000 cases, distributed 911 eyeglasses, and performed 146 cataract surgeries.


Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage showcased at Terra Madre conference in Italy

Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage showcased at Terra Madre conference in Italy
Updated 27 September 2022

Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage showcased at Terra Madre conference in Italy

Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage showcased at Terra Madre conference in Italy
  • Culinary Arts Commission registers 13 famous Saudi foods on the Ark of Taste list of endangered foods

RIYADH: The Saudi Culinary Arts Commission is hosting a pavilion at the Terra Madre Network conference in Turin, Italy, to showcase some of the Kingdom’s unique dishes and indigenous foods.

The commission said on Tuesday: “At the conference, 13 elements of Saudi cuisine were added to the Ark of Taste Archives, an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods managed by the Slow Food movement. 

“This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Culinary Arts Commission and Slow Food to support the Kingdom’s burgeoning culinary sector, including the involvement of Saudi farmers’ markets in the Global Slow Food Earth Market list, and the identification of further opportunities for cooperation.”

Mayada Badr

Slow Food is a global movement that operates in over 160 countries to preserve and increase awareness of endangered foods that are unique in taste and native to a certain region.

Some of the Saudi foods that were listed in the Ark of Taste include hassawi rice, native to Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and considered one of the most expensive types of rice, and samh seeds, native to Al-Jouf Province. 

The list also includes the distinct white desert truffles of the Northern Region called Al-Kamaa, khawlani coffee beans from Jazan Region — among the finest in the world — and Al-Maghmi dates, a traditional Saudi dish made with molasses and sesame seeds.

HIGHLIGHT

Some of the Saudi foods that were listed in the Ark of Taste include hassawi rice, native to Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and considered one of the most expensive types of rice, and samh seeds, native to Al-Jouf Province.

Registering these foods comes as part of the commission’s efforts to preserve the historical legacy of culinary arts in the Kingdom and encourage the public to protect them from extinction.

Commenting on the participation, Mayada Badr, CEO of the Culinary Arts Commission, said: “The commission’s attendance at this event is a culmination of the work by dedicated producers around the Kingdom to elevate our culinary sector. We are delighted to showcase the best of Saudi cuisine at Terra Madre, and we hope audiences will enjoy sampling some of our unique and delicious dishes.”

The conference also saw the Aseer region in Saudi Arabia formally awarded the title of World Region of Gastronomy 2024 by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts, and Tourism.

The international jury of IGCAT experts recognized the welcoming spirit of the Aseer community and their willingness to showcase and share their food and culture.

The jury commented: “The light of the Middle East shines from the region of Aseer. A lot of work has been done to empower the community and prepare them for welcoming future visitors to their unique culture. The culinary scene of Aseer is rooted in tradition and it has the potential to become a culinary destination and contribute to the creative economy.”

On the award for the Aseer region, Badr said: “Saudi Arabia has a diverse culture and a rich heritage, and we are proud that the Aseer region has been formally awarded World Region of Gastronomy 2024, in recognition of their efforts to preserve the region's diverse and distinctive food culture while protecting the environment and empowering younger generations.”

Saudi chef Hatoon Altoukhi, touted as one of the best authentic Italian food chefs on social media, told Arab News: “We have reached a great milestone towards our (Vision) 2030 goals. The Saudi region of Aseer is awarded World Region of Gastronomy in Italy, where the Italians respect and give much more attention to the food industry.

“Being a Saudi chef who specializes in Italian cuisine and (who) married into an Italian family, I immediately shared the news with our family in Italy and felt so much pride that we are now en route to greatness and international gastronomy recognition,” he said.

The Kingdom’s participation at Terra Madre is part of broader efforts to stimulate cultural exchange and dialogue with counterparts worldwide while introducing Saudi Arabia’s diverse culinary heritage and native agricultural crops to the world.

Terra Madre is a network of food communities that holds a major conference every two years in Turin to foster discussion and present innovative concepts on food, globalization, and economics.

The conference aims to connect producers from across the food supply chain to encourage collaboration and improve their skills for a more developed global food system.