It’s my cousin who works in the hospitality industry who motivated me to choose this industry and build up my career. I started my career as a waiter in India, and when I came to Dubai, I grabbed an opportunity to work as a steward, as it was my first international platform in the culinary industry.
As I grew up and learned a little bit more about cooking, I realized culinary is the world I wanted to belong to. When I was a little boy, I watched cooking shows with my grandmother. I always loved to eat good food the way my grandmother makes it, so I thought: one day I will also make delicious meals for my family.
Back in India, while I was doing my Bachelors in Commerce from the University of Calcutta, little did I know about the great culinary career that awaited me ahead. Although I had to choose this career soon after the completion of my bachelors due to poor financial conditions, I didn’t hesitate to jump at the very first opportunity that came my way.
I take great inspiration from my mother and two elder siblings in whatever I do in my life. My mother inspired me the most; her consistent efforts in putting delicious food every day on the table is what made me want to join the culinary industry. I love creating new dishes and working with people from other countries.
I love travelling and that’s one of the reasons I chose to have a career in the culinary industry. Being a chef allows me to travel for competitions and work, and I can learn many things while travelling.
It’s my passion to cook that made me pursue this kind of career that I have chosen which drives me to do my best. I love being a chef as I can express myself through my food. It gives me that kind of fulfilling feeling when I am cooking, and kitchen is a place where I feel alive.
I started in Dubai as a steward but kept watching the chefs in the kitchen, longing for an opportunity to cook. The head chef at the J.W. Marriott, where I now work, gave me the opportunity to go for the professional training at ICCA Dubai after me expressing my interest in cooking.
I have loved to cook food ever since I was young. My grandmother’s food always made me happy, and I took great interest in how she prepared such delicious food. This is the reason I have strived to become a chef. I started working in Sri Lanka for a couple of years and there after moved to the UAE, where I have been working for the past 5 years.
Due to my family’s financial situation, I had to discontinue my studies to help support my family. And that’s the time fate brought me to an agency that was sending applicants to a 5-star hotel in the UAE. Luckily, I got the job and started working at Rixos Bab Al Bahr for almost 3 years and later on moving to Sheraton Grand hotel.
Ever since I was young, I have always been keen on reading books and learning different languages, so it was my curiosity that led me on to study a foreign language in the university.
During that time, my family was going through an unfortunate financial crisis and I had to take up work to support my family and pay for my education as well. That is how I came to the culinary industry.
Being in the culinary field is always a challenge; however, opportunities to learn new things occur every day, since food is constantly changing. What makes me happy is that we as chefs are the main part of it. As a chef, I get the immense privilege of having the freedom to create my own dishes and menus. This is my passion and I have learned a lot over the past few years under the guidance of great chefs.
When I got a job in the Pastry Kitchen of Emirates Flight Catering after 10 years of working with fast food chains such as Dunkin Donuts and KFC it opened my eyes to new possibilities. Working in a big & real kitchen only affirmed that I was doing what I really loved to do. And later, when the scholarship program at ICCA came along it made me feel that I am at the right place at the right time.
My culinary story starts from my childhood, taking interest in watching my mom and my grandmother cook family recipes. The food they cook is amazing, so I always attempted to cook like them. When I was in school my homework was making dinner for my family. I love to be a chef because I feel it is something I am good at.
My mother and aunt have always been my inspiration to take up cooking. As a born foodie, cooking naturally was the area of interest for me and I began my culinary training. Soon after the completion of my 12th grade, I joined the industry as a Commi at the Lal Qila restaurant in Pakistan, before moving to Shakespeare and Co., Dubai.
When I started at Lal Qila restaurant, I became really passionate and motivated to continue on this career path, quickly taking a job opportunity in Dubai as a chance to enhance my skills.
I always push myself to strive to be my best, hoping to get the best possible outcome. My mom, who raised me as a single mom has always been an inspiration to me and she always gives me the strength to keep going.
My interest in culinary arts began with an inspirational cookery program that I used to watch on the television when I was younger. I was amazed by how the chef conducted the show making it look effortless with the various cooking techniques. I decided there and then that I would love to do the same, and soon started my journey in the culinary industry.
When I was a student, I used to stay far from home to attend college, so learning to cook became necessary for my survival. At the same time, I also took up a part-time job in a restaurant which marked the beginning of my culinary journey. It was a great opportunity as I loved cooking and eating a variety of food, eventually inspiring me to become a professional chef.
After the completion of 10th grade in school, I discontinued my studies and started working occasionally to help my father. It was my father’s friend who’s a professional chef, and it was he who inspired me to become a chef. Ever since then, I had wanted to do a diploma in cookery but I couldn’t afford to do it. That is when I joined a hotel for 3 months of training which eventually leads to three years of permanent job in the kitchen.
To be honest, I didn’t exactly want to go to the culinary field in the beginning. It all happened out of necessity. I was in need of a job and ICCA had hired me as a steward back then. As I watched the students enjoy their work, I became interested, wanting to feel the same. I was chosen for the scholarship program after expressing my interest in cooking. And I could say it was the best thing that happened to me in my entire life.
I grew up in a family where food is as essential as the love we had for one another and that kept us all connected even though we all are living in different places for our work and career. It was my mom who put the very thought of learning to cook in my mind so that I can enjoy eating whatever, whenever and wherever I want to. Probably that’s how I developed the interest in cooking and chose a career path in the world of culinary.
When I came to Dubai after my graduation I was lucky enough to find a job in the culinary industry that I am very happy with. What I love about being a chef is that there is so much to learn every single day; it has no limit, no boundary. I always find myself happy whenever I am cooking. I get tired of course- I’m a human being after all, but it doesn’t actually feel like I am working when I am cooking; you are getting paid for doing what you love to do.
I chose a career in the Culinary Industry over other careers because of my passion for food. Being passionate helps me develop my self-confidence and with this confidence I can prepare, cook and present different kinds of food.
I went back and forth between a few industries before choosing one that I wanted to continue with and dedicate it to myself as my career. When I finally ended up in the culinary industry, it awoke my passion for creativity and became something I was committed to and satisfied with. Cooking is an art, and every single time I make a dish that tastes & looks good, and people start loving, it simply makes my day.
After graduation, I started my career as a lawyer and worked for a few months, during which I had the chance to work in the UAE. Although my job was going good I wanted to work in a field where I felt more connected. So after one year of working in the front office, I applied for a cross training in a kitchen in 2016. I enjoyed that training period and realized how much I love to work in a kitchen. It made me feel that I can do much more in this field and can make people happy as well. However, to be a professional chef is not that easy. You need to have proper vocational training that qualifies you to become confident in the kitchen with the right knowledge.