Shaking Hands With Arabic Cuisine: Chef Salem, Executive Chef, Sodexo, Qatar

Chef Salem visited India as a part of Sodexo Global Chef Program 2018, to familiarise Arabic cuisine in the Indian market.


AS A part of Sodexo Global Chef Program 2018, Chef Salem, Executive Chef, Sodexo, Qatar visited India from 15th – 29th July,18’ with an aim to familiarise Arabic cuisine in India. Global Chef is an international chef residency program, which brings Sodexo’s top chefs from different countries to exchange culinary cultures, authentic native cuisines and cooking techniques with Sodexo’s key clients and local teams.

“Personally speaking, I am glad to be part of the APAC Global Chef program. It has given me and chefs from across the globe, an opportunity to familiarize clients, consumers and our own kitchen staff to our native / authentic cuisine and in exchange understand their people, culture, tastes & preferences better. It is exciting to explore a new land, its food habits and also present your signature dishes,” said Salem in an interaction with BW Hotelier.

India has been a strategically important market for Sodexo. During his 15 days of food trail, Salem demonstrated live cooking sessions of few famous Arabic delicacies like the Falafels, Tabbouleh Salad, Hummus etc. “Arabic cuisine has an Asian influence, and I wanted to highlight the cultural convergence through my dishes. I am glad we received a thunderous response from our clients,” he added.

The Indian and Arabic cuisine has a lot of similarities. Both the cuisines are rich in spices. India already has an appetite for Middle Eastern delicacies. The right blend of spices with local adaptation; suited to the taste buds of Indian consumers ensures to drive their interests further. “The key lies with organizations like us who have expertise in the food business to use their global footprint, bring in the natives and help the local consumers try and develop a taste for a variety of cuisine. By interacting closely with clients and their consumers, I inferred that they preferred the non-vegetarian options,” Salem said.

This year in the Global Chef Program 2018, Chef Salem presented some of his signature dishes like Shawarma, Tabbouleh, Lentil soup and Falafels.  Having served the industry for more than half a century, Salem has seen a sea change in the overall food and catering industry. “Socio-economic parameters have also propelled the move. In the last two decades, we have seen an exponential rise in the number of consumers who are willing to explore international cuisines. The concept of culinary tourism is expected to grow further, and now it is not only about cooking, but health and hygiene that have taken a forefront. What has not changed however is the appreciation consumers have towards native cuisine though there is a possible adaption available of each and every type of world cuisine,” he concludes.

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