'QIFF offers opportunity to budding chefs'
March 27 2019 11:03 PM
Salma Soliman
Salma Soliman

Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) is gaining huge momentum and turning out to be a venue for chefs to meet and share experiences, celebrity Egyptian chef and TV show host Salma Soliman told Gulf Times on Wednesday.

“QIFF lends an opportunity to budding chefs to learn the latest culinary techniques while food enthusiasts are helped taste recipes from across the world,” she said.

Salma, in Qatar to attend the ongoing QIFF at Oxygen Park, led a session at cooking master classes at Chef’s Garden Restaurant in Education City on Wednesday.

“Qatar is a place that hosts everybody and it’s home for expatriates from all over the world. And their tastes and recipes have found a place in Qatar,” she said while observing that QIFF lent her an opportunity to become acquainted with famous chefs and current trends in cooking.

Salma, who is currently a chef by profession, holds a master degree in ophthalmology. In fact, unflinching passion drew her towards cooking. “Typical thinking of a high school graduate made me a doctor. High school graduates don’t know what they want. Girls want to become doctors while boys opt engineering. And I was keen to seriously try a hand with cooking after I found people love my food and preparation. I wanted to take a turn towards cooking,” she says.

Salma calls herself a chef who is self taught. “I pursued a short term course in cooking in Italy. But, I am getting improved through teaching my self. I use to correct the errors and do new things.”

Salma always tries to simplify complicated foods and put West and East together. For her, cooking is all about innovation. “I choose a French recipe and an American recipe and bring the two into singular one. I mix all the recipes including Arabic ones with others and bring out new recipes,” she says.

The Egyptian chef wants to be called a global chef. “These days, people tend to travel across the world and they are brought together. There is no Egyptian or Italian chef in a world that’s getting closer,” she says adding people become more open to tastes of others and their techniques of cooking. “There are no geographical limitations while it comes to cuisine,” she says.

According to Salma, travelling makes people perfect by helping them assimilate various cultures. “It also helps people experience tastes and taste recipes. I use to visit groceries and eateries when I am in other countries. I taste street food in order to help myself enjoy and understand local eating culture,” she says.

Salma is part of efforts by international agencies to ensure food safety, combat starvation and malnutrition and reduce rate of food wastage. She has worked with Zero Hunger Programme by World Food Programme undertaken by United Nations. She uses to learn her followers to reduce wasting food and reuse leftovers.

“I am trying to develop a public sense of reusing things as much as possible. And teach them to make food with minimum grocery,” she says.

Salma hosts TV shows and runs a You Tube channel of her own. Named ‘Salma’s Kitchen’, her channel has got subscribers from across the world.

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