Mohamad Najem, advisory chef and consultant of Leaders Cooking Academy, gives us the lowdown on the world of cooking and food.
What characteristics define a successful chef?
A successful chef is creative, passionate, curious and a good leader, someone who can manage all kinds of situations and always strives to create an environment where people feel inspired and hungry to learn.
Do you have a favorite recipe?
One of my favorite recipes is seafood risotto, because you can taste different flavors in one spoon: cheese, fresh herbs and seafood stock.
In your opinion, what differentiates the Doha culinary scene from others?
In Doha, the thirst for luxury is not only limited to the restaurant’s décor; everything needs to be perfect. Doha is a rising multicultural hub, a fusion of different cuisines. Its rich Arab roots fused with new culinary trends delivers a real feast for the eyes and taste buds. If you take a stroll down Souq Waqif to The Pearl, you can find every cuisine imaginable.
Despite the setbacks the country has faced, Qatar has developed a variety of homegrown products. This has allowed chefs from different parts of the world to incorporate Doha’s own touch into every dish they create.
What are the latest cooking trends?
Due to the current pandemic, there is surge in grab-and-go and take-away meals. People prefer to sit at home and order their favorite dish online. In the past, fine dining was preferred, but now street food with creative branding is leading the way.
What can you tell us about your latest projects?
Recently, we opened three coffee shops and bakeries in Qatar. We will be opening a new hotel for FIFA 2022 and five restaurants in the Pearl and Lusail city. We are also conducting virtual cooking classes for all ages rather than actual classes because of Covid-19.