In the kitchen with Bahaa Abou Diab

In the kitchen with Bahaa Abou Diab

Having kicked off his culinary career in Beirut, Bahaa Abou Diab moved to KSA to hone his skills in the kitchen. Here, the executive chef of Spring Cafe & Restaurant tells us more about his journey and shows us how to make his signature vegan burger.

How did your career in the culinary world begin?
It all started when I was 16 years old, when my friend called me to work as a helper in a catering company during the summer vacation. Pressure, passion and creativity made me fall in love with this profession, in addition to the valuable feedback I obtained at the end of each day.

I worked at the Intercontinental Phoenicia in Beirut as a demi chef for four years while I was studying hotel management at the university. I subsequently moved to Le Vendôme before relocating to KSA to work as a head chef at an international company located between KSA and the UAE. During the five years I spent there, I learned a great deal about cuisines and concepts, creating my own recipes along the way.

How has your professional experience helped shape you into the chef you are today?
Currently, I am the executive chef of Spring Cafe & Restaurant, a position which involves me handling the three branches of our restaurant, as well as the catering department.

What are you cooking today?
Today’s platter is called “Beyond Burger.” It is delicious and easy to cook.

What are the main ingredients and products you are using these days?
These days, I am using more vegan products. You will also find plenty of flavorsome herbs and spices in my dishes.

The vegan community is growing in KSA, so we have incorporated more vegan dishes into our menu. We consider that demand is on the rise and will continue in this positive direction.

What advice would you give suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
My advice to all food suppliers is to be as helpful as possible and offer a wider variety of products to clients. As chefs, we always want to deliver the best experience, which makes us heavily reliant on the supply side, especially when it comes to novelties and new ingredients.


Ingredients for one portion


  • 40g iceberg lettuce
  • 25g tomatoes
  • 5g fried onions
  • 60g Portobello mushrooms
  • 115g vegan patty
  • 5g garlic

Coconut gravy

  • 5g salt
  • 50g flour
  • 50g vegetable ghee
  • 2g black pepper
  • 10g fresh zaatar fresh

On the side

  • 130g sweet potato fries
  • 40g vegan cocktail sauce


Cook the patty on the grill for 3 minutes on each side.
In the same grill, cook the Portobello mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper.
In a hot pan, mix the vegetable ghee and the flour. Stir well until the mixture has melted.
Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens.
Finally add the spices and the zaatar


Place the iceberg lettuce on the plate, add the tomatoes, the fried onions then the patty.
Place the Portobello mushrooms on top then add the coconut gravy.
For the side, fry the sweet potatoes and serve them with a vegan cocktail sauce.

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