You

KITCHEN QUEEN

You
By Wallia Khairi
Tue, 01, 22

This week You! takes a look at the exceptional journey of Fatima Sheraz - from a home cook to a successful chef…

KITCHEN QUEEN

chef interview

Many of us dream of being a teacher, a doctor, a painter or whatever it is our little heart’s desire. But very few of us manage to turn our dreams into realities. Fatima Sheraz dreamt of being a professional chef at the tender age of 5 and she is now living her dream. Fatima always had a knack for cooking as she would watch her mother in the kitchen stirring up the yummiest of recipes. Having a natural talent in cooking, Fatima took a chance and participated in a cooking competition. She ended up winning the competition title despite being the youngest one in the lot. And all this without any prior training or education in the world of culinary.

“What I am today is not easy to achieve during your early thirties. I am an ambitious woman, a devoted wife and a loving mother. I worked hard to reach where I am today and accomplish my goals, despite the many difficulties and hurdles I faced.” Now a celebrity chef, Fatima works with different TV channels as a menu consultant and food analyst. She is a certified restaurant analyst. This week You! takes a look at the exceptional journey of Fatima Sheraz - from a home cook to a successful chef…

KITCHEN QUEEN

You! When did you start cooking professionally?

Fatima Sheraz: To be honest, I started cooking at the age of 5. But professionally, I started back in 2017 after winning the title of ‘Kitchen Queen’ on a popular cooking contest.

You! What inspired you to become a chef?

FS: My mother; she is my mentor. She is the best cook in my entire family and I learnt everything from her.

You! Have you done any professional courses? Who taught you cooking?

FS: My mom was my first cooking teacher who taught me how to hold the knife but when I started professionally, Chef Amir Iqbal was my first professional teacher.

You! Who is your favourite chef? Your inspiration?

FS: Gordon Ramsey and his daughter Tilly Ramsey.

You! How long have you been working as a chef?

FS: It has been almost 5 years.

You! Do you ever have regrets that you chose to become a chef?

FS: Never! Cooking is an art and I'm an artist.

You! How was your experience on the cooking contest?

FS: Amazing experience. I learnt a lot with the professionals.

You! How did winning the competition help your career as a chef?

FS: Winning the competition is just a part of my success story. My hard work, determination and focus are the main elements of my successful career.

You! What do you think about the lack of culinary schools in Karachi?

FS: Karachi is a big city with a huge population and it needs more and good culinary institutes and schools. This becomes a hindrance for many who aspire to become a part of this field and industry. And doing my part, I have raised this issue with the consulted person, as it is much needed.

You! Do you own a restaurant or plan to open one?

FS: I'm associated with different restaurants as a menu consultant and a food analyst. Yes, I plan to open my own restaurant in the future.

You! Your signature dessert?

FS: Date balls (Khajoor k laddu).

You! How would you define your style? Do you create your own recipes?

FS: Yes, I have my own cooking style as I like to keep things minimal. I make simple yet flavourful recipes in a quick and easy style. And yes, I love to create my own signature and innovative recipes with a jhat pat style.

You! What do you love about being a chef?

FS: As I told you before, I am an artist and cooking is an art so being a chef makes me feel more powerful and artistic. I feel happy when I create new recipes.

You! What is your favourite dish?

FS: Salads are my favourite; any kind of salad and soups.

You! Ingredients you can't live without?

FS: Salt and vinegar.

You! Which dish do you enjoy cooking?

FS: Biryani is the favourite Pakistani dish and I can cook 21 different types of Biryanis as it's my husband's favourite dish.

You! What do you think you would have been if you had not become a chef?

FS: I would have been an artist or may be a soldier.

You! What would be your advice to someone who is thinking of becoming a chef?

FS: Kindly, polish your skills before anything. Perfection is the main key for the success.

You! What do you do to relax?

FS: I'm very friendly by nature so I make friends easily and talk with them. Watching Netflix, reading books and listening to music while driving alone.

You! What kind of cooking classes do you take?

FS: Mostly, I arrange cooking classes for beginners. I teach from scratch which includes how to hold the knife, how to cut, how to manage hygiene, etc. Plus, I arrange cuisine classes like Chinese, Continental and Pakistani.

You! Do you have a cook book or plan to write one in the future?

FS: Yes, in future I have a plan to write a cook book.