Faysal Al Aridi – Executive Innovation Chef and Consultant in Pastry and Chocolatier in Lebanon
Faysal Al Aridi is today working as an Executive Innovation Chef and Consultant in Pastry and Chocolatier in Lebanon. He gives us a fascinating and unexpected look behind the scenes.
Today you work as Executive Innovation Chef and Consultant in Pastry and Chocolatier in Lebanon, with different international experiences. When did it all start for you/ why did you become a pastry chef?
When I was 13 years-old, I used to visit my cousin’s pastry shop and ever since I have been in love with this industry.
Where does your fascination for pastry comes from?
It just came from my personal interest as I am very passionate for pastry.
Which culinary school did you first attend?
Beer Hassan College and Al Kafaat University.
After many years of your pastry chef career in Beirut, you worked as well some years as pastry chef in Doha and Dubai. How did this experience influence your culinary line?
Doha and Dubai both contributed a lot to my career as I benefited from the diversity of multi-nationalities (around 45 nationalities) through which I gained different techniques and methods.
How would you describe your culinary pastry line today best?
I consider myself very confident in European and Lebanese pastry, chocolatier, bakery line and glacier. In addition to all of these I created my own Healthy super food recipes including vegan, sugar-free, Gluten-free, Gym health bars, and my own creation of signature cakes and sweets etc.
Lebanon’s kitchen is great. Lebanon’s pastry; how would you describe it best?
Lebanese pastry is very rich and it depends mainly on pure butter ghee, nuts, sugar syrup, pats, clotted cream and various cheeses.
Apart from Lebanon’s traditional pastry, what are some of your examples/ creations of modern Lebanon pastry?
Kounafe fondue, Mastic fondant with Ashta ice cream (sahlab based), Ismaleih cream Brule, Faysalino cheese cake.
You work as well as Chef presenter at future TV in Lebanon. What is your role there?
Live cooking morning shows.
You worked many years as a pastry chef trainer. How did you like this job/ how innovative could you be in this job?
As much as I enjoy working as a pastry chef, I also enjoy training and teaching people new techniques and skills as a part of my dedication and passion.
As an executive innovation chef; what is your job about?
Establishing new ideas, recipes, innovative presentations and combining eastern and western cuisines.
You have created lots of new pastry and bakery recipes.
Can you share some of your latest with us?
I have created over 20 recipes and sweets reserving the right to keep them as speciality signature.
You have developed as well pastry and bakery recipes made with gluten-free ingredients. What other ingredients do you use, to overcome the Gluten, and keep the taste?
Developing and replacing major ingredients require lots of skills so as not to kill the taste.
What are some of your unique/ special pastry techniques?
I tend to use the sous vide.
Do you use some lesser known spices in your pastry creations?
Wild Asian country herbs and spices.
You are a great expert in Lebanese pastry and bakery. If you would have the time to come up with a Lebanese pastry/ bakery culinary book, what would it be about?
Marrying classic to modern pastry cooking to generate a hybrid school of cooking.
Any place in the world you would like to work as pastry chef one day?
Far east Asia and Europe.
Lost’s of foreign chefs are so interested in the Lebanese kitchen. Are there some Lebanese cooking classes for professional foreign chefs in Lebanon?
I personally can make this happen shall the need arise.
Thank you very much for your time.
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