Executive Chef Nadim Aljurdi – International Catering
Executive Chef Nadim Aljurdi from Saudi Arabia has a lot of international catering experiences. We have met him for an interesting interview.
You started your career as a chef at the Lebanon cooking school. Can you let us know something about the Lebanese cooking schools?
I studied in Lebanese cooking schools to become a chef , where most of Lebanese chefs where graduated from the same schools.
In Lebanon you worked some years for Sodexho. What did you learn out of this time?
I learned to be patient in order to become where I am now since I was at the beginning and I need to learn and since it was very hard job.
In 2006 you moved as Head Chef to a Saudi catering company. What have been your specialisation at this job?
My job was doing Lebanese food for senior staff at a construction company, basically it was a remote site camps.
Global Infusion group is a global catering, specialized for on movie sets and concerts. Did you feed at this time some “stars”?
Yes sure since I have done the U-17 women world cup in Baku Azerbaijan 2012 and I did food for dressing room (Shakira , Rihana and J-lo).
What makes this work so special to cater the concerts and movies?
The atmosphere and being so motivated with the music 🙂
For GIG you worked in China. During that time, could you learn some Chinese cooking for yourself?
It was for the University games Shenzhen 2011 and I was a consultant chef in charge for the Halal kitchen, cooking for more than 4000 Muslim Athletes. I already had an interest doing Chinese and that was a massive add for my basic experience with Chinese food that time.
Remaining with the international catering business, you moved as Executive chef of Dunes Catering to Doha. In what sense the work as a catering chef for you in Doha was different?
It was a massive challenge since it was my first Executive Chef job which opened a road for me to go global.
Back with GIG you worked for 3 months as Senior Sous Chef in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the First European games Baku 2015 in the main athletes village canteen. How did you set the menus at such an event? Aren’t there lots of individual request?
The menu was international- western basically, and definitely there was lots of individual request such as gluten free meals, nuts free meals for those who have high tolerance allergy.
In these time you have been in charge for preparing more than 500000 meals in one month. How many chefs worked with you; and have they been all local?
If you mean in Baku there were more than 100 chefs, most of them were local and the rest were from Italy , Slovakia and UK.
What was the biggest challenge for you at this event?
Inspiring all the chefs with my career and try to run smooth operation under the high pressure we have got that time and it was a real massive success personally .
With GIG you worked 2016 in Brazil, producing about 1000 meals per day for the TV crew such as CCTV, sky sports etc…. . Again the local question: Did you cook international and where did you get all the ingrediencies from?
In Brazil I cooked international and we were purchasing locally.
Beside the hard time during this job; did any TV glamor made your working life “sweeter”?
Yes it does when the CEO of CCTV comes personally to greet me for the amazing food produced for his crew.
Since event catering is your business and experience; do you have any wish at which function in the world you would like to cook one day?
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE since I am a big soccer fan.
International Catering in Saudi Arabia
From 2015 onwards, you worked for the Yesterday Restaurant group in Saudi Arabia. How did the kitchen/ restaurant scene has changed over the last years in Saudi Arabia?
It has changed a bit, however more in respect to food safety regulations and standards.
What are the actual trends at the chef/ kitchen scene in Saudi Arabia today?
Fusion food with lot of show in the presentation of food.
Today you work as the Corporate Executive Chef of the ENSA Holding in Al-Riyadh Saudi Arabia. What are they specialised in and what is your main job?
It’s the first Saudi company that serve top healthy food for the schools in Riyadh . I make sure food served with the right ingredients and most healthy aspects.
How would you describe your own culinary line today?
Healthy, modern targeting all audience.
Ones you could open your own restaurant, where would it be and with which specialisation?
I would like to open a catering company that can feed the client imagination.
Thank you for your time.