Syrian Mahmoud Abdulla – Head Pastry Chef at Marriott (Oslo) about new trends in the Nordic pastry
Mahmoud Abdulla is a pastry chef with a lot of passion. He was born in Syria, has worked in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Today he creates fantastic pastries in Norway – his second home. Read a wonderful interview and get inspired.
Today you have more than 17 years of international experiences working as pastry chef. How has the pastry business changed over these years?
In my point of view nowadays the pastry business has been changed a lot and there are many new trends in the market and peoples are looking for a new idea and they look into more fusions and modified dishes, been saying that doesn’t mean we has to forget the original base of the pastry recipes.
Why did you choose to become a pastry chef? Where does your passion come from?
Actually, I am a food lover and the kitchen for me is like a paradise – especially when it comes to sweets and desserts.
However, my passion as an Executive pastry chef comes from using the right products and mixing it with the freshly prepared bases which I had learned it in my past when I was a beginner in the kitchen with my style of fusion modifications to present new and nice desserts.
What are the latest trends within the patisserie business?
Well, by saying the latest trend within the pastry, the most common word can describe that is the “FUSION TOUCH”. This is the market trend nowadays.
Regional, seasonal, local – the great trends in the kitchen. How is the pastry effected by these topics?
As far as I can see there are many people now looking for something new, day by day in the market, and they are expecting to try and see the most newly and presentable dishes, which do attract attention of their eyes.
Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have been places where you did work as a pastry chef. In what sense is the pastry tradition different in these countries?
More or less I can say there is not that much difference since I use to work with a chain hotel group where I use to prepare different types of desserts – Arabian and international – but as I mentioned before the “fusion touch” is the most effective nowadays everywhere and this is what the people need.
Some years ago you moved to Norway, where you still work today as Head Pastry Chef in Marriott in Oslo. What was your first impression of Norwegian pastries?
To be honest, in the beginning I had some challenges being in a new place but over time I had adjusted and I started to create many more pastries which were new and presented in a very fine way.
How can you combine your great pastry experience of the past with your work in Norway today?
It is all about how much you love your job. For me pastry is my passion and I do love my job. So it was not that much complicated and where I had an easy way to combine my past experiences with the recent place, and it became much better as I was gaining more knowledge about Norway markets.
Do you create as well fusion pastry dishes?
Whether I create new fusion dish with pastry? Yes, I do and I always keep myself up to date since I have many new ideas (chocolate surprise with salted peanut caramel and raspberry sorbet, citron and orange with meringue).
The Nordic Cuisine, one big trend in the world. What does it make so special?
Nordic cuisine means to me the availabilities of many fresh and new products. It helps me to expand my knowledge and experiences by introducing more new and fusion pastry dishes with fine touches.
How would you describe your own style line today?
Talking about myself today, I can say that I am in the middle of the way to top of the mountain of the success and I am looking forward to introduce more up to date market and fusion pastries dishes with an authentic flavours and fine touches in terms of presentations.
What is the best about being a pastry chef?
It is one of the best feelings ever in my life – being a pastry chef in a new country which I can call my second home. And I always believe that dreams become true one day and it is all about what you can do and achieve.
If you could choose any place in the world you have not been yet, where would you like to work as a chef for some time?
I would like to work in Singapore or Malaysia.
Thank you very much, Mahmoud Abdulla.
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