Author: Khalil Chrif Tribak | (43) | Teppanyaki and Sushi master
In our family the fish was the most common ingredient to cook with, not only because of the convenient geographic location of my hometown – it was also our favorite. While I was a young boy I used to love going fishing during summer holidays. After a successful catch, my mother would always teach me how to turn it into a mouthwatering, delicious dish. I was getting more and more skilled at this so by the age of fifteen, I knew how to prepare fish in many different ways. Until present day, fish is my top food on the plate. Even though I had never dreamt of becoming a chef in those early days, looking back at the way I grew up I understand my childhood and upbringing gave me a solid and deep love for food which later shaped my decision to become a chef.
There is a proverb that says the way to someone’s heart goes through the stomach. I can confirm this is entirely true. Instinctually, we relate a full stomach to feelings of home, safety and love. Eating is a pleasure for all our senses. It appeals to sight as well as taste, to emotions as well as mind. Our senses are tightly connected.
When I turned twenty-one, I came to London where I fell in love with Japanese cuisine instantly. After my first training as a Teppanyaki chef, I quickly understood that this profession goes far beyond being just a chef. This style of Japanese cuisine in which food is cooked directly in front of guests on a hot iron plate requires both mastery of the art of this cuisine and mastery of entertaining your guests. To me, it is more like having friends around the dinner table. If my guests just sit around quiet, something’s wrong. But if they are clapping hands, laughing and sometimes literally jumping from their seats, I know that as a chef I have done my job well. I love cooking and seeing my quests leaving the restaurant happy, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. If you wish to become your own kitchen artist, each dish needs to be prepared from quality ingredients. It has to smell, look and taste right. You need to mastermind the knowledge of proper combination of ingredients in order to come up with a dish that people will not forget. And it doesn’t just stop there.
This passion is a constant learning and researching that leads to a great understanding of food industry and people’s full satisfaction. I invite you to try. Food is truly a great way to express yourself artistically; you can have a new start every day.