Unarguably, no other continent boasts of such an elaborate variety of cuisines as Asia. Every country here bristles with something new and exciting for the palate. From China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea to Vietnam, Bhutan, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and many others, the entire region is abundant in seafood, meats, garden fresh veggies and fruits, as well as indigenous herbs and spices. We got in touch with Chef Adam Schihab, who has been a pioneer in Vanilla Catering Saudi Arabia for years.
Chef Adam Schihab specializes in wok delicacies along with his additional expertise in Arabic, Malaysian, fusion Cantonese, modern Chinese as well as German and French cuisines. Chef Adam Schihab enjoys a double decade-long culinary career with some of the most celebrated brands in the industry. He currently keeps himself busy by innovating unique flavors of Saudi Arabia fused with modern delight Vanilla Catering. We caught up for a quick chat –
- Share your story with us. What prompted you to take up cooking?
I was born in the Maldives and studied at the Institute of Hotel & Catering Services. I received my Master’s Degree in International Management from the University of Liverpool. I was trained in Pastry schools in Paris, France, and at HTC’s French Culinary School in Asia and so got the flavor of food.
- How did your love for wok cooking emerge over other culinary techniques?
I have worked with most aspects of cooking, from dim sums to barbeque and others. Wok cooking is something that comes to me naturally, I feel in total control of my craft when I am cooking any wok specialty.
- One of the biggest challenges in your culinary journey?
I think being consistent is the biggest challenge. You have to keep your craft up, the taste and textures in balance to offer the same exquisite experience to your customers year after year. At the same time there is a need to not get monotonous or boring in the longer run.
- One of the biggest myths or misconceptions about the cuisine you prepare?
I would say that there is a lack of awareness about it but there is no myth or misconception as such.
- Share with us three key tips to create the perfect stir fries.
Speed, right temperature and exquisite finish (plating).
- Can you share about your experience and where are you at the moment?
I am currently based in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, I have worked in ten other countries—Italy, Maldives, Indonesia, the United States, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Qatar, the Philippines, and Oman. I had the opportunity to work and cater att five-star hotels and resorts around the world including the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hilton Dusit Thani, Ritz-Carlton, and Relais & Châteaux in France.
- We would love to know about you experience too!
I am chef, entrepreneur, food influencer with a notable career trajectory and have more than 23 years of extraordinary achievements list. I am enthusiastic about working with fresh culinary produce, designing innovative recipes and promoting restaurant ratings. Apart from that, I am also an outstanding communicator, administrator and problem solver.
- Asians meals are generally hearty and wholesome, whereas the fine dining experience moves toward smaller portion sizes. How do you achieve a balance?
I think fine dining experience these days ensures appropriate portioning; portions at Vanilla Catering are certainly not small but apt and filling.
- What did Arabic food teach you? Did you have to work additionally to cater to the Arabic palate?
I enjoy Arabic food a lot. I am fascinated by the cuisine, its variety – it is rich and vibrant. Catering to a different set of customers always entails some amount of research and expertise. I am trying my best to create the most authentic cuisine which our Indian guests are aware about and relish with great delight.
- We know you have a passion to guide people and create awareness as well. How fans can reach you to get inspiration/advice from you?
I have used social media and my passion for entrepreneurship and food to build a network of the world’s best culinary professionals. I am always looking to partner with new business professionals and chefs to take on the next thrilling food project.
You can explore my latest baking and gourmet daily adventures on Instagram: @vanilla__sa @Vanillaksa and @adamschihab.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram ( @adamschihab ), you’ll want to buy my recipe book, The islander Chef, which features all my assorted recipes you’ve seen looking for. It covers a huge variety of the following recipes:
* Decadent chocolate cake
* French Chocolate tart