Saudi Arabia

Ahmad’s culinary journey began in Beirut, in his home country of Lebanon. He then moved around the Mediterranean, to places like Sardinia and Marbella, Spain and spent time in Paris, before continuing on to Africa, Algeria and Gambia for a few years then finally moving to the gulf countries. These travels served as a source of inspiration for Ahmad to develop his cooking skills and creativity. After working in Dubai (UAE) and Doha (Qatar) Ahmad is now Chef & Consultant at HMF Hospitality in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

What kind of cook are you ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

I don’t paint or sketch out my dishes, but I still consider myself a creative cook. I really like working with my hands and handling ingredients, but I also like aesthetics and the art of composing a dish; I feel like I can transform an empty plate into a work of art. What I appreciate most, however, is how cooking brings people together and how food impacts their identity.

What is your background ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

I began my career as a cook in Beirut, where I was born, then I worked in different places around the Mediterranean basin like Sardinia and Marbella, as well as in Paris. Then I worked in Algeria and Gambia, before returning to the Gulf countries, in Dubai, Doha and Riyadh.

How do you view your career ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

Cooking is more than a hobby, it is a passion, and if God gives me a long life, I want to cook for the rest of my days.

Where do you get your inspiration from ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

Food is the most important thing after breathing and your heart beating. Eating is a necessity, but it is also the easiest way to share a moment with someone. For me, the best source of inspiration are my travels and the people I meet.

When did you get to know butter ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

I started my career working in restaurants, trained by bakers and pastry chefs. These are jobs that use butter in many recipes. I really learned to use butter at work, because it’s not something that’s taught otherwise.

Sweet butter or lightly-salted butter ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

I work with both, but sweet butter is more practical in the kitchen, because it allows me to add my own personal touch – I can then season it as I wish.

Do you often use butter in your dishes ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

Yes, because many of my recipes contain it; and personally, I also use it every  morning at breakfast.

Any reason why you couldn't do without butter ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

I like food to look natural; as I always try to avoid my plates looking too rigid or too perfect, which runs the risk of looking like plastic. That’s why I like butter, because it not only makes food look great, it also provides perfect texture and incredible flavour.

Is butter essential to the world's cuisines ?
Ahmad Fraijeh :

When you have a pile of pancakes, you can add all the blueberries you want, but they won’t taste as good without butter as the main ingredient.So yes, butter is essential to all cuisines in the world because it enhances the flavour of many dishes.

Découvrez les recettes du chef
Roasted veal medallion with avocado butter