Chef: Faisal Al Nashmi
Restaurant: STREET at Al Makan
Title: Executive Chef
My Breakfast: Whatever’s on the table
My Knives: Wusthof classic knife set
Most Overused Spice: Dried lime (loumi)
Favorite Foodie Destination: London
Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Sous-vide water bath
Favorite Food Aroma: Sauéed garlic and onion
Q: Why did you first get into cooking?
I realized food gave me comfort whenever I was stressed. It happened by chance and now it became a profession. What was once a chore, now turned to a lifestyle.
Q: Where were you before you came to Kuwait?
I lived in Miami for 4 years completing my Bachelors in film and photography, then another year in London for cooking school.
Q: Describe your favorite dish from your home country.
Anything really, I cannot resist home cooked food. Rice has to be on my lunch menu every single day (ask my mom). But lamb stew with rice is one of my all-time favorites with a bit of chutney…Oh God.
Q: Name three ingredients you can’t live without in the kitchen.
Garlic, sugar, sesame oil.
Q: What is the most important part of a sandwich?
The bread. Unfortunately we live in a certain stage in time where the art of bread making has been lost and bakeries have turned into factories. The quality of bread no longer exists, so being able to actually taste high quality bread signifies a truly good sandwich. It’s the bed and blanket to the whole equation.
Q: How does your personality differ inside and outside the kitchen?
It doesn’t really. I’m the same Faisal, except when it comes to crossing the line. For example, when acquaintances start throwing tantrums at my kitchen staff.
Q: When you’re not cooking, what do you do for fun?
I read cookbooks or watch YouTube videos about cooking. That’s how I expand my knowledge on food. My life revolves around food.
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you like to be?
In another life I was supposed to be a Hollywood film director, but umm yeah I don’t really think so. It was too much to handle.
Q: If you could choose, what would your “last supper” be?
Braised meat on the side of mandi (slow cooked goat on rice) with crispy fat and a bit of lamb stew. Oh, and for dessert, my Mom’s Om Ali. And I shall rest in peace.