Name: Feras Faisal Alzaid
Restaurant: Community Table
Chef: Thomas Keller.
Cooking show: Iron Chef.
Cookbook: The French Laundry.
Q: What experience most defined your decision and desire to get into the food industry?
I was a political science major, but felt a bit lost in a field that wasn’t satisfying me, creatively. I was already researching ingredients and cooking as a hobby, so when I decided to drop out of university and follow my passion for food, I was challenged and motivated. I made the Dean’s List in Culinary School, and was offered an international apprenticeship in Turkey. That experience gave me a sense of purpose. When I returned, I wanted to surround myself with people that believed in a true community-based culinary movement, bringing people together through food, and helping to progress our culinary scene forward.
Q: What do you love the most about your current job?
Creating different menus based on my surroundings and cooking for diverse crowds of foodies, chefs and curious locals. It’s very rewarding to cook the kind of food you believe in, rather than having to cater to a specific target audience with marketing schemes or food fads.
Q: Where is your favorite place to shop for food and ingredients in Kuwait?
Abdali farms, like Sadeer and Kenaneya Farms is where I source most of my ingredients. I also love Mubarikiya – [it] always inspires me to go ingredient hunting there.
Q: What food most reminds you of your family’s house, and why?
Chicken majboos: The family recipe has been carried down for generations. It reminds me of the communal table my late Grandma would seat us in for lunch every week. It would be full of sides like samboosas and stuffed grape leaves, with large trays of majboos surrounding them. It also triggers funny memories of fighting with my cousins over who gets the chicken skin, or drumstick, or who can eat the most.
Q: When you want to go somewhere else to eat, where do you go and why?
Baker and Spice gives me that “fresh food, done right” fix. I like Table Otto, especially when the weather is nice for a walk in the park. I’m also still a shawarma and coke fan to be honest, it just depends on the mood. A Korean spot in the city or some Indian hole in the wall is where I usually end up.
Q: Who in the world would you most like to cook for?
Q: Name 3 ingredients that start with the first letter of your name.
Flour, fennel and figs.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest food trend of 2018?
I think the ice cream and coffee markets will continue to grow because of the friendly ambiances the different locations offer.