The original Dhivehi article was published on Sun.mv website on 13th September 2017.
The following is a loose translation:
Born to Shaviyani Atoll Foakaidhoo Island, Ahmed Fatheen was never a cook. Cooking was not among his talents and he was never keen in cooking. Fatheen used to be a teacher in the island school. He got into cooking after leaving teaching during an internship programme in a resort. However, Fatheen who dived into culinary arts without an interest in cooking, having gone head to head with international level chefs, attained high accolades and is now a true pride and glory of the Maldives.
Fatheen who is now working as a chef in Bandos Maldives Resort has taken part in the Hotel Culinary Asia’s International Culinary Challenge for three times now.
Apart from the Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge, Chef Fatheen has also participated in the Culinary Challenge in Hong Kong and brought immense joy to the Maldives after winning a Silver Medal.
Fatheen is a talented chef, who has the ability to put aside other renowned international chefs and win in world culinary challenges.
He will also take part Knorr’s Master of Seasoning in Dubai
Best Buy Maldives (BBM) is a company who had been committed to promoting hospitality industry, especially Maldives’ food and beverage area. They had been conducting training programmes and sending chefs to different parts of the world for training.
BBM’s CEO Mohamed Mazloom said the company’s aim is to train Maldivians working in the Food and Beverage industry from world experts in the field.
BBM who had been importing Unilever products had once again opened up a wonderful opportunity for Chef Fatheen. Unilever Dubai who had introduced Knorr items to Middle Eastern market had also launched for the first time this year ‘Knorr The Master of Seasoning’ competition, where Chef Fatheen will be contesting.
To pick contenders for that competition they opened up a chance for every country to cook a dish using Knorr products and among the best 10 dishes from each country who got the most votes was selected to enter into the contest. The dish which got the most votes — Chef Fatheen’s ‘Trio of meats’, became the dish most liked even from the whole region.
‘Foreigners also took part in that challenge under Maldives. But, because my dish got the most votes from the Maldives and from the whole region, I am very thrilled,’ said Fatheen.
This competition will be a whole new experience
Knorr the Master of Seasoning isn’t just a competition. Chef Fatheen identifies it to be a great life learning experience. He believes that he would get to learn a lot of new things from the event which also includes a one-week culinary masterclass.
‘I reckon the challenge after the classes would be so far the toughest challenge I will be facing. Top chefs from around the world will be amongst them and the judges will also be master chefs,’ said Fatheen.
In that challenge, every chef has to cook from ingredients from the ‘Mystery Box’. None of the contestants would have a clue of what will be in the box. To win it, the contestants must use the ingredients and make the best tasting and best-looking dish.
For Chef Fatheen, the competition doesn’t make him nervous. He has the full confidence to prepare a dish given any ingredient.
‘There is not much of a preparation for this competition. Based on what I have learnt, whatever there may be in the mystery box, I have the confidence to whip up a good dish,’ said Fatheen.
Chef Fatheen always tries to make every dish differently. He always aims to give a touch of his own and present the dish in a beautiful manner.
My learning experience isn’t just for a name, I want to serve too!
Chef Fatheen said the certificate from the Knorr the Master of Seasoning competition, will be a world-class standard one. After that, he will be able to conduct his own training programmes. Therefore, Fatheen’s direction is towards training Maldivians in the same field,
Chef Fatheen, who had been helping people working in the same culinary area, aims to return to Bandos Maldives after the competition and to conduct training programmes there.
I faced the teasing from my friends and other people when I switched to this career, head on with my growing love for cooking. Fatheen believes that if a job is an ethical job, then it won’t be a low job.
Chef Fatheen believes that as a Maldivian to compete in world-class culinary competitions and to receive awards is a great honour and privilege.