Aamir Hashmi


Talented Chef
Aamir Hashmi

Aamir joined The Cambridge High School – Abu Dhabi as a young boy in Year 4. He completed his IGCSEs at the school and immediately joined an entry programme at Herriot Watt University in Dubai to study Business Administration. But he quickly realised that he didn’t see himself in an office; rather in the kitchen. He therefore joined the International Centre for Culinary Arts in Dubai and completed a short three-month course in basic French cooking. This gave him the qualifications he needed to work in hotel restaurants. “At 20, I worked as a chef at Ritz-Carlton JBR,” recalls Aamir. “When I look back, that’s where I built all my techniques and foundation. I worked in eight of the nine restaurants at the resort. It allowed me to work with different chefs and different cuisines.” It was during his time at the Ritz-Carlton that the Emirates Culinary Guild approached one of the chefs at the hotel. They needed someone under 25 to join their team – and, to cut to chase, Aamir ended up being selected to be part of the UAE’s national culinary team together with eight other chefs. “My first competition was in Hong Kong. It was a cold buffet for 500 people and we had under 24 hours,” explains Aamir. “We were judged by restaurateurs and hospitality heads from different Marriott establishments in Singapore, Germany, Thailand, you name it. After 37 hours of nonstop working, we were ranked in second place. That was a surreal moment for me.” While at the Ritz-Carlton, Aamir took his 30 days of vacation and went to a sister hotel in Barcelona, where he worked at two-Michelin-star restaurant Enoteca. “Working with chef Paco Pérez introduced me to new modern gastronomy,” says Aamir. “It was such a fulfilling experience. I account a lot of my skills to it.” For the Annual GCC Summit in 2018, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, Aamir and another colleague were invited to be on a taskforce responsible for feeding 1,700 guests including former US President Barack Obama. Aamir was on butcher duties, deboning 160kg of chicken in a single day. In 2018, Aamir pursued his bachelor degree in Culinary Arts at BHMS in Switzerland. With his diploma and extensive experience, he was granted entry into the third year, which comprised six months of study and six months of internship. For the latter, he went to the US for a year and worked at a resort in Sedona, Arizona. “I had more of a supervisory and managerial position,” he says, “though I helped with creating the seasonal menu, too. It was very enriching to see people come in and choose the food I had put on the menu.” Aamir now works as a recipe developer with Hello Chef in the UAE. He credits his ability to connect with people from different cultures and to work in teams to his experience at school. “If there’s something you’re never bored of doing, pursue it,” urges Aamir. “At least try it. I’ve never seen my job as ‘work’; I see it as being paid to do what I love and learn what I love.”

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