Chef Ali Cherati of Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Chef Ali is the executive chef at Park Hyatt Zanzibar

I never actually set out to be a chef as my father is a great chef and I knew how difficult is to be chef and manage family life; his busy schedule at work meant it was hard to spend time with him.

So I can say that cooking passion at first was in my blood then become a choice. 🙂

But when I was helping my mother in her kitchen at home, I realized that I had a lot of  knowledge about produce without even trying to learn. That’s when you know you have a real passion, when you are absorbing information and applying it productively without even noticing.

I first worked as a waiter at age 18 for one year, I fell in love with the energy of the professional kitchen,the bonding, and commitment. The dedication to pushing yourself to the limits, all of these made me realize I didn’t just want to commit myself to my relationship with food, but I absolutely needed to!

Then once I had my first shift on the line, it confirmed that I made the right choice.

My favourite Zanzibari ingredients include spices, herbs and fruits (cinnamon, as well as all the organic herbs and fruits) and my favourite dish is Urojo (also known as Zanzibar mix).