UAE’s youngest chefs serve delightful inspirations
at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2023
Twins Abdulrahman and Maitha display maturity beyond their 14 years of age as well as passion for cooking to peers equally inspired by the culinary world
Sharjah, May 07, 2023
Children can never be too young to explore their interests as culinary creators and parents can only do well to encourage them when they want to. A perfect example was on display at the 14th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) where the youngest certified chefs of the UAE, twins Abdulrahman and Maitha Al Hashimi, 14, served culinary gems to visitors on Saturday.
Born to parents from engineering backgrounds, the siblings are the youngest chefs to receive diplomas from the International Centre for Culinary Arts in Dubai. They made two dishes – Chicken Teriyaki with fried rice, and Orzo Al Taybeen – as a blend of Emirati cuisine with Italian and Asian flavours. They used dates to blend in with the sauce for the Teriyaki-style chicken.
“They decide the menu; they even discuss and get invited to events where people want them to come up with dishes of their own, and this has been going on for a long time; even during Ramadan when us parents tend to take it easy,” says the mother Eng Hind Al Kindi.
Though Abdulrahman looked more comfortable taking charge, sister Maitha is always complimenting with her flawless team spirit. “When we have different ways to make a dish, we end up cooking two, in our unique styles, and then get a vote on which is better,” Abdulrahman noted. “Or we mix both ideas and come up with another!” quips Maitha instantly.
Their mother recalls how they started with helping in preparing meals as two-year-olds to their grandmother and the passion never dipped. The twins are grandchildren of famous Emirati poet and translator Dr Shihab Ganem.
With chef diplomas under their belt early, Mrs Al Hashimi says their vision is to open a Michelin-star chain of restaurants, but other careers will remain an option.
There are 12 chefs from nine countries, including the twins, who are displaying their culinary skills through more than 30 events during the 12-day festival, which ends May 14.