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Chef Aziza Abdul Hussein

My names are Aziza Abdul Hussein. I am currently working as a private Chef and I’m also the owner of a catering company. I am a Muslim lady, born in Mombasa and raised in Nairobi, who has a passion for creating delightful meals. I went to Riverbank Primary School and did my A levels at Ngara Girls High School, and later furthered my education at Kenya Polytechnic Institute where I received my Production and Beverage certification. Afterward, I went to La Contessa college for my Hotel and Management diploma.

My career journey started in 2006 when I worked at Hometown Bakers for about six months; and later joined Crave restaurant, where I worked for a year and 10 months. Later, I joined Pickles restaurant for a year and 9 months. In 2010, I joined Laico Regency for my internship which I did for about five months; and it was here that I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Pius Mwigana and Chef Zablon Rubia. I later joined Kingfry restaurant and was here for one year and 1 month.

In 2012, I joined The Boma Hotels and I worked here for seven years and 6 months. I worked under great chefs, the likes of Chef Archie Athanasius of Hemingways and Chef Weldon of Lake Naivasha Resorts, who was a great mentor and a role model of mine. I started as a cook, then advanced to Chef de Partie. Later on, I was promoted to Production Chef.

I’m also a member and a treasurer of the Supremechef254 Association. Being a member here gave me the opportunity to meet and work with chefs from other parts of Kenya as well as from other countries. e.g Chef Joseph Macharia of Muthaiga Club, Chef Philippe Frydman of SACA (South Africa), and Chef Mwai from the UK. It’s such an honor to be in this forum of good people.

  • Tel: 0712089639
  • Email: abdul.aziza73@yahoo.com
  • Instagram: Azizahussein 7582
  • Page: Rose ktn

THE QUESTIONAIRE

I was born in Mombasa and raised in Nairobi, and I have a passion for cooking. I schooled at Riverbank Primary School, then did my A levels at Ngara High School. I ventured into this career in 2004, and it has been a love affair ever since. I’m single but blessed with a daughter who is 18 years old.

The culinary school you attended?

I studied at the Technical University of Kenya for my Food Production Certificate. I also went to Lacontessa College for my Hotel and Management Diploma, which I successfully completed.

What restaurants have you worked at?

I have worked at;

  • Home Town bakers
  • Crave Ltd
  • Pikkles Restaurant
  • King Fries Restaurant

What was your first job in food?

This is still fresh like it was yesterday; my first job in food was to make chapati. While I was on a break from college, I joined home bakers for attachment and on that first day, I was assigned to make chapati. I did not know that it was a sellout item so by the end of the day I had made a whole bundle!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always loved cooking since I was a kid so becoming a chef was already a calling.

What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?

Creating a dish and knowing that the guest appreciates it and certified is my joy.

Did you have an ‘aha” moment when you wanted to be a chef?

Not really. Actually, I had learned how to cook from my mother, so when I joined college, it was just as formal and learning culinary words and skills.

Best advice you ever got?

Knowledge is endless.

What’s the strangest thing you’re ever eaten?

It was Wasabi, a ready-to-eat earth paste of dried horseradish, mustard, food color, and water. Commonly used as a condiment with sushi.

What is your favorite ingredient?

My favorite ingredient is more of a spice, cumin; it has such a nice aroma.

What is your favorite tool in the kitchen?

My knives

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking?

Reading books and going dancing.

What would you like to do before you get too old for it?

I hope to visit Paris.

Tell us a funny story from the kitchen?

They are many but this is my favorite one. Once when I was still a cook, I got caught eating a piece of meat in the kitchen, so I decided to hide it with my hand behind my back. To my surprise, the Chef had already seen me so he kept on asking me so many questions and I kept on saying “yes Chef” and “no Chef” because the meat was hot and burning my hand. After a while, he just told me you can continue eating the meat your hiding behind your back. I had no choice but to develop many excuses such as having received a wrong order and the one I was eating couldn’t be offered to any of our customers! Shocking indeed!

Who would you like to meet?

Scott Conant, a celebrity chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author.

Who would you like to cook for?

That would be Britain’s Royal family.

What’s the hardest thing for you to learn?

How to control my temper.

How did becoming a chef change your life?

I have worked under great executive chefs eg Chef Archie, executive chef of Hemingways, Chef Pius, executive chef of Oman etc. But my role model is the executive chef of the Nairobi Club, Chef Weldon Ngetich. He’s the one who made me who I am today and my special appreciation goes to him. I also got the pleasure of meeting and working with other chefs from different parts of Kenya, and different countries during the Supreme Chefs’ events eg chef Phillipe Frydman of SACA, Chef Joseph Macharia of Muthaiga Country Club, Chef Timothy Angwenyi, Chef Martin, Chef Mwai, Chef John, Chef Damaris, among many other leading chefs in the country.

Is there something small you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?

Absolutely. I sometimes surprise them with cakes on special occasions and have them delivered to the house. When I get free time, I make meals that we enjoy together.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Well, I started out as a cook in 2012, then after two years was promoted to a chef de partie. After another two years, I was promoted to a production chef and I am grateful and have hope of becoming an executive chef of my own restaurant.

What is your goal?

Owning a restaurant and becoming my own boss.

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