I am Suman Ali Sayed. I am a second-generation Bahraini.

My professional culinary journey began at 17 when I landed my first job as an entry-level cook at the Golf Club near my home, which had a fantastic food and beverage program. This experience ignited my passion for the culinary arts even more and led to a scholarship for culinary studies in Jordan. I didn’t look back after that. Later, I pursued a post-graduate program in Culinary Management in London, Ontario. When I first started, I would make 150 poached eggs a day, different variations of eggs, and I loved every bit of it.

My enthusiasm drove me to extend my learning beyond regular hours, interning in various kitchens to acquire diverse techniques and recipes. Throughout the years, I have collaborated with luxury brands, esteemed restaurants & corporate Culinary Brands. I’ve been a featured Chef on the James Beard Nominated Canadian Food Docu-Series “From the Wild.” Now, I focus on my passion project, “House of Khaleej,” where we offer exclusive culinary experiences in Canada, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. The essence lies in educating guests about “Khaleej Cuisine,” delving into the ancient culinary techniques and diaspora food influences in the Arabian Gulf region.

Middle Eastern food is so much more than falafel and shwarma. Cooking outdoors on an open flame, we pay homage to diverse cultural traditions while using Canadian regional ingredients. As a woman, one of my goals is to be a role model for others breaking into the culinary industry. Despite often being the sole female chef in kitchens, I remember being told, ‘A woman’s place is in the home kitchen, not the professional kitchen,’ ‘Wait till you see her fail in this career.’ Rather than letting those words bring me down, I used them as motivation. Once the coat is on, a chef is a chef. Never doubt your ability to succeed.

Practice consistently, maintain a learning attitude, stay humble, and never look down on your team. Being a chef is a collaborative effort.

Credits 📸 From The Wild 📺