Meet Riyadh’s talented culinary artists.
Riyadh’s culinary landscape is changing. These chefs have worked hard to break the mold and live out their dreams, satiating your tastebuds and your belly with their deliciously prepared meals.
Riyadh’s Fusion Chef, RAKAN ALORIFI
“Don’t do it for the money. Become a chef if you’re passionate, that’s how you’ll grow and remain dedicated.”
With a degree in marketing, Rakan Aloraifi set out to start his own restaurant. But, due to mismanagement, his restaurant ended up beinglacked onwas short on chefs. Aloraifi took matters into his own hands and helped out in the kitchen, inadvertently discovering his passion for cooking. He eventually shut down the restaurant and moved to California to learn from the masters, working under Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa to learn Japanese techniques. Back in Riyadh, he found an opportunity to start working for Yokari, where he was one of the first few Saudi sushi chefs. Having found keen interest in hot kitchen and Asian cuisine and wanting to learn new techniques, Rakan shifted to Hualan Chinese Restaurant. He plans on starting his own fine dining Levantine restaurant.
Follow Rakan and his amusing life on
Or get a taste of his passion at: Hualan Chinese Restaurant (See map)
Chef Rakan will be appearing in a highly anticipated reality show for top chefs.
Breaking Barriers, WED REDA
“Love cooking from your heart; this love will help you leave a mark no matter where you go.”
Inspired by her mom and driven by her passionate craze for international cuisine since childhood, Wed Saleh Reda has chased her dreams by breaking barriers of all kinds. Wed started learning Arabic cuisine from her mother as it was her favorite. Once she aced it, she then trained herself in international cuisine. Over the past 10 years, she has been focusing on Italian and Japanese cuisines. She now works as a chef at Hyatt Regency, and also caters for the weddings taking place within the hotel. One year back
A year ago, when she started looking for a job, it was hard to get employed due to the conservative nature of the city. But, now the scene in Riyadh has changed drastically and caught up to her. “I hope to see plenty of girls getting employed as chefs and leaving their mark all across the city and the world,” Reda says.
Chef Wed is looking forward to starting her restaurant that serves fusion Saudi food, and she plans on competing in Top Chef Middle East – Season 3.
Chef Wed has a bachelor’s degree in management and had no experience in cooking. She taught herself what she knows from cookbooks written by famous chefs, Master Chef and Top Chef.
Enjoy a glimpse of her passion by following her on:
Indulge in her delicious meals here: Hyatt Regency (See map)
Ouzi with a Side of Funny, ALI ALYOUSEF
“Don’t forget to laugh, enjoy what you are doing and have fun, it makes your cooking better. It makes you good company too. And that’s all you really need— good food, good company.”
Chef Ali Al Yousef chuckles as he tells us that the main reason he became a chef is to win a bet. A Chef friend of his told him that Saudis can’t do anything. He decided to prove him wrong.
And so, despite having a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chef Ali decided to turn his career upside down and pursue his passion for cooking. While the “dare” made for a trigger, as a five-year-old boy, Chef Ali had already started making up his own concoctions and recipes in the kitchen.
Today, Chef Ali is the executive chef for traditional Saudi Dishes at Four Seasons Riyadh. People come to Elements restaurant for its Saudi-themed evening, and to have a generous helping of his renowned Ouzi.
Check out his tempting meals at his Instagram: @Chef_ali_alyousef
You can treat yourselves at: Elements, Four Seasons (See map)