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Slipping out of her abaya and donning a chef’s cap was no easy task for Khulood Atiq. Today, she is the first female Emirati chef. Here’s how she did it all!
Khulood Atiq’s Story
Watching the women of the house whip up Emirati delicacies is how Khulood recollects her childhood. Born in Dubai, she dropped out from school five times and finally found her calling in cooking. Passion turned profession in 2008 and she took on her first professional cooking role as an assistant for Chef Ali for ‘Hani Wafia‘- a food show on Samaa TV.
Very soon she became an Emirati-speciality chef at the Mina A’ Salam hotel, where she created menus featuring Emirati dishes and trained other chefs to cook local food. After gaining confidence and exposure, Atiq held on to her success baton and participated in the Shanghai expo in 2010. in 2011 she released her own book Sarareed– a cuisine book which has over 80 traditional Emirati recipes and also gives an insight into Emirati hospitality.
The book was published in Abu Dhabi’s Gourmet festival in 2012 and Khulood won the Special Honorary Award for it. Since then, Khulood has taken part in many events including the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the Volvo Ocean Race, live cooking in Abu Dhabi Book Fair 2012 and many other important events.
Khulood can easily be called a chef with a mission- a mission to bring to life Emirati food, which suffers from a lack of awareness. Through her work in the Tourism department Atiq has put Emirati food on the map, raising awareness about the culture and promoting their cuisine. Today, several restaurants serve Emirati food and Atiq dreams of Emirati diners all over the world!