Name: Mohammad Aburezeq
Graduation year: 2013
Current position: Inflight chef/culinary standards team, Etihad Airways
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an in-flight chef – preparing mouth-watering dishes in cramped conditions a mile above ground?
For class of 2013 Les Roches alumnus Mohammad Aburezeq this was a dream job; a dream he fulfilled when he joined Etihad Airways in 2015. As an in-flight chef, Mohammed has already visited more than 30 cities across the world. In fact, so impressive has his sky-high cooking been that he recently joined the company’s culinary standards team.
“The limited resources we have on board the aircraft are definitely the biggest challenge any in-flight chef faces,” he explains. “There is no way to overcome this other than being super-creative in food pairing – and that means having an excellent knowledge of the products you have to hand.”
For the culinary standards team, Mohammad describes the daily work as “fun and challenging”. Tasks include planning all in-flight menus, evaluating the quality and consistency for each cooking station, and gathering feedback from chefs and guests in order to improve standards.
“It’s a fact that we lose the use of most of our taste buds when we are in the air; so deciding which kinds of meal, and in particular the variety and amount of spices it should include, is a big challenge. The way we solve it is to study our guests closely and look at the services they require.”
Before taking to the skies, Mohammad began his culinary journey with his feet firmly on the ground. For his first practical internship as part of his Les Roches studies, he chose to train outside Switzerland.
“This gave me the chance to practice my art in wonderful hotel chains like Rocco Forte and Westin, which opened many doors for me and allowed me to meet and connect with great chefs. Afterwards I joined Hilton in Abu Dhabi, before returning home to my native Jordan to work as a culinary instructor. Then the offer from Etihad came and I jumped at it.”
Thinking back to his time at Les Roches, Mohammad has this lesson to share with current students and readers of this blog, “If I have a message for graduating students it would be this: appreciate all the time you spend in the business communication and IT classes, as well as the discipline required at Les Roches. Because at certain points in your career this will allow you to be the pioneer.”
Thank you to Mohammad for sharing your high-flying story with us!
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