Creating purees, chops, and grounds, for the finest hospital in the world. Well, I have to say when I got the call that I was to be teaching textured modified diets to a bunch of European & Middle Eastern chefs, I certainly was flattered and somewhat concerned. Did I know enough about this to teach it to a group of established chefs who all create fine hotel and restaurant food on a daily basis? Was I good enough to stand in front of this group to captivate their senses and talents and guide them to build a tex mod program better than anyone’s in the world? Well, I had my doubts, but the results as stated by these pictures assured me that calling DM&A and our Culinary Team was exactly what they needed.
My job in this was clear – to teach them how to process all food items to the correct consistency and then teach them to plate the purees as if they were serving royalty because they are serving royalty and some of the wealthiest UAE nationals in the Middle East.
Two separate 6-day sessions a few months apart to teach the basics of tex mods and creative plating. I had no idea of the relationships I would forge with men and women from around the globe and such very talented people too. These chefs were hard working and unbelievably talented. All of whom were working in Abu Dhabi but sending money back to their families in other countries.
I expected to have communication and cultural barriers, such as language, religion, and political. None. Nothing. We were simply healthcare chefs united by one mission to create the finest tex mods food on the planet.
And that exactly what we did!
My students, cooking staff at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), were from many different countries and religions. We talked openly about politics, religion, and even sex and how our backgrounds and beliefs were so different. Our group conversations was enlightening for me as well as for them.
I found that culinary arts people care more about the expansion of their craft as it relates to food from abroad than they were interested in trying to persuade one to believe what their religion or politics stated. It was great food, great learning, and great comradery for 6 days straight. The individuals I met and had the privilege of working with were some of the kindest, most polite, and considerate people I’ve ever engaged. I will be returning once again to Abu Dhabi in December to assist in the full go live. I can’t wait to see my new chef friends from around the globe!