Hi Chef, could you tell me about yourself?

Hi, my name is [Eldar Kabiri](https://www.facebook.com/eldarkabiri/). People often ask me what led me to pursue [molecular gastronomy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_gastronomy). I was sleeping in the kitchen ever since I was 12 years old. It was the end of the soviet times and our situation was very difficult. My connection to cooking was a matter of survival. We barely had food variety, and my mother didn’t know how to cook. When I was 14, my mother passed away and I had to take care of myself. When I emigrated to Israel,

I had to take care of all my meals. Most of the kids arrived to school on time, but I was always 10-15 minutes late because my break-fast was a break-slow. It was important for me to eat well, so I prepared my freshly baked pancakes, cut the fruits, made fresh orange juice. While working after graduating, I took the longest breaks: I didn’t eat in front of the computers like others do. >”I dedicated my time to eating really good and healthy foods.” Moving to Paris was a matter of putting 1 and 1 together: I was in the heart of the gastronomy empire and I realized where I should invest my passion and talent; cooking became my life. When I was 21 years old, I went to Paris, the most beautiful city in the world (in my opinion) and began my culinary journey. After my computer engineering studies, I wanted to get a Masters Degrees, but right when I got to Paris, I saw beautiful and colorful macaroons. I was so fascinated by them, but at the time I didn’t even know what they were called! In Paris, I discovered a whole new world of tastes and ingredients. It was such a big difference in the food and techniques that we use in central Asia or in the Middle East compared to here. The engineering life became less interesting, so I subscribed to the famous culinary school [Le Cordon Bleu Paris](https://www.cordonbleu.edu/home/en). ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/1.jpg “1”) ###Could you describe your experience at culinary school? I graduated from two culinary schools in Paris. At [Le Cordon Bleu](https://www.cordonbleu.edu/home/en) I studied pastry because I wanted to know how to make fresh baked croissants, the famous macaroons, and baguettes. Studying pastry got me a deep understanding about the precision in kitchen. I believe a good chef has to know all the kitchen skills before choosing to specialize in one. I then did an internship for 3 months at the restaurant Miniatures in Paris. Afterwards, I started another famous culinary school, [Ferrandi](http://www.ferrandi-paris.fr/en), to learn French cuisine. Here, my perception and knowledge about the kitchen completely changed. After successfully graduating the school, I became a completely different person. I then went to do my internship at [Porte 12](http://www.porte12.com/English.html) restaurant, in Paris and stayed there for 6 months. This restaurant was using Asian ideas in French cuisine, which taught me about fusion cuisine. I decided to spend a summer in Brazil and I worked there for 3 months with [Chef Alex Atala](https://twitter.com/alexatala) and his restaurant [D.O.M.](https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurant/Sao_Paulo-01411_011-D_O_M-428596-41102), which has 2 Michelin stars. There, I discovered the Brazilian ingredients, different ways of cooking and working in the kitchen. It was such a great experience to be working in this famous restaurant and discovering the Amazonian secrets: açaí, [tonka](http://www.albertvieille.com/en/products/62-tonka-bean-absolute-brazil.html), different peppers, [guarana](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guarana), local fishes, [farofa](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farofa), tucupi (incredible, mystical juice that pairs well with fish), and manioc. Now I have a diploma from Brazilian kitchens as well. ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/2.jpg “2”) I have a series of videos on my [YouTube channel](https://www.youtube.com/EldarKabiri) where I share my point of view with a colleague from Ferrandi. The investment to culinary school was definitely worth it. I learned a lot of new skills: famous French recipes, how to manage the kitchen, what the day-by-day life is in the restaurant, and what it’s like to be the part of a team. I also did some travels with my school to discover local ingredients, visited wine and cheese producers, and more. School is very short, but very intensive. I had fun, but at the same time it was very stressful because we had to do service at the school restaurant as well. >”Everything was completely new to me: the food, the language, and the culture.” ###Do you have a daily routine? Now that I am not working in a restaurant, but as a private chef and my own projects, I have a diversified routine. Every morning I try to go to the gym to exercise my abdominal and back because I have to stand up all day long. I then prepare meals in the house I work and at the same time I start the [“mis en place”](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mise_en_place) to create new recipes. In the afternoon and my free time, I do short tutorials and photos for my social media accounts. I also research about new culinary trends and read cook books from famous chefs. ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/3.jpg “3”) ###How would you describe your food? I specialize in [French cuisine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_cuisine), but I am influenced by my experiences; from working at restaurants, to my travels. I describe my food as simple and sophisticated at the same time. I apply the French techniques and molecular techniques to fresh and local ingredients. One of my passions, which I developed before going to the culinary schools, is the [Art of Plating](http://theartofplating.com/). For me, eating begins with the eyes. I have an [Instagram (@EldarKabiri)](https://www.instagram.com/eldarkabiri/) and [Facebook page](https://www.facebook.com/eldarkabiri/) where I showcase all my creations. I also get my inspiration from traveling and learning from other countries and their cultures. I love to buy local products, taste local dishes, and learn cooking techniques from other people. >”To cook, is to exchange experiences and knowledge. To work in a restaurant, is to work in a team.” Food is something that connects people and connects cultures. I want to give people new and pleasant dining sensations, challenge their palette, make them breath deeply, and bring a smile on their face. If possible, I also want to bring back good memories and emotions. ###How do you come up with new dishes? My creativite process comes from many different aspects: photos of different plates by famous chefs or cooks, visiting and buying fresh ingredients early morning in the market, imagining something that I would like to eat, and the availability of the products on the market. Sometimes its just comes to my mind while eating or working in the restaurants. Similarly, Picasso and Van Gogh can’t explain the paintings they painted, I can’t explain how I come up with my dishes, I see the dish in my mind and I simply create it on the plate. I have a notebook where I write my recipes and ideas, but I don’t sketch or draw the food that I imagine. I attempt the dishes many times and I choose the best one. Also, in this notebook there are products that I like from all over the world, especially wines and olive oils. ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/4.jpg “4”) ###How did you end up at your current job? A few weeks ago I finished my internship in [Mugaritz](https://www.mugaritz.com/en/) under [Andoni Luis Aduriz](https://www.mugaritz.com/en/andoni-luis-aduriz/co-1276143453/), a 2-Michelin star, and I decided to take some break from the restaurant’s life, and to invest a little in my own projects and myself. Knowing that I have good cooking skills and techniques, I wanted to share my passion for food with the world, but I didn’t have enough capital to invest in my own restaurant. So this summer I decided to feature my [YouTube channel](https://www.youtube.com/EldarKabiri) where I can share with people some techniques and recipes to do good and tasty food at home. On my social medias I have a lot of feedback – people really enjoy what I am doing. ###How would you describe yourself in the kitchen? I am passionate, precise, organized, and extremeley hard working. I never search for any shortcuts while I’m learning or working. Working with me is a challenge. I like to be always on time and go, go, go! The dishes I create should be absolutely perfect otherwise they don’t go out of the kitchen. >”I rarely rest. I am always doing something. If not cooking, then learning something about cooking or creating recipes.”

###What emotions do you feel while you cook? I am very happy doing what I am doing. Though extremely focused and fully concentrated in my kitchen, mistakes are not allowed as they are very expensive to correct them. Cooking is a big challenge to me each time I am in the kitchen. The food I share with people are the ones I would do for myself. Though it is very stressful, I feel very motivated, happy, and proud of myself. >”I am talented at cooking and it is my duty and obligation to share my food with the world.” ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/5.jpg “5”) ###What were your biggest challenges? In life there are a lot of challenges. For me, my biggest challenges were when my mother passed away. I had to learn to take care of myself at the age 14 as my father had serious problems with alcohol. When I moved to Israel at age 15 I had to learn new language and new culture. Then when I moved to France. I had to do it all over again: new language, new culture, abandoning my life as an engineer to start new career, and moving to live in Brazil. >”I suppose this is part of my life, I think we simply get used to any situation we face in life and overcome these problems.” I am always moving from country to country. It is really tough, but I know that this will enrich my culinary experiences and knowledge. This summer I will be back to Kazakhstan, Israel after 12 years of absense. I will be connecting with my roots and learning more about our local cuisine. Life knows where I will be in September! ###What would you tell people about to go into the food industry? I would say you have to be passionate about food. To do really good food, hard work isn’t enough. You really have to live it day by day. It is going to be very hard and take a lot of time and energy. >”I would suggest you to be patient, eat good food, believe in your capacities, don’t give up, and always be on time – it’s important.” ###Who are your role models? All the big chefs like: [Daniel Humm](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Humm), [Massimo Bouttura](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massimo_Bottura), [André Chiang](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Chiang), and [Andoni Luis Aduriz](https://www.mugaritz.com/en/andoni-luis-aduriz/co-1276143453/) because they do more or less the same style of food that I do. Having these chefs as my inspirations will enrich my knowledge and discover interesting techniques. ###What are your signature dishes? I don’t really have a signature dishes to be honest. For me, every dish and creation that I do are equally important. They might be different from one another, but the dishes must look and taste good. Otherwise, as I mentioned earlier, it wont go out of my kitchen. ![alt text](https://du5jgswgfomcl.cloudfront.net/ildarkabiri/7.jpg “7”) ###Do you have any guilty pleasure foods? Not really, but of course like most people, I like to eat hamburgers, french fries, and chocolate even though I know that the food quality in the fast food industry isn’t always the best. ###What are your goals for the future? My goal is to open my own place where I can truly share my passion for food with the entire world. I also wish to connect cultures by serving my food to people from all over the world. >”Once a few years ago I was asked this question and I must say, even though the answer might be a little bit silly, I dreamed of creating a dish that would be so good that it can cause an orgasm.” ###What would you recommend people to try from you? I think my strong side is vegetables. I love working with beautiful, fresh, and seasonal vegetables. Therefore I would propose some of my vegetarian dishes. This way it is available to most of people (carnivores and vegetarians). Also, my plated desserts they are so different with a lot of different flavors and textures.