Khola Ishfaq (An Examplary Chef in the heart of Jeddah)
Conducted on May 12 ,2017
By: Saniya Owais
“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there”, said Theodore Roosevelt, and so genuine is the thought. Because, yes, faith and determination is but the first step on the ladder to success.
Khola Ishfaq- vibrant, cheerful, and an embodiment of the above mentioned qualities, is one of our favourite home based chef and owner of Food Relation, who, over the period of time, has gained the name and fame that most women in Saudi Arabia (especially home makers) dream of. Was it luck by chance that got her where she is, or is there a story to tell about the hardships and struggle involved in her success? I met with her today to find out in an exclusive interview:
How long have you been in the field of catering?
I’ve been doing this work since 2012.
Have you always been a cooking lover or the interest developed over time?
Always been it.
Do you have kids? If yes, was it hard to manage your business alongwith them? How did things work out?
Yes, mother of 5 kids Alhamdulillah. At the beginning everything is hard but once you get a hang of it, things set into place & the same happened with me, but by the grace of Allah Almighty, I managed. My daughters have been of a lot help for me. They helped me in packing frozen & other items (but now they’ve moved to Pakistan n for higher studies) & on top of all my husband, without his total support I wouldn’t be where I am today, I’m grateful to Allah for blessing me with such a supportive husband.
You do know food is the weakness of majority of Asians. What dishes do you have on your menu which sell like hot cakes?
Haha yes, I agree to your point. Food is the weakness of every person I guess. Well umm, people love my haleem, biryani, nihari, chicken65, mutanjan.
What kind of struggle did you go through to get where you are? Were there any obstacles and how did you overcome them?
The struggle I went through was cooking in huge amount at times, which I wasn’t used to but now I am & I overcome them by the passage of time & practice for sure I would say.
Would you recommend women of your type, with your kind of talent to take this up as a career and promote it? Hows the scope in Jeddah as per your experience?
Yes I would definitely recommend them to take this up as a career because it’s a really good field for a woman specially for those who love to cook, so yea. Scope in Jeddah, well when I started this there were hardly one or two ladies doing this job but now MashaAllah there are many more ladies in the same profession, so definitely the scope of it has increased in Jeddah.
What is your favourite dish of your own?
Haha, I love all my dishes but yes my personal favorite dishes are Biryani and Haleem.
Do yo think you have achieved the target/challenge that you had set for yourself or theres more to it?
Alhamdulillah I never thought I’d be here where I am today so definitely yes I’ve achieved a lot & there’s always room for more InShaAllah.
Link to her Facebook page: