RIYADH: Saudi chef Hatoon Al-Toukhi is touted as one of the top chefs of authentic Italian cuisine on social media.
“It all started when I was fired from my job because of the pandemic. Then I decided to go into the world of social media to show people how I cook Italian food, and they admired the originality of the dishes,” Al-Toukhi told Arab News.
She also showcases her Italian cooking techniques live on several cooking shows.
Married to an Italian family, Al-Toukhi learned cooking techniques from her mother-in-law, learning secret tips and tricks for preparing the perfect Italian dishes.
It’s extremely difficult to win Italians’ approval when it comes to recreating their cuisine, Al-Toukhi said, but the talented chef has received resounding approval from her in-laws and praise from others. for his culinary skills.
“My mother-in-law is Italian and they are very picky about their food and very strict and traditional. So I learned how to make the food from her, and that’s how I fell in love with cooking, and she approves of it,” she said.
Al-Toukhi now runs Italian cooking workshops, teaching students how to prepare authentic Italian sauces, pastas and other traditional dishes.
With an in-depth knowledge of Italian cuisine, Al-Toukhi is also an Italian food critic and pasta taster. “Companies send me pasta before distributing it to suppliers so that I can taste it and give my consent. I also grade pasta according to standards.
The Saudi chef also has a small home-based business, selling her famous tiramisu and fresh pasta packets of lasagna, ravioli, linguini and fusilli, among others.
Al-Toukhi revealed that one of the challenges she faces from the Saudi community is that her authentic Italian cuisine is different from that served in restaurants in the Kingdom, as they often modify the recipes to suit the tastes of the people. inhabitants. “My food comes as a shock to people who are used to Saudi food, but then I tell them that’s how it’s originally made. having my own restaurant, the acceptance of pure taste and the availability of kitchen equipment.
Currently, Al-Toukhi is developing a lifestyle radio show that combines cooking and lifestyle topics.
“I was hosting as a guest on a radio show and they liked the energy I gave. Then the channel contacted me and said they wanted to give me my own radio show. radio. I am excited because it will not only be about cooking, but we will also talk about many social topics,” she said.
As a family, Al-Toukhi has its own traditions with his children, Dana and Yousef, who are ten and four respectively, where they all enjoy a fun day of family cooking.
“When we make fresh pasta at home, everyone has to participate, including my husband, and we play with it. My son plays with it like it’s Play-Doh, and sometimes we invite my mother-in-law to let it become like a nice family event,” she said.