As a political science graduate from Delhi University, this twenty-six-year old chef from Iqbalabad from south Kashmir's district Anantnag broke stereotypes and won hearts Mexico to mainland.
In order to discover his interest in culinary arts during his college days, Abrar Wani, is now establishing himself with prominent international brands to change story on the table. He is pursuing a career that few young boys in Kashmir dream about, and fewer actually pursue. He is a professional chef, with formal education and training in culinary arts, and has worked extensively in leading restaurants and hotels internationally.
Wani has graduated with a diploma in International Mexican cuisine from Corbuse Mexico and later joined Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts Bangalore.
"During my college days, when I would cook quite often for my friends and acquaintances. I was encouraged by a lot of people to take it as a fulltime profession. As I started exploring different cuisines and learnt about different spices and ingredients, I was amazed by the diversity of the culinary world. This is when I began to think of a possible career in gastronomical studies and practices," Wani told Greater Kashmir.
"The stereotypes that our society has attached with this profession makes it undesired to a lot of people. But I, with the constant reassurance from my well-wishers, chose to move beyond such strictures. In this regard, it has been a blessing to get ample support from my family who have been a great source of encouragement for a profession that remains highly unconventional at the best."
'Lessons of Life'
Wani says his mother, who herself happens to be a remarkable chef has put this love towards food in him. "When you truly want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it. Thus, it happened that in 2018 the sincerity of my interests opened up ways for me that landed me into one of the finest culinary institutes at Mexico which had a profound impact on my understanding of the very profession," he says. "I started my career with explorations into and experimentations with the Mexican cuisine. I graduated with a diploma in International Mexican cuisine from Corbuse Mexico. My reason for doing so was to get to know more about the Mexican gastronomical traditions and to get myself acquainted with the techniques used in there. The challenge for me in the beginning was to accommodate the vast cultural and linguistic differences between my place of origin and Mexico," he says, adding "I have since then been engaged with experimenting the fusion-cuisines. Furthermore, I got a few opportunities from my alma mater to participate in different competitions to demonstrate my creativity with the amalgamation of Indo-Mexican cuisines."