What’s Cooking? With Farah El Charkawy

Farah El Charkawy

The lawyer-turned-chef Farah El Charkawy always knew she will have a career in food.  “From the first day I started my career as a lawyer, I believed deep inside, that one day I will be a pastry chef,” Farah recalls.

She discovered her passion for cooking while she was in France completing her Masters’ degree

“I experienced in France a whole new level of gastronomy! I tasted things that I’ve never tasted before, flavors that I didn’t even know existed”

Tonka Raspberry Tarts by Farah El Charkawy
Tonka Raspberry Tarts by Farah El Charkawy

Focusing on pastries, Farah El Charkawy didn’t exactly take the simple route;  Baking requires more precision and delicacy. “I find it more scientific and more technical compared to cooking,” she says.

Starting out as a chef, Farah faced some obstacles…

“The greatest obstacle was finding a place that gives me the same enriching experience as the one I had in France,” Farah explains. She practiced in her own kitchen, with lots of trials, reading, and working on projects to test the market and herself.

When it comes to the food industry in Egypt, Farah believes presentation and taste need improvement

Peanut Chocolate Tart by Farah El Charkawy
Peanut Chocolate Tart by Farah El Charkawy

“Firstly, to work on the pastries’ presentation. In my opinion, pastries in Egypt need to be more fashionable and attractive,” Farah continues, “secondly, improving the quality of taste which has to do with the used ingredients and choice of recipes.”

When it comes to the food industry, sexism is an issue that is brought up frequently. However, female representation is increasing, “I believe there are more and more women that are integrating the chef’s career,” Farah says

“People are getting more used to seeing female chefs.”

As for comfort foods, Farah goes the traditional way, “fries and chicken pane! I never get bored of them. For desserts, a warm apple cinnamon tart with vanilla ice cream,” she concludes.

Follow Farah on Instagram for some mouth-watering content.

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