Chef Salim Mohammad Al Ashi is the Head Chef at InterContinental Doha The City, which has been his second home since the opening of the 5-star hotel in 2012.
Hailing from Jordan, Chef Salim is not a stranger in Qatar. He has been in Qatar since 2000, first joining InterContinental Doha, then moved to InterContinental Doha The City when it opened in 2012.
Prior to coming to Qatar, Chef Salim was leading kitchens in 5-star hotels in Amman, Jordan such as Dunes Club, Regency Palace Amman, Le Méridien Amman, which is now Le Grand Amman, and more.
Marhaba was able to interview Chef Salim about his long hospitality career in Qatar and InterContinental Doha The City.
You’ve been in Qatar for many years. Why did you choose Qatar as the next step in your culinary career and how do you think it will further enrich your career?
For the last two decades, my passion for culinary arts has led me to make Qatar my home. Back then, the country’s culinary scene was still in its nascent stage. However, over the past 23 years, I have had the privilege of contributing to and participating in some of the most significant events hosted by Qatar. This experience has provided me with a unique perspective on food and culture, inspiring me to blend traditions and cultures in my culinary creations.
Prior to joining InterContinental Doha The City, you were at InterContinental Doha. Why did you choose to join the InterContinental group?
When choosing a brand to work with, InterContinental’s global reputation for luxurious hospitality and high standards was important to me. With a variety of brands and destinations, I had the opportunity to explore different culinary styles. This experience not only improved my cooking skills but also gave me a better understanding of international tastes.
You’ve gone from being a first chef to an executive sous chef to executive chef to butcher chef to commissary chef to now the head chef at InterContinental Doha The City. What’s the job role you’ve enjoyed the most? And please tell us what this growth means to you.
Being the head chef at InterContinental Doha The City has been the highlight of my career journey. While each role I’ve taken on has presented its own unique challenges and rewards, this position represents the culmination of years of hard work, learning, and adaptation. My responsibilities extend far beyond simply overseeing the kitchen – I strive to create unforgettable experiences for our guests, push culinary boundaries, and leave a lasting impact on Qatar’s culinary scene. This growth demonstrates my ongoing dedication to my craft and my unwavering commitment to pushing my culinary limits further than I ever thought possible.
Tell us about your kitchen and what kind of environment is it?
Our kitchen is the hub of culinary innovation. It’s a haven for creativity, driven by a devotion to providing outstanding dining experiences. The ambiance is vibrant, as chefs work together effortlessly to actualise diverse culinary concepts. Their work is not just a job but an ongoing education, where creativity is encouraged and nurtured.. The atmosphere is supportive and empowering, allowing each chef to showcase their individual style while maintaining the utmost standards of excellence and flavour.
Tell us about the restaurants at InterContinental Doha The City. What makes them unique and how do they add to Qatar’s fine dining sector?
We take pride in our restaurants that showcase the art of culinary storytelling. Each restaurant boasts a unique personality that embodies a specific cuisine or concept. You can indulge in a journey of international flavours at The Square, explore modern Asian cuisine at The Asian Kitchen, or treat yourself to a delightful French cuisine experience at La Parisienne. Our secret lies in our ability to blend global inspirations with local ingredients, creating a fusion that perfectly aligns with Qatar’s cosmopolitan culture. With our diverse dining options, we are committed to contributing to Qatar’s fine dining sector by setting high standards and offering a wide variety of culinary choices.
Do you have any additional comments?
I feel privileged to be a part of Qatar’s flourishing culinary scene. The path that led me here has been an incredible mix of various cultures, flavours, and experiences that have broadened my culinary skills. I am eager to keep experimenting with new ideas, creating unforgettable dining experiences, and adding to Qatar’s culinary heritage. I invite you all to come to InterContinental Doha The City and enjoy our exceptional dining experiences..
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