"I grew up in Lebanon and the oldest memories of my childhood are the smell of my mom's homemade cooking and the sound of my father's jazz music."
Alya Hazeem is a Kul IN student coming from capitol of Lebanon, Beirut. As her main aspiration in life is “ invest in something you love”, she decided to steer her career towards culinary profession, which is her biggest passion. Since she admires Mediterranean cuisine, the program Professional Cook of Italian Cuisine, a joint program of Kul IN and ALMA was a perfect match for her. In chasing her dreams she started her international studies for a chef in Europe.
- I grew up in Lebanon and the oldest memories of my childhood are the smell of my mom's homemade cooking and the sound of my father's jazz music. My parents had very odd jobs at that time, my dad owned a record store and my mom was a chef. My parents passed so many values and passions to me. I grew up in an environment where arts and culture are ubiquitous despite the social norms of my country. My mother has always inspired me with her enjoying of cooking eather at home or at work. She used to prepare catering for schools for ten years. Hard work inspires me. I enrolled in a Technical college when I was 16 years, where I could study hospitality and culinary management program. I was so passionate about it, that I even worked several jobs to cover my college fees.
Since I chose as major Hospitality Management, during my studying I applied for the internship in one of the big hotels in Beirut, hotel Phoenicia. I didn't enjoy so much working in a big hotel system in a hospitality management, I was more eager to work in the kitchen. My brother was especially big support for me, he told me to follow my passion. At this moment I decided to start search for a culinary program. Since I needed to save the money for my scholarship I started to work in restaurants in Beirut. As my hobby was DJ-ing I also played music as part time job. I worked as assistant chef in De Prague restaurant. It is international food restaurant, they have been changing menus every two months, so I had a chance to learn and practice a lot, than I was a food consultant in a catering company Hacienda S. A. R.L. Every time I spend in the kitchen I was sure this was what I liked.
CREATIVITY IS LIMITLESS
I have always loved good quality dishes, and this is what inspires me the most in cooking. Using different techniques and combinations, and trying to serve a high quality dish. Studying at Kul IN have been a very interesting experience for me. It opened my eyes on how big is the culinary world and how creativity is limitless. I expected Kul IN would be regular school with lots of theory, but I have learned like I would in a three years at my old college.
APPLYING THE KNOWLEDGE
- Culinary world is massive, there is just too much to learn and there is always new things you got to keep up, and grow through experience and hard work. I would like to be able to have a good chef position. I want to be in a restaurant where I can learn more and apply the knowledge from studying. I would also like to continue with my culinary education. One day I definitely see myself as opening a culinary school in my country for talented passionate chefs, to make their dreams come true.