I have just returned from a great new experience! I was working on a tv cookery program with Emirati Chef, Chef Khulood Atiq for Abu Dhabi TV. As I work mainly on stills and tv comercials it was great to see how a tv program is put together. Our set was modern and clean, white and turquoise with accents of red props including red Kenwood machines which I was of course pleased to see.
I was in charge of setting the themed table on set as each episode has a different them and styling the dishes for the close up shots.
The control room was upstairs where the director David Coyle from the UK would switch from camera 2 to camera 3, back to close ups on camera 1 etc. I however spent most of my time in either the props room or in the back kitchen which got fairly chaotic on a daily basis!
This is where we prepped all the ingredients and made some of the dishes ahead of time. ”Here’s one I made earlier!!”
I have been trying to get more knowledge of Emirati food and it is surprisingly hard to find this information so I was grateful to Chef Khulood who works as a Emirati Food Consultant for TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) who taught me so much. She cooked everything from Semach Al Hasho, stuffed fish to Sagaw, sago. We also diversified into Emirati sushi made with rocca and spiced hammour and Emirati pizza. I have learned that saffron, cardamom powder, sugar, flour and ghee are key ingredients in Emirati cuisine.
I have to say a huge thank you to Executive Producer-Charbel who did everything from buying props to washing the dead goat in the shower! Script Writer and ingredients coordinator Susie who taught me Arabic everyday and Assistant Executive Producer-Jaad who spent most of his time in the supermarket but kept us all entertained, all from Firehorse in Lebanon.
And yes, the last episode was cooking a whole goat in true Emirati style! It was the first time I had seen one being prepared for cooking and now I can definitely say I have styled a baby goat. Always a winner on the CV!!!!
Watch Sarareed with Chef Khulood on Abu Dhabi Emirates channel everyday throughout Ramadan at 3pm.