Pakistani chef Hina Shoaib has achieved significant recognition by clinching a prestigious award at the 10th edition of the Foodex Saudi Expo.
Shoaib’s culinary prowess shone brightly in the “Foodex International Cooking Competition” held in Saudi Arabia, where she outperformed 128 chefs from various countries, leaving an indelible impression on an esteemed panel of international judges.
In recognition of her culinary excellence, chef Shoaib received the bronze medal and an accompanying certificate from senior chefs Thomas Gugler and Daniel Meyer, securing a well-deserved third place in the competition. Overjoyed and profoundly grateful, she expressed her pride in representing Pakistan on a global stage.
“I am proud to be a Pakistani. To have my country’s name mentioned at such a level, especially when competing with chefs from other countries, is an unforgettable moment,” Shoaib exclaimed.
Afshan said she wanted to highlight the unique taste of Pakistani cuisine in the kingdom, where people usually have trouble separating it from Indian food.
Shoib said it was a matter of “great pride and honor” for her to stand among the best chefs in the world and that too, without proper training.
The Foodex Saudi Expo 2023 served as an engaging platform that attracted the most talented chefs from Pakistan to participate in various categories, all while undergoing evaluation by international judges. This event underscores the commitment to fostering competition and showcasing culinary excellence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to Arab News, Afshan said she wanted to highlight the unique taste of Pakistani cuisine in the kingdom, where people usually have trouble separating it from Indian food.
“My main purpose is to highlight unique Pakistani cuisine because unfortunately, we are far behind Indian cuisine in Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News over the phone from Jeddah, adding that this was the second time she had won prizes at a culinary competition in Saudi Arabia.
“I won second prize at the Foodex Saudi in March 2022 held at the Jeddah exhibition center,” she said. “This time again, I won two bronze medals in the competition held in Riyadh this month.”
For Afshan, the competition’s ‘mystery box challenge’ was the most demanding, requiring chefs to prepare a dish from whatever ingredients came out of a box.
“You have to cook or bake it then and there in 45 minutes by utilizing those things,” she said.