DUBAI: The holy month of Ramadan is back with a long list of TV shows, among which is Syrian Chef Mohammad Orfali’s “Shu Bihib El Orf: Lahme w Bas,” which premieres on April 4 on Fatafeat.
The culinary show is Orfali’s 14th production with the Middle Eastern food and lifestyle TV channel. Each episode will feature a selection of starters, sides and main courses for iftar and sahoor.
“Over the years, the shows on Fatafeat have earned a loyal fanbase, and we constantly strive to provide them with the best content and entertainment possible,” Orfali told Arab News. “Recently, there’s been a high demand for meat-based recipes, so this Ramadan, I’ve worked with Fatafeat to create the third season of ‘Lahme w Bas.'”
For this season, the host will take his viewers on a “gastronomic journey,” where he fuses traditional and international cuisines centered around red meat.
“I often incorporate or fuse recipes from Western, Japanese and Arabic cuisines to create dishes like kufteh (spiced ground beef), khashkash kebab, and katsu sando (a crispy fried meat sandwich),” he explained.
The hardest part of filming the show, he explained, was juggling between presenting and managing the restaurant that he co-owns with his brothers in Dubai, Orfali Bros.
“When we won sixth place in MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, it boosted our visitor traffic, making leaving the restaurant tricky,” he said. “Thankfully, with the help of my reliable team at the restaurant and the Fatafeat management, I overcame this challenge.”
The show will air every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon, Saudi time. It will also be available for streaming on discovery+ via STARZPLAY.
Orfali’s top tip for iftar is to be mindful of the quantity when preparing food. “Often, people eat four to five courses during iftar, so portioning is essential to enjoy the right amount of food whilst avoiding wastage at the same time,” he advised.
Despite his passion for creating new dishes every Ramadan, the chef said that he always celebrates the beginning of the holy month with a dish his mom passed down to him: warak enab, or stuffed grape leaves with dried pumpkin.
The entrepreneur believes that many of the challenges young professionals face at the start of their careers stem from “the fear of making mistakes.”
“Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize failures are the stepping stones to success. Experimenting is essential to finding your path, and this never comes without trial and error,” he advised aspiring chefs. “So be bold, don’t be afraid to learn new dishes and adapt different cooking styles until you find your culinary breakthrough.”