Points of View

Chef Ahmad Salameh: "Innovation is Based on Tradition"

By FDL on

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Chef Ahmad Salameh: "Innovation is Based on Tradition"

This is the eighth article of a ten-part series featuring interviews with chefs competing in the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014.

We first introduced you to Ahmad Salameh when he was selected to represent his home country of Israel in the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014. Now, with just days until the special regatta takes over the Venetian Lagoon we'd like to share a special interview we conducted with the talented chef.

Salameh works at La Regency Restaurant at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. His signature dish is tomato leather with sea fish salad but it's too soon to know if he'll prepare it for the panel of judges at the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014 to be held June 13th to 15th in Venice.

The chef will face off with nine other international chefs in an attempt to win the coveted S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year Award. They will also vie for the People's Choice Award and first-ever Critic's Choice Award, both sponsored by Acqua Panna.

In anticipation of the big event, FDL talked to Salameh about his cooking philosophy. Here's what he had to say:

Describe yourself in three keywords.
Young, motivated and creative.

How would you define your cooking style?
Modern cuisine and molecular fusion.

Which is your signature dish? Can you briefly describe it?
Tomato leather with sea fish salad. It features dried tomato juice and sea fish prepared to tartar consistency. The tomato leather is filled with the tartar and wrapped like cannelloni drizzled with olive oil.

Who or what is your main source of inspiration? Why?
David Bitton is my source of inspiration as he always looks for perfection.

Tradition and innovation: which is the relationship with these words in your cuisine?
Innovation is based on tradition.

What is fine dining for you? How do you think the new generations are changing this idea and making it evolve?
Fine dining is experiencing the top quality of food and service. It will evolve by simplifying food and indulging in new techniques.

Next big trends related to food and conviviality?
Exploring different features, species and introducing them to food.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I would be in food sales.

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