Tala Bashmi is a Bahrain-born and Swiss-trained chef who was named the winner of the first Middle East & North Africa’s Best Female Chef Award 2022.
The chef - known as the voice of modern Bahraini cuisine at her restaurant, Fusions by Tala, at Manama’s iconic five-star Gulf Hotel Bahrain - fell in love with Middle Eastern cuisine and ingredients as a child. Since 2017, she threw her passions into a fine-dining environment offering modern takes on traditional dishes, like bamia, a traditional okra and meat stew, using wagyu beef cheek instead of meat offcuts, with crispy okra glass and tomato broth rice.
Bashmi has shown considerable culinary expertise in reinventing her country’s cuisine, despite meeting resistance from traditional purists. An empowered woman who has overcome gender barriers in the restaurant world, including at culinary school, she serves as a role model for a generation of young women.