maher alhoussain [maher]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
My profession is to bake and cook desserts and sweets as nobody cooked it before, specialties from the orient, Middle East goodies, arabic sweets. My title as listed on my business card is "Arabic Pastry Chef"
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
I studied the art of culinary tastes and the way how to improve my skills in the kitchen field, how to cook and how to bake.
I chose the cooking art, because of a role model I love, and which showed me in the world of kitchen with magic heart and eyes.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
The expectation of my job field, are to offer a professional service, and unconditioned help, to look up for a high standard quality products and to satisfy my customers through my work and culinary gifts. I am used to accomplish this everyday, with my strong passion for work, and with the love for the quality.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
You are welcome anytime to visit my sites: www.maherchef2007.blogspot.com and the second one: www.ifoodtv/maher
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
i am fully satisfied with the education received, though in life there is always more things which attract you, to never stop learning.
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
I am happy with my career and education in the food section, though I am very much interested in learning another new things as well. For the moment my specialty remains the Pastry Kitchen.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
Any tasks which are directly involved with my field of work as well as customer servicing, complains solving and management skills. I may say, to better myself is what I strive for every day, and what I do everyday, working hard to achieve the best of me.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
Not exactly, but I do attend all the competitions coming up in the area, and all the trainings provided to the management team in my work place.I would love to attend a lot of complexes courses, though, my work is occupying the majority of my free time.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
Since I ever started in the hospitality industry, I realized that my job is important for the customers arround me, for my coulleagues arround me, and especially for me. I have to admit than from that time onwards I saw that I need to give my best and to become the best in the job I chose for my future, and for myself, so I can get a 100% satisfaction in what I do, and also , the people around me should feel my passion and professionalism for what I do.
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
There's not too many, I can say the most important was ,my mentor, and myself.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
That type of people which can see their work with love and passion, the people which they like what they do and don't just do it for money, or because they are asked to do it.
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
Every time I pass one stage in my career, I do set for myself a higher target to achieve, and no matter how hard it is, I know that it can always be achievable. My highest goal, is to become the best Chef in the Middle East for my arabic sweets, and to make also people happy with my work.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
Any articles coming refering to hospitality, hotels, the art of cooking and new ideas for a perfect pastry.
Which languages do you speak, and how have you learned them?
I only speak two languages: Arabic, my mother tong, and Enlish which I've learn only through my job and through communication with other coulleagues and people.
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
I do have a website and a blog. The way I created wasn't difficult for me, though it was something new to me. Being able to advertise my work on the site, to post pictures with some of my desserts was the actuall purpose and it was succesfully achieved.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
It is indeed a challanging experience, to keep your voice and your gestures balanced, to look and be relaxed, and to go on with the flow, and it's a really excited part of the job too. I can say the experiences I had, were all good, I managed to control the way I conduct my speach and the way I captivated the people which were listening to me.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
I do have the occasion to attend seldome cocktail parties in my work place, which is really nice and relaxing, to talk with the customers about their desires related to service and product.
Have you explored the social networks for professionals online? Are you member of any of them?
I did it a couple of times, but due to the lack of free time, I decided not to join yet any of these "big" networks; at least not yet.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
I believe the difference lies all inside. As I mentioned before, a role model job, does not mean only to do the job and finish.It means passion, love, care, to like what you do, to enjoy each experience good or not so good. This is all that makes the difference, because once you feel that way about your job, you will see how high are the standards and levels of your work.
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
Internet is a great help in my work, but not a factor which is creating change in my work. The change lies within me and my efforts.
Do you do telecommuting?
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
No. To have a hobby and to have a career path are two different things, which they are living together in harmony, but does not affect each other. It can be that when my hobby is my passion of work, than it does elevate my career someway.
Do your hobbies aide in professional networking?
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
Can be a tricky question, but I never asked this to myself. Everybody needs some more time for himself, and everybody needs money. So I leave that up to you, I wasn't in any of these situations :)))
What are the things you least like about your job?
Working with fake people, with unmotivated people and lazy people...
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
A Sales Manager which promotes his products in the same efficient way a Pastry Chef makes them :)
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
"Never do your job just for money, do it for pleasure!"
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Never made plans so young...
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
Normally no, because it is sad if your work will have to suffer because of your private life or vice versa. But mostly of the times it is happening...So there's the magic to keep; trying to maintain both of them on a line.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
I have none
I don't have one.
How do you handle customer complaints?
I am handling customer complaints firstly by listening carefully at the nature of complaint, showing my full interest and compassion for the customer's experience and going to the rooth of it untill the end, and following it step by step I am going to modificate the issues along this way together with the customer, under his eyes, making him with every step I take happier.
Someone wants to ask for a pay rise and they ask you for advice in how to approach the matter with their boss. What do you tell them?
Of course, but ask yourself what extra work are you doing to deserve it? What is the additional responsability you will care for in order to argument your request.
What do you do to manage stress?
Just keep in mind that stress does not help sort ouit the situation is enough to make it go away.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
They look at your nationality and from where you are...
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
I started about 12 years ago,When I turned 13.Mostly helping out and dish washing.My granfather was a great example for me to follow and to grow my dreams come true. nd than I knew that my drream was becoming a great Chef someday...
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
There are many positions and opportunities in the hospitality industry.And Food is such a basic human need::)) Such a challange which involves a lot of efforts as well as satisfaction.
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
Yes, I have two websites: http://www.maherchef2007.blogspot.com And ,http://www.ifood.tv/maher
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
I attended the Chef program in UAE, and went on to do my training and practice in various restaurants around UAE. I also learned about large quantity food preparation and my own specialty, the arabic sweets by working for different catering companies and building my own career slowly and precisely. School gives you the basics, but it is the days and nights spent in the Pastry kitchens that develops your skills and the love and passion for cooking.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
My first job as a professional cook was at a bakery back home in my country called ABU ALI HAITHER” BAKERY& PASTRY - DAMASCUS/SYRIA
What hobbies have you got?
I like a lot to surf on the internet for music, special articles, I like to drive, to make pictures.
Which actor would you like to be?
None in particular
If you were sent to a deserted island, which book, CD and film would you take with you?
I would not take with me, only my favourite music, arabic quiet relaxing sounds.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
Dtinking a turkish coffee by the sea, lisatening to the waves and enjoying a shisha!
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
I don't get telemarketing calls.
Are you an ex-smoker? How did you quit?
Not an ex-smoker, an actual smoker! :)))
It is 5 pm on a typical Sunday: what are you doing?
I am in the Pastry, preparing my arabic sweets :)
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
Writing in chinese language :)
Of what are you an addict?
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
Can't remember liking a particular toy, I kind of liked all of them, as well as all the other children.
What was your favourite primary/secondary school teacher like?
Didn't like any of them
How did you meet your current boy/girlfriend?
What was your first vehicle?
Your New Year resolutions.
Please list something you have not yet done, but that you would definitely like to do someday.
Parachute myself into the sea
In your lifetime, what is the best news you have ever seen printed?
I really don't read "printed news"
To which other place in the world would you move without hesitation?
A bad habit you have overcome.
No habits to overcome :)
What do you have in your wallet right now?
A lot of things :)
How do you kill time?
Going out with my friends, driving around with my car, surfing on internet, watching movies.
In which city do you live? What are your favourite and least favourite things about it?
I live between Dubai and Fujairah. I like it mostly because it's a quiet small place by the sea, you can get a lot of privacy, and leas favourite for me is the distance to the populated places like malls and spuermarkets and the big distances between cities.
A YouTube video about something that was significant to your life.
Where have you thought of going for your next holiday?
Not decided yet, still thinking ....
If the ticket price for a football match is twice the regular price for those 12 years of age or older, and your child turned twelve yesterday, what age would you say your child is?
That's a mixed up question, but the best answer is, I don't have yet a child :))))))
If you were a millionaire, what would be your charitable work?
There are so many, but mostly I will sponsor the medicine and it's advanced use to save lifes.
Your sins and virtues.
...Are all for me alone, and not to share :))))