Chef Adam (33) is a passionate, Maldivian-born chef with many stories to tell.
Chef Adam began his career at the age of 16 during a school holiday, when his uncle's friend found him a job at Viaggi Ventaglio, an Italian-managed club resort on Malé Atoll, Maldives. He stepped into the heat of the kitchen as assistant cook or kitchen steward, and his career began.
In the kitchen, he had the opportunity to work with Italy's youngest master chef, who spent his annual three-month holidays working at Viaggi Ventaglio. Over time, six Italian chefs taught Adam, and he also started taking Italian lessons, because they spoke English so poorly. Under their tutelage, he learned basic Italian dishes like aglio e olio, lasagna, and classic pasta sauces, and he remembers hand-rolling 300 classic arancini di riso pieces, before he moved to the pastry kitchen. He would often be found in the pastry kitchen learning to make desserts, and when his Executive Chef eventually saw his efforts and passion for pastry, Adam was promoted and transferred to the pastry kitchen.
"I was very lucky that at a very young age I got to work with a young European chef and learned to appreciate western cuisine; however, it didn't come easy," Adam said. He burned his hands several times: the chefs were arrogant and would hand him a hot tray while they yelled and screamed at him. That memory is excruciating, yet it was an invaluable learning experience.
He was daily on duty live cooking at the buffet, explaining all the ingredients and dishes to the guests in Italian. If he was unsure what to say, he would sometimes reply in his own language using an Italian accent. During most of his teenage years, Adam worked hard, and he would spend his free time reading in the library. He said that he learned to build his life through hard work.
After several years at Viaggi Ventaglio, he found a new career opportunity with Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, where he worked with the very talented Swiss pastry chef Grégoire Michaud. After working with Chef Grégoire, he developed an even deeper interest in the pastry and baking field and dedicated more of his time to exploring, reading, and learning the science of baking and making pastries.
After working at several luxury establishments from 1999 to 2004, he accepted another challenge as Pastry Chef de Partie at the Condé Nast Traveler award-winning luxury resort, Per Aquum Huvafen Fushi Maldives. There, he set up the resort's pastry and bakery pre-opening and was subsequently promoted to Pastry Sous Chef, running the pastry section successfully from pre-opening.
Since 2007, Chef Adam has always returned to Cebu after travelling and working. Because of his beautiful daughter Rihanna, Cebu has become his home.
From 2004 to 2015, Adam has worked in eight countries, including Indonesia, Qatar (Ritz-Carlton Doha), the USA (James Beard Foundation Award-winning Joël Brasserie in Atlanta), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Maldives (Beach House Waldorf Astoria), Egypt (Dusit Thani Cairo) , and several other leading luxury resort hotels—and he has travelled to 32 countries on three continents, holidaying, exploring and learning.
Adam has enjoyed extraordinarily fine pastry training with the world's master pastry chefs in academies of France (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), Malaysia, Singapore, and the USA, as well as other intensive professional pastry courses in contemporary desserts, macaroons, petit fours, entremets, and chocolates. Other pastry skills Adam has gained through years of work and training: airbrushing, casting, pulling sugar, and many more.
His most recent adventure was on Cebu, Philippines, as Group Executive Pastry Chef for Waterfront Hotels Group and as Assistant Vice President for its subsidiary catering company, Waterfront Food Concepts.
In his free time, Chef Adam enjoys outdoor activities, including swimming, trekking, camping and running. He explains, "There's nothing more important than keeping a healthy life style. My outdoor activities keep me active and adventurous."
His passion for his profession, his positive attitude and his culinary creativity are reasons to remember him, and we will have to wait and see where his next adventure takes him.