• 3 minute read
  • July 08, 2019
This 23-Year-Old Pastry Chef Is One Of The Youngest Emirati Culinary Sensations

Bader Najeeb or Chef B, as he is lovingly known to his more than 93,000 followers on Instagram, learnt the delicate art of dessert-making sooner than most people learn their way around a kitchen. What started as the joy of helping his mother bake when he was 13-years-old culminated in a full-blown passion for pastry-making, eventually leading him to host his own cooking segments on Abu Dhabi TV and Sama Dubai at just age 17.

“My mother was a baker and would make us a cake every Saturday,” says Bader, who hails from Dubai. “I would always help her in the kitchen. It would start with whisking [the batter], which was most fun for me, and that is where my love grew for making desserts.” And the rest is history. At just 23, Bader has represented the UAE at the 44th WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017, and also bagged a gold medal in the Pastry and Confectionery category at the National Skills Competition the same year.


Pursuing a degree at the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland with a specialization in Swiss Chocolate and Sugar Arts, Bader has never been one to plan his destiny. “I just take opportunities as they come and go with the flow,” he says. He is currently hosting a show for National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s YouTube channel, titled Taste the World with Bader Najib at Global Village, where he goes from pavilion to pavilion at the Dubai-based cultural destination, tasting the best each cuisine has to offer.

Among his favorite food items at Global Village is the coconut ice cream from the Thai floating market and the mango mocha ice cream from the Japanese pavilion. His all-time favorite dessert is custard eclair, which he interestingly enjoys with a glass of water or orange juice, unlike many who usually like pairing pasty with coffee.

Baked Alaska

This past February, Bader took part in the Youth Forum in London, a platform designed for Emirati students based in the UK. At the forum, he organised a workshop for students to teach them how to make cooking in their dorms easy and healthy. “As a student living abroad, I know how difficult it can be to prepare nutritious meals,” he says. “I wanted to show other students that they can make their own healthy meals and how fun it is.”

Bader has also created his own signature dish, Kinder Spread, which he has prepared at various Chef B pop-up events at places including Kite Beach and Port Rashid Marina club in the UAE. “There are around four more pop-up events coming up and they will not be like the ones I have done with vendors in the past. This will be a Chef B pop-up shop travelling across the Emirates,” he shares. “The next stop for me is Rain café in Abu Dhabi and you will know where I am going next through my Instagram.”

Ferrero Rocher Cake

His advice for those who wish to become pastry chefs is to create your own trends, be unique and be bold. “Taste first, plating second. People are obsessed with making things that look good online, but they do not taste good at all,” he explains. “Always try to stand out, do not do what everyone else is doing.” Upon his return to the UAE from Switzerland, he hopes to work on a dessert-oriented concept. “Desserts reach people’s hearts—they touch the soul, not our stomach,” he says. “And if you think about it, we always keep the best things for last.” @Chef.b


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