Mohammad Orfali (born November 25, 1980) is a Syrian chef, restaurateur and Head of Culinary Content at the Discovery network’s FATAFEAT TV.
Broadcasting to 21 Arabic-speaking countries, Fatafeat is the first 24-hour, free-to-air cooking television channel based in the United Arab Emirates.
Mohammad specializes in Aleppian cuisine and contemporary Arabic cuisine, and is the leading Arab proponent of molecular gastronomy—the movement to incorporate technology and new techniques in the preparation and presentation of food. He is also credited with hosting the Middle East’s very first Arabic gastronomy cooking show.
Early Life and Career:
Mohammad was born and raised in Aleppo, the gastronomy capital of Syria and Levantine countries. His interest in cooking began at a young age, and quickly turned into a passion for food and the culinary world at large —a world he would soon call his own.
In 1997, Mohammad joined the Aleppo Hospitality Institute where he completed his studies. During that time and despite his fascination with French cuisine, Mohammad discovered an irrepressible interest in the cuisine of his hometown, Aleppo. In 2009, he pursued further studies at Le Nôtre Culinary School, Paris, where his courses included “Mastering the Art of Preserves”, “Sous Vide Cooking”, and “Cuisine according to Chef Joël Robuchon”.
Mohammad, who is currently the Head of Culinary Content at the Discovery network’s FATAFEAT TV, has hosted three cooking shows on the Fatafeat channel: Matbakhna Al Arabi for three seasons, Modern Arabic Cuisine for 2 seasons and the Hakawi show.
Before joining Fatafeat, part of Discovery network’s, Chef Orfali spent more than 5 years as an Executive Chef with the Alshaya Group across the GCC.
Mohammad was appointed as a culinary judge at WACS and Senior Member of the Emirates Culinary Guild.
- Matbakhna Al Arabi: The first season revolved around Aleppian and Levantine cuisines. However, the second season included other Arab cuisines, including Moroccan, Tunisian, and Arabian Gulf cuisines, all with his own personal twist.
The third season was a turning point for Matbakhna Al Arabi as Chef Orfali presented the Arabic cuisine in more contemporary interpretations, using modern technology to prove that Arabic cuisine’s rich variety of ingredients can be useful in Molecular Gastronomy.
- Arabic Modern Cuisine: The Middle East’s first cooking show to introduce contemporary gastronomy to Arabic cuisine.
- Hakawi: Chefs Tarek Ibrahim and Mohammad Orfali speak about their culinary experiences, share exciting cooking tips, and the heritage behind Halabi and Alexandrian cuisines.
- Fatafeat ICCA Academy: A new culinary show hosted by Mohammad and the academy. This joint initiative between Fatafeat and the International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai, delivers a new way of learning about food online.
Published in 2012, Mohammad’s first cookbook “Ana Halabi” focuses on the heritage and individual ingredients of Aleppian Cuisine. Itunes
Mohammad Orfali’s personal Website