Behind every successful restaurant stands an amazing chef… That is the case of Urb Kitchen, a modern eatery in Jeddah with female Saudi chef Nour Al-Zaben as its backbone. Let’s dive into the awesome trailblazer, who built up a spot that quickly gained the heart (and appetite) of many hungry Saudis.
A proud alumni from the prestigious Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, Al Zaben moved back to her home country and left her mark in a number of restaurants in Saudi Arabia. The young professional cook expanded her food consultancy portfolio by revamping restaurants and their menus around the Kingdom.
Her love of cooking started at the young age of 11 when she was a student at a boarding school in Lebanon. Al-Zaben spent her time on the phone taking recipes from her mom and then cooking meals for herself and younger siblings.
“I used to call either my mom, grandma or the nanny back home that used to cook for us to ask how I could make certain recipes that I missed or dishes that my brother was craving,” shared Al-Zaben with Arab News.
And her cute debut as a chef didn’t stop at cooking for her family, Al-Zaben flaunted her skills to her school. “It kind of became a thing,” she explained. “I began cooking for people who didn’t have families in the boarding school.”
Young Al-Zaben would have “never in a million years” thought of pursuing cooking as a career.
“It wasn’t a common career path for Arab girls at the time,” she said. “It was kind of looked down on.”