Four Points' kitchen gets a woman's touch
The Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai has appointed chef Mahrukh Butt in the position of First Commis.Pakistani Butt, 35, is the first female chef to be appointed at the property and joins the hotel's team of 15 male chefs. She arrives after working in the Pearl Continental and the Inter-Continental hotels in Lahore, Pakistan where she was also the only female chef. She has been cooking for over 10 years. "The fact that hotel kitchens are so physically demanding is probably the main reason why female chefs are a minority," said Butt. Butt's specialty is the popular "Taka Tak" as well as a range of grilled kebabs and biryanis. Her favourite cooking style has always been live cooking as this also means direct contact with guests. "My aspiration is to become an Executive Chef in a large hotel," she says. Meanwhile, at the Sheraton Deira Hotel & Towers, another Pakistani, Nadeem Akhtar, has taken over as the new executive chef to oversee its main kitchen operations. Akhtar, 34, has more than 15 years of experience and is the winner of a gold medal for his "Gastronomic Menu" at the Emirates Culinary Guild competition in 1997, at the age of 29. The chef was also honoured with a Certificate of Merit in the "Live Cooking" category for his three-course gourmet menu and received a Special Honour Award for "Best Gastronomic Menu" during the event. At last year's Emirates Culinary Awards competition, he walked away with a silver medal in the "Live Cooking" category of a 3-course menu and a bronze for "Best Gastronomic 7-course Meal". Akhtar began his professional career with a three-year apprenticeship in Karachi. He then joined Starwood`s Sheraton Karachi in 1990 as 2nd Commis leaving his post in 1993 to work as Demi Chef de Partie at the Ramada Hotel, Dubai. He joined the Radisson SAS in 1997 and was shortly promoted to executive sous chef when the hotel became the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers. He remained at the hotel until his move to the Sheraton Deira Hotel & Towers.