Visit to Khaled Hurriyah Restaurant: An Emirati Gourmet Experience

After our awesome visit to the Sharjah Wildlife Park we went to lunch. Now, it would not be any student of mine to suggest Burger King or something like that - no, we went to one of the most famous Emirati restaurants in the UAE, with arguably the most famous cook (and number 1 fan of the UAE National football team).

Using some smile and courage (long story, but something I teach to all my students from day one) one of my students decided that we should have traditional food - and so he called Mr. Khaled Hurriyah to see if he could talk to the class about his experiences as a cook and as a football fan. Now Mr Khaled is famous - he has cooked for everyone who is anyone in the UAE - he has been on TV and he made time in his busy day to talk to my students about his passion - cooking. Forty years ago, the story has it, he was a policeman, but decided to follow his dream and open a restaurant cooking traditional food. And become the best, hands-on cook-owner-manager he could. He still personally trains his cooks and staff and demands from them what he demands from himself - hardwork, dedication and passion for excellence.
And then the food started - with harisse (yum), and chicken harrise (I forget the real name) and a whole lamb (or 3 we were a big group). We had geemat (donut holes with date syrup on it) and fruit for dessert - and we learned that excellence and success does not come from formal education and degrees on the wall - but through passion and a dedication to excellence - and being humble and never being too good to play host for a group of students and their professor from Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. Shokran Mr. Khalid, I will never forget the meal we had or the wonderful lessons you taught my students (and me!).

Video of the lamb (do not watch if you are a vegetarian)

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