Pakistani Chef Finds Success in New York

October 13, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. chef (n.) 
[shef] – a person who prepares food and plans menus in a restaurant
Example: The chef gave careful instructions to the waiters and cooks.

2. culinary (adj.) [kyoo-luh-ner-ee, kuhl-uh-] – related to food or cooking
Example: Iron Chef was a very popular culinary show on TV.

3. potential (n.) [puh-ten-shuh l] – talent, skill, or ability that needs to be developed some more
Example: Teachers must help children realize their potential.

4. validation (n.) [val-i-dey-shuh n] – something that shows someone is correct or doing the right thing
Example: The large number of customers is a validation of the restaurant’s excellent food and service.

5. make a difference (idiom) [meyk] [a] [dif-er-uh ns, dif-ruh ns] – to leave a good result or impact on someone or something
Example: She became a doctor to make a difference in the lives of people.

Read the text below.

New York is definitely a difficult place for female chefs to find success in; but one woman, Fatima Ali, has managed to do well in the city.

What makes Ali even more extraordinary is the fact that in all of New York’s 70 top restaurants, she may be the only non-American female chef.

Ali is from Pakistan. She graduated from the United States’ famous culinary school, the Culinary Institute of America, and now works as a sous chef, or assistant chef, in Manhattan’s Café Centro.

The executive chef at Café Centro, John Hoffman, describes Ali as someone with great potential. Hoffman says, in two or three years, Ali will surely become a master chef.

Just recently, Ali competed against other chefs in a TV show called “Chopped.” She won and took home the $10,000 grand prize. Ali says the experience was a validation of her efforts and her parents’ sacrifices. She hopes that her achievement will inspire other Pakistani girls to follow their dreams.

As a young girl, Ali participated in festivals hosted by her mother’s charity organization. Ali helped raise money for poor children by selling food that she cooked by herself. It was then that Ali felt how much cooking could make a difference in other people’s lives.

In the future, Ali would like to return to Pakistan to teach young Pakistanis how to cook, and to help set up meal centers that would offer cheap organic meals to poor families.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why is it a great achievement for a Pakistani chef to be successful in New York?
·         In your opinion, what does it take to be a great chef?
Discussion B

·         How would you describe a successful person? What should a person have in order to be considered successful?
·         In your own way, how can you make a difference in the lives of people around you?


October 13, 2012