Pakistani Chef Wins Food Network’s Chopped

By on June 19th, 2012 25 Comments

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When most South Asian kids are encouraged to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers, Fatima Ali decided to apply to culinary school instead.

The young 22-year old won an episode on Food Network’s cook-off show ‘Chopped.’

Excerpt from Dawn News:

“You want to go to university to become a bawarchi (cook)?” – This is the first reaction Fatima Ali, 22, would get when she would tell friends at a highly competitive school in Karachi about her aspirations to become a chef.

While friends were applying to Ivy Leagues and Oxbridge, up to five or six universities at a time, Ali applied to just one; a culinary institute in upstate New York.

While her mother supported her decision, her father, a well-known barrister in Lahore, initially urged her to apply to law schools instead, finally coming around after much persuasion. For 16-year-old Ali, there was no two ways about it – she started cooking at five and this would be her future.