By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | April 10, 2023

On Sunday, April 02, 2023, the elaborate dinner buffet at Souk Kitchen at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort (Doha, Qatar) had no fish. On Monday evening, I went looking for fish again. Don’t get me wrong, the buffet was delicious with a variety of cuisine. I just wanted fish. Not able to locate any fish after taking a couple of rounds, I walked up to a smiling gentleman near the salad counter. “Is there any fish?” I inquired. Of course, he replied and walked me to the Arabic cuisine counter.

I not only found yummy steamed fish but also a smiling friend who ensured I tried everything. Curious, I asked about him and he informed me that he was the Executive Chef who had joined just three days earlier.

I congratulated him on the delicious spread of Sunday and he smiled. “I tried something different for the Souk Kitchen on Sunday since there were a lot of guests. It was loved by all,” he smiles.

Hilton Salwa Beach Resort
Meet Ramzi Jalal, Executive Chef at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort.

Ramzi Jalal, Executive Chef at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort

Meet Ramzi Jalal, Executive Chef at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort who floors you with his cooking, presentation, and a warm smile.

Born in Jordan with roots in Palestine, the 43-year-old ‘man around the kitchen’ has been around the world cooking up a storm. As you get to know him, you learn that cooking was an obvious profession for him. Cooking and Ramzi go hand-in-hand. “Professional cooking in my family started with my grandfather. Then followed my uncles, cousins, and brother. Even most of my relatives are now chefs,” reveals Ramzi.

It is not surprising then that his children (Laith, Aleen, and Qais) are also fond of cooking. Especially Aleen, his 12-year-old daughter. Her dad is her guinea pig as she has him taste her various creations in the kitchen.

Opening Doorz to the world of Ramzi Jalal.


Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in the culinary industry?

I was always interested in cooking right from a very young age. I studied International and Middle Eastern cuisine. I went to culinary vocational school and then graduated in Hospitality Management and Food & Beverage management. My first job was at the age of seventeen at the Amman Marriott Hotel in 1997.

What got you interested in cooking?

There are no repeated routines in kitchen operations. It keeps you moving and always being creative. The energy in the kitchen is new every day.

Hilton Salwa Beach Resort
Salad counter at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort.

Were you surprised by your choice of profession?

I wasn’t surprised by my profession as it’s my whole family’s profession. Professional cooking in my family started with my grandfather. Then followed my uncles, cousins, and my brother. Even most of my relatives are now chefs.

How easy or difficult were the early years?

The early years in any profession are always difficult. And being a Chef in the early days is very, very difficult. You have to be up to date with cooking trends and techniques.

How would you describe your cooking style and the types of cuisine that you specialize in?

I love the classic style of cooking. One has to care about basics in any type of world cuisine. I especially love cooking Mediterranean food.  

Hilton Salwa Beach Resort
Indian cuisine counter at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort.

What do you think sets your cooking apart from other chefs?

I cook with a passion that comes straight from the heart. I love what I’m serving.

Can you walk us through your creative process when developing new dishes?

With this question, a lot of things come to my mind. Before you start you have to know and research the following (country, city, culture, seasonal goods, and available tools) then the creativity begins.

What is your philosophy on using local and seasonal produce?

Nothing compares with local and seasonal products as I serve memorable authentic local experiences to my guest, whichever part of the world I may be in.

Can you share with us a particularly memorable moment or experience from your career as a chef?

Every day in my career is a new experience with different guests and different tastes and needs.

Arabic cuisine counter at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort.

What advice would you give aspiring chefs starting in the industry?

Be patient. Love what you do and understand your guests’ needs.

How do you stay current with new food trends and techniques?

Even though I have reached the peak of my career as a Chef, I am still learning from other colleagues, the internet, friends, and family.

Over the years, which hotels you have worked in?

I have worked with international companies (Marriott, Intercontinental, Wyndham, Hilton, Royal Families, and other brands) in different countries like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, France, and now Qatar.

Lastly, what’s next for you and your culinary journey? Are there any exciting projects or plans in the works?

I have started my family business (online kitchen) which is being managed by my wife back home in Jordan. My wife does all the cooking and she has a helper. She started this business during the pandemic. As for me, I’m enjoying every day of my life. I enjoy serving guests and developing other chefs.

Also Read: Bosco Rodrigues: Cooking up a storm in the desert, the Don Bosco way!

Also Read: Chef Movie Review: Yummylicious!


  1. A passionate journalist interviewing a passionate Chef can only give a mouthwatering article for all the hungry readers!
    Good stuff! Thank You for this feed!

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