Syrian chef who mastered Italian cooking …

AMMAN -Jordan might be considered an impossible place to fall in love with Italian food, but that’s exactly what happened to Syrian Bahaa Aldin Katlish.Add announcement

While living and working in the kingdom, the young man discovered the wonders of Italian cuisine and mastered its techniques.

Katlish, 30, was born in Syria and her first foray into the culinary world began at home in the kitchen.

“I was in charge of cooking in Syria, where I live with my family,” Katlish said Jordan News. “They seemed to like it.”

At the time of the conflict, he was studying business administration, but had to suspend his studies due to the civil war. Eventually, the young man moved to Jordan in 2013 as the situation in Syria continued to escalate.

“I appreciated the innovation of the Italian kitchen, especially the hygienic and nutritious aspects of everyday life and health.”

Here, in the kingdom, he entered the world of professional cuisine. “I had a great desire to grow as a person and experience new things,” he explained. It was his dream to one day combine his interest in entrepreneurship with his passion for cooking, but he knew he had a lot to learn when it came to cooking.

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Become a self-made chefSo Cutlish embarked on a self-taught journey to become a professional chef. He began to try his best to show his skills in the kitchen.

Along the way, Italian food caught his attention.

“I appreciated the innovation of Italian cuisine, especially because it was hygienic and nutritious at the level of everyday life and health,” he said.

The young chef also noticed that Italian cuisine shares similarities with Levantine cuisine, which uses Mediterranean ingredients and favors homemade food over fast food.

In 2015, Katlish accepted an offer to work in an Italian restaurant. He devoted himself to Italian training, seeking additional learning opportunities outside of work by attending events hosted by embassies that brought chefs from Europe.

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Unlock culinary creativityUltimately, Katlish, a restaurant veteran with many years of experience, fulfilled his goal of combining his two passions in 2021 and opened his own establishment, Cleos Italio.

Cleos Italia, based in Amman, was a joint venture with another lover of Italian food and culture, the chef said.



“It was there that I was able to combine my managerial and practical skills to unleash my creativity,” Katlish explains.

Burrata, risotto, tiramisuThe young chef says he feels connected to life and other people through food. This opens up new opportunities for him.

“Cooking with love is my passion,” she says, “and Italian food is my favorite.”

In Italian cuisine, each dish represents a “different atmosphere”. For example, the chef said he likes to eat buffalo pizza on a cold night or try different ingredients.

Being a Syrian Italian chef living in Jordan is not easy…

His favorite type of tomato is the Italian San Marzano tomato, while fresh Italian cheeses such as burrata and bufala are included in his preparations.

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Italian food may come to mind with pizza and spaghetti, but there are many lesser-known dishes, such as Catlish’s favorite risotto. And that’s not to mention desserts like cannoli, gelato, and tiramisu.

“The best food in the world”Being a Syrian Italian chef living in Jordan is not easy. Because of his citizenship, Katlish faced difficulties in getting a visa to travel to Italy, especially to improve his skills and talents.

“There are many challenges, but I try to overcome them with passion and love for my career,” said the chef.

After ten years in the kingdom, Katlish was able to visit his hometown of Damascus.

“It was a warm feeling to meet my mother, father and brothers after being away for ten years,” he thought.

“I made them pizza and pasta at home and retook my mother’s cooking. It will still be the best food in the world.”

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