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We Have A Sense of Cooking But Don't Have A Sense of Culinary: Celebrity Chef Arif Assaf III Talks About Branding Africa's Food Industry

Berenice Mulubah | 6/23/2015 12:00

While most men his age were still trying to figure out what to do with their lives, Chef Arif, at the age of twenty,  was already turning and burning for NFL players and Fortune 500

C Liberia Clearly: When did you realized cooking was your passion? 
Chef Arif:  At 20, after hearing friends and family saying that I had a gift for cooking.  I told my mother I wanted to become a chef.  The next day she took me to the culinary school and I got registered.  Within two weeks of school, I was already getting contracts from celebrities and fortune 500 companies.  The calls kept coming and before I knew it, I had a repetition that kept giving me more contracts.  

C Liberia Clearly: Why do you think they fell in love with your cooking? 

Chef Arif:   I'm specialized in African, southern, and Mediterranean, and Caribbean cusines, they love that. I cook with passion.  I don't use already made recipes, I build my own.  You give me the ingredients and I will follow my heart and passion to create something amazing and different.   

                        C Liberia Clearly: What are your goals for the future?

Chef Arif: Let me share something about myself before I answer that question.  I don't cook unless I feel like cooking.  I have to feel it. My skills is a gift from God and it keeps me connected to Him.  I am going to use this gift and help develop Africa. We come from greatness. Africa has delicious flavors and spices that deserves world wide recognition.  We are passionate in the kitchen but we don't know how to apply business to our passion.  We don't see African five star restaurants and Africans competing in world wide culinary competitions with African dishes, because we don't have a sense of culinary.  We have a sense of cooking but not a sense of culinary. 

The African community needs to come together.  We have to show the world that we are not divided, starting with my country Liberia.  If we don’t support the Liberian community, we won’t have a community in the next ten years.  Individually, we are doing great, collectively, we are not. West Africa is developing and Liberia needs to be a part of this development.  My goal is to build an empire.  The first step is to take a business trip to Liberia and Ghana within the next year.  


  1. sounds great!...continue doing what you are doing

  2. Are look forward to hearing more about his endeavors
    Very Inspiring
    African cuisines are the best and needs to be branded because Lord knows the world is missing out big time


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