Renowned Bahraini chef Tala Bashmi has won an illustrious culinary award.

Tala Bashmi, often referred to as the voice of modern Bahraini cuisine, has been named as the winner of the Best Female Chef award in the first edition of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022. The renowned chef and patron of Fusions by Tala at The Gulf Hotel, Convention & Spa, will be presented with the inaugural award at the debut edition of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants, set to take place in Abu Dhabi in February 2022.

The award forms part of the organisation’s mission to honour female role models within the culinary industry and represents the first pre-announced award of the 2022 programme.

Chef Tala says she knew she wanted to be a chef when she “fed someone a single bite and saw that pure joy on their face.” Adding: “Nothing can replace that.” The Bahraini-born, Swiss-trained chef has a passion for creating nostalgic culinary experiences for her guests.

Her father served as an inspiration to her at an early age as they explored ingredients and local markets in Bahrain. She started a home venture called Baked by T and her delicious desserts gained local momentum. She then went to the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland, where she gained a Master’s in International Business in Culinary Management.

Returning to the Middle East, she competed in the acclaimed MBC show Top Chef becoming a finalist. She took over Fusions in September 2017 and displayed a modernisation of the Bahraini cuisine she is now famous for.

“It is an absolute honour to be recognised with the first ever Best Female Chef award as part of the inaugural MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022,” says Tala. “It has always been a dream to put my culinary heritage on the global map, highlighting it not only within the MENA region but around the world. One of my main goals as a chef is to bridge the gap between high-end gastronomy and simple food, making each meal a journey.” ✤