World chefs come together in hajj to serve Muslim pilgrims

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Every year, chefs from tour operators around the world compete during the hajj season to offer the pilgrims a wide selection of meals from different cultures.

Aside from the spiritual aspect of hajj, pilgrims usually show interest in the other side of the trip, which is the special services they receive from tour operators.

Most operators bring their own chefs to prepare traditional dishes for lunch and dinner.

The Iranian cuisine went popular in hajj last year, with discounted spices and a diverse menu, as the Persian meals that were served reached a record of 30,000 per day.

“Kuwaiti operators are used to bringing their own chefs and their equipment and ingredients to guarantee the best Kuwaiti meals to the Kuwaiti pilgrims who don’t accept easily other types of cuisine,” Khaled Husein Al-Khaledi, a hajj travel agent from Kuwait told Al Arabiya.

He noted that some operators place prior orders with famous restaurants and catering agencies in Mecca and Medina to offer them lunch boxes for the pilgrims, although this isn’t the favorite option for Gulf pilgrims.

Chef Soroud Omar who has been to many hajj trips told Al Arabiya that he has changed his menu according to the nationality of the pilgrims.

He said every chef and his crew compete to serve the best menus focusing on presenting dishes from their country.

The hajj season a rare occasion for international chefs to meet and serve food to more than 3 million people in the same place.