Interview with Chef Tala Bashmi of Fusions

An exciting new restaurant concept is coming to Bahrain this month! Located at the Gulf Hotel and overlooking the Bahraini skyline, Fusions by Tala is bound to captivate culinary aficionados and foodies alike. Headed by Chef Tala Bashmi, the restaurant will be a synergy of Middle Eastern cuisine and fine dining – a place where ingredients of memory and Bahraini tradition are whipped into a frenzy of new and daring dishes. Just recently, we had the chance to interview Chef Tala to talk about what’s new and what’s next.

Can you shed light on your vision for Fusions by Tala?

I want to modernize Middle Eastern cuisine and at the same time, show the importance of our local ingredients at Fusions by Tala. I also want to surprise people and try to slowly shape their palates in a different way. We’ve been eating in a certain way for a very long time so I feel like it’s a good time to kind of change that.

How is it going to be different from the old Fusions in terms of concept, design and offerings?

Fusions by Tala will focus more on the vibrant Middle Eastern flavors. The design, on the other hand, is completely different. It’s minimal. This reflects my food in general – simple but intricate. I’m very influenced by the Scandinavian cuisine and design so I kind of took the lead on that one. I believe that the focus should be on the food and the gathering so the restaurant’s design shouldn’t be overly distracting. However, I’ll be putting up some artworks created by local artists.

How would you describe your style of cooking?

Minimal – everything is on my plate for a reason. I also use different techniques whether they’re traditional or modern. I don’t let flavors limit me. I’ve learned to cook what I like to eat and I feel like people have responded well to that.

Up next: Interview with Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck

Why should people come to Fusions by Tala?

Because it’s a different experience. I don’t want Fusions to just be a trend; I want it to be a modern and classic place to go. Most restaurants are based on cuisine and not based on the chef creating the cuisine. I feel like the new Fusions has a very chef-driven concept which is rare.

Where is your go-to restaurant in Bahrain?

I can’t say there’s one restaurant so I’ll name a few. For brunch, the Four Season’s CUT Brunch is good. I also enjoy going to Mirai because I feel like their food is very consistent. If we’re going casual, I would say Banana Leaf – it’s something that always hits the spot for me.

What advice would you give to all the aspiring chefs out there?

First, don’t let what others say get to you especially if they try to demotivate you based on what career you’re choosing.

Next, work hard. It’s not just about culinary school, it’s also about restaurant experience.

Finally, don’t stop learning no matter what. Be proactive, teach yourself, try different cuisines and most importantly, travel.

How was your experience being a part of MBC’s Top Chef?

It was a lot of hard work but I can say that I’m very happy to have come across the chefs I’ve met in the show. It was a great opportunity to be able to compete with some of the best chefs in the region. Overall, it was a fulfilling experience.

Up next: Interview with Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck