Pakistani women entrepreneurs have surprised up in many different ways, one such entrepreneur who impressed us is Chef Kiran Noorulain.
We had the opportunity to have a one-on-one with her. Here’s how it went:
One-on-One with Chef Kiran Noorulain
WOW360: How did your love for food start?
KN: Being a chef was not my area of interest at first. I always loved science and wanted to pursue a career in any field related to science because I love exploring, researching, experimenting, discovering new things, and facts and figures.
But due to early marriage, I was unable to fulfil my dreams. When completed my master’s after marriage, my husband suggested that I do a chef course. It was my first day at the culinary institute when the teacher told us about the relationship between food and science. I was shocked and stunned by the facts he told us about food.
I then started researching about different things including ingredients, and sensory properties and started to fall in love with culinary and the science behind food.
WOW360: What inspired you to start The FoodSTEAM?
KN: STEAM is not an ordinary method of cooking. STEAM represents:
- The Food Science
- The Food Technology
- The Food Engineering
- The Food Culinary Art
- The Food Business Management
When I joined the industry I found that everything is interconnected, but in Pakistan, the culinary industry was missing out on the importance of nutrition. Likewise, most nutritionists don’t know about professional cooking skills or methods.
If we see our kids, they have very limited choices for their careers, they are not guided towards the food industry where they can become food technologists, food scientists, culinary professionals, and so on. I took a step to fill the gap and linked food with nutrition and other areas.
I want to spread this knowledge among all of the people of Pakistan. I institute to teach food as a subject in schools and colleges so that every student has proper knowledge about healthy food and skills to explore career choices in the industry.
WOW360: How difficult is culinary as a profession for women in Pakistan?
KN: It is a men-dominant profession in Pakistan and due to societal norms women are forced to focus on home duties. so sometimes it does get quite difficult to manage time. Moreover, women and still paid very low salaries, and one should have the physical and mental strength to remain in this industry.
If you are strong enough to overcome your weaknesses and strong enough to handle tough situations, a woman can do wonders. Never forget that women are multitaskers which is the main ingredient of the culinary industry.
WOW360: How Does The FoodSTEAM empower women?
KN: The FoodSTEAM is founded by a woman and the team leading The FooSTEAM are also women, so how could we not think about women’s empowerment?
We offer programs for women to establish a sustainable food business and achieve their goals. We give training on food business management, nutritional requirements for their meal plans, food safety, hygiene, etc.
WOW360: What would be your msg to young girls who aspire to be chefs and bakers?
KN: My message is not only for girls but is also for all the women in Pakistan- age is just a number, if you are thinking to do something for your career which supports the economy of Pakistan, then do it. Don’t waste your time thinking about it over and over again. Be strong, be bold in your decisions, and accept that ” you can be a wonder woman”.
About Chef Kiran Noorulain
Chef Kiran Noorulain, (Founder and CEO of The FoodSTEAM), is the first and only food examiner of The British Council Pakistan, Karachi, and HOD of the food department at a very reputable Cambridge school.
She is the daughter of a bus driver and belongs to the Pathaan family. In her family girls were not motivated to an education. Early marriages than simple housewife life have to spend. But her mother always supported her, and always gave her the courage to do whatever she wants.
Chef Kiran Noorulain is passionate about her aims and career since childhood and always wants to be independent. For that, education and hard work was the only key to the gate of success.
We loved the answers from Chef Noorulain and hope her words have inspired others.
Stay tuned to WOW360.