Hisham Baeshen
Hisham Baeshen Image Credit: Hisham Baeshen

Hisham Baeshen is one of the 20 most influential chefs in the world, the prestigious title does not do his artistry justice, the Saudi food blogger with more than 10 million followers on social media and 2020 TikTok ambassador has created a big community of food enthusiasts to join him on his culinary journey. If you are a fan of food videos look no further to Baeshen’s Instagram @misho_baeshen, where you can learn how to cook all your favourite dishes whilst drooling over his masterpieces.

Inspired by his parents, Baeshen has gone on to receive the highest of honours including preparing the menu for the 90th National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was nominated by the Culinary Arts Commission and describes it as the biggest challenge of his career. “They came to my kitchen and tried my food for the first time, and to be honest they didn’t enjoy it at first. I got some tips from their top Chef and took them seriously. The second test impressed them, and they approved it. I felt the world was mine that day.”

Whilst Baeshen has gone on to make several TV appearances and host many esteemed events, his journey started through vlogging 9 years ago.

“When I started I discovered that most of the 20-35-year-old viewers had very little information about our food culture, but after I started to become more popular more young people are learning how to use our recipes. It is so important to be proud.”

For Hisham, food is such a big part of his identity and culture, and inspiring younger generations is one of his main goals, as well as becoming the most senior international Chef.

This year marks the year of Jareesh in Saudi—broken wheat with yoghurt and meat, that is cooked in a spicy sauce. It is a very well-known dish in the Arabian Gulf and originally spread from the Saudi region of Qassim. It is served at weddings and large events and is famous for containing proteins, minerals and lots of vitamins—which explains the spring in Baeshen’s step. “It was a big need to highlight this yummy dish to the world as part of our culture, as many people think we only have ‘Kasba’ as a main dish and recipe which is completely wrong. We have a very rich food culture with different kinds of flavours.”

When asked for a favourite dish, most people struggle to answer, but Baeshen had little hesitance. “For breakfast, I have Foul, for lunch and dinner, I have my mother’s Majboos, my favourite drink is Sobia and for dessert Areeka.” Each dish that Hisham likes is filled with nutrients, like most other dishes from the region.

If you want to know where to eat in Saudi, Baeshen is the professional to ask, if it isn’t his kitchen it’s Jizzan City, a local restaurant with a unique experience. Exploring local delicacy may sometimes be hard for Baeshen as he is often recognised on the street and people immediately say “we feel hungry”, Baeshen’s presence triggers hunger due to his famed and flourishing career, “food now is related to my character, I’m still exploring more and living inside it.”