“manjya is helping me to reach my dreams and aspirations”, Zhara Mian.
Passionate… a very good word to describe Personal Chef Zhara Mian. You can feel her passion and drive in everything she does; she is passionate when talking about food and culture, and passionate while sharing this with her personal chef clients.
Zhara’s love of food and cooking started as a young child. With two working parents, at about age 10 she wanted to learn to cook to feed herself and her siblings, and she was super curious about all things in the kitchen including food, flavours and techniques.
This love continued to grow throughout her childhood, and in high school she won first place in the province for the Skills Olympics in the culinary category for three years in a row. She was well on her way to showmanship in the kitchen, all while creating gastro masterpieces.
This success for Zhara led to an apprenticeship in the culinary industry, and she felt that nothing could stop her from following her dreams.
Unfortunately, a health scare (heart complications) for Zhara forced to her step down from cooking for 6-7 years. She was told she wasn’t well enough to continue in the fast-paced environment of the restaurant industry, so she sat on the sidelines and watched.
While she was recovering from her illness, and she watched as friends her age moved on with their lives; pursuing career goals, fulfilling relationship goals, Zhara knew she had to continue and follow her own dreams.
She had two choices. She could follow the doctor’s orders and not cook and pursue her dream of culinary greatness, or she could go against the doctor’s orders and follow her dreams. Ironically, the first choice, was breaking her heart, and the second choice of pursuing her dreams, meant following and healing her heart.
Zhara made a conscious effort to charge full tilt into the culinary world, and when she puts her mind to something, she is a force to be reckoned with. Zhara was determined to learn all she could about food, different cultures, and specifically molecular gastronomy.
To truly immerse herself into different cultures of food around the world, there was only one way for Zhara to do this. Travel the world, and absorb first hand all the different cultures and flavours of the world.
Spending one month in Japan in 2015 gave Zhara a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and cuisine, and the intricacies of ingredients. She was beginning to feel culturally alive.
One of the most important educational culinary destinations for Zhara thus far has been Barcelona, Spain. Here she truly began to understand molecular gastronomy. She learned to understand tapas, and the flavour sensations that came bursting from those tiny bundles.
Zhara travelled to Taiwan in March for 18 days; a research trip filled with food and fun. Zhara has a dream of opening a Molecular Gastronomic restaurant in Taiwan, and then having that success power her to open a restaurant back in Canada. She can remember the distinct sweetness of the pints and pints of candied cherry tomatoes in Taiwan. Candied cherry tomatoes, you ask? Yes, they were just that sweet and bursting with flavour.
Do you think you recognize Zhara? There’s good reason! Zhara was a top 40 finalist on Season 3 of Masterchef Canada. She says it was a great experience and helped to build her confidence.
Zhara is the founder of Sunlight Super Club. “Sunlight” after her late father, whose name Aftab means “sunlight”. After his death in 2016, she felt an even stronger necessity to follow her dreams and pursue the culinary arts. She knew it would be his wish too.
Zhara became affiliated with manjya in June of 2017. Since then she has proven to us time and time again that no job is too big, nor too far, nor too complicated for her tackle.
According to Zhara, “I feel my affiliation with manjya has helped me to come into my own as a chef. manjya has helped me build confidence, and has opened doors for a lot of business being sent my way. As an independent business operator, I love the feeling of having the manjya team behind me.”
To connect with Zhara, or one of our other talented chefs contact manjya, 1-800-993-4613.