Silsal Gossip: An interview with Table For Five’s Fathima Mansoor.

Dubai-based blogger, Fathima Mansoor, is the proud voice behind Table For Five. She offers up creative takes on everything from homely staples for the whole family to eye catching desserts, sure to impress dinner guests. So, for the those of us who need a little encouragement in the kitchen (and those who don’t) read on…

1. Why did you start Table For Five?

I’ve had a love of food for as long as I can remember, my mother is a fantastic cook and baker, so my love for all things delicious was introduced at a very young age. I’m also reasonably adventurous, so tasting and creating new dishes is something that I naturally enjoy. Launching Table For Five was a natural progression to my passion.

2. How long have you been cooking?

I’ve been dabbling in the kitchen since I was young. Back then I did more baking than cooking, though but I started cooking regularly once I got married. One can only eat out so much, so I started experimenting with new flavors, as well as trying to develop myself with familiar ones.

3. What ingredients can you not live without?

Where do I start?! That’s a really tough question, but if I were forced to choose, then I’d say garlic, ghee, onion, cheese, salt, egg…..should I stop now?

4. How do you select tableware for a specific dish or occasion?

I usually decide depending on the occasion and the theme, but also take into account what dish I’m making. For example, my favourite go-to-dessert, meringue roulade, looks awesome on the Silsal Accents Platter. It’s the perfect size and shape, and complements the colours of the dessert perfectly.

5. What’s your favorite recipe on tableforfive.me?

The Best Ever Brownies! They’re gooey, and chocolaty and everything a brownie should be. They really are a must try. You can get the recipe here.

6. Which easy recipe would you recommend for nervous chefs?

My Pasta Pomodoro is really simple and easy to prepare, with minimal ingredients. Even if you don’t follow the recipe exactly, it should still work well. It’s a firm favourite with my kids and all their friends too, so a definite crowd pleaser! Check out her other recipes here.

7. What’s your favorite presentation hack?

I love using dried rose buds to decorate my desserts or food, and also sprinkle them around the dishes. There’s something incredibly romantic about the beautiful pink buds which resonates with so many of my dishes.

8. What are you currently reading?

I’m re-reading Paradise Lost by Toni Morrison at the moment.

9. What’s your favorite foodie destination?

There are too many to choose from and I love dishes from all over the world, but I’d have to say India. The country is home to so many varied dishes and diverse styles of cooking depending on the region.

10. What kitchen item can you not live without?

A good set of knives. Whatever meal I’m preparing, I always start off with a knife.

Silsal