Indian chef Hussain Shahzad shared his memories of his brief stint as the personal chef of former world number Roger Federer during an interview with Scroll. Working in the well-known Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York, the Indian received an invitation from another chef, Daniel, to work with the precious opportunity to travel around the world with a 'friend' of his, who at that time was found in California.
Hussein accepted, unaware, that that person was Federer, busy competing at the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000.
Hussain Shahzad talks about his experience with Federer
The Mumbai chef said: "I was ready to pack when Chef Daniel asked me about my plans.
I told him I wanted to travel and get a new point of view. He asked me: What if I get paid to travel?. I replied: Sure, I could do it' So, he told me to go to work for a friend of his in California. He didn't tell me who it was, just that it had something to do with the ATP Tour.
It was only with the exchange of emails and when the tickets arrived that I saw Mirka Federer's name for the first time." After the conclusion of the Indian Wells tournament, the Basel champion even asked Shahzad if he would accept the proposal to move with him to Switzerland, but the chef decided to decline the offer: "He had a team of twenty-four people.
Two were his personal chefs, Daniel and me. In the end he asked me if I was going to move to Switzerland, but I realized it wasn't for me." In any case, the Indian appreciated the few days spent with Federer: "It was fun while it lasted - I had never met such high profile people, they were incredible and humble.
They respected you, your work, they spoke to you as an equal." Roger Federer has only played in the 2020 Australian open this season, reaching the semifinals and losing to Novak Djokovic. After the Match for Africa 6 with Rafael Nadal, The Swiss Maestro went under surgery in his right knee.
After the lockdowns and the suspension of the tournaments until mid-August, Roger decided to permanently resolve his right knee problems with a second surgery, in June. He will come back on the court for the Australian Open 2021.
Meanwhie Rafael Nadal, by winning Roland Garros 2020, set the 20 Slams record held by the Swiss champion.
I can’t thank them enough!! 🙏 @opedromumbai we as cooks embrace this learning in our service everyday. #justanothernightinservice