In an interview with Scroll, Indian chef Hussain Shahzad shared his memories of his brief stint as the personal chef of former world number Roger Federer. 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.
Hussain agreed, unaware that that person was Federer, busy competing in the Indian Wells Masters 1000.
Hussain Shahzad worked briefly as Roger Federer’s chef
When asked to share his experience working as a personal chef to Roger Federer, Hussain Shahzad recalled: “I was ready to put in my papers when Chef Daniel asked me my plans.
I told Roger Federer I wanted to travel and gain some perspective. He asked, ‘What if you got paid to travel?’ I said, ‘Sure, I could do with the dollars.’ So he told me to go work with his friend in California.
He didn’t tell me who it was, just that he was doing the ATP World Tour. It was only when emails went back and forth and tickets came in that I saw the name Mirka Federer [Roger Federer’s wife] for the first time,” he added.
“He had an entourage of 24 people. There were two personal chefs – Daniel and me. At the end of it, he asked me if I wanted to move to Switzerland, but I realized personal cheffing was not for me,” Shahzad said.
“It was fun while it lasted – I had never met such high-profile people, and they were amazing and humble. They respected you, your work, and they spoke to you like equals,” Hussain Shahzad concluded. Toni Nadal says his nephew Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are ‘rightfully the best two players in history,’ even if you take statistics out of the equation.
“Statistics aside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have elevated this sport to a higher category, something that others can hardly do,” Toni Nadal told El Pais. “It seems right to me that both are considered the two best players in tennis history.
The stakes were high and Rafa knew from the start of the tournament. On the one hand he could match Roger Federer with the Grand Slam tournament record and, on the other hand, in case of defeat he would lose his unbeaten record in the finals”.