Meet the Indie-Chic Chef Infusing an Ethiopian Palate at One of New York’s Finest Restaurants

by Xara Aziz
Instagram @fariyalabdul

Chef Fariyal Abdullahi always knew she would pursue a career in culinary arts but almost strayed away from that path after deciding to study clinical child psychology while in college.

But undeterred, she is now the executive chef at Hav and Mar, one of New York’s most sought-after seafood restaurants, located in Chelsea’s vibrant arts neighborhood.

Born in Ethiopia, Abdullahi attended the Culinary Institute of America shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree and decided to refine her culinary talent by traveling to 18 different countries. During her three months abroad, she experimented with dishes and studied flavors from around the globe.

Upon return, she rose to the top of the culinary industry and has worked at three Michelin-star restaurants, including Noma in Copenhagen. She has also been the culinary manager at five Hillstone Restaurant Group locations. “Her dishes tend to include nods to her Ethiopian roots and have been featured in spaces such as the Met Gala and Vogue,” reads her biography on Hav and Mar’s website.”

At Hav & Mar, which “draws from the diverse culinary influences” and is “complemented by a dynamic craft cocktail program and an extensive wine list,” Abdullahi states that she loves that she and her team have been able to build a work culture that promotes Black women. “We celebrate each other,” she told RESY. “If someone makes something delicious, we won’t stop talking about it. We greet each other with so much love, it’s palpable.”

In Abdullahi’s free time, she enjoys exploring new eateries with friends.

“I’ll send out a big group text that just says, ‘Hey, food adventure Sunday,’” she said, adding that she particularly loves pop-ups and brick-and-mortar restaurants and prefers to go with a group. “That way, I can taste everything on the menu.”

Learn more about Abdullahi’s childhood memories growing up in Ethiopia and her food rituals on Food Network’s Obsessed podcast.

Related Posts

Crown App