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Zorah Booley Samaai aka Inthemidnightkitchen

Zorah Booley Samaai aka Inthemidnightkitchen
Thursday 18 August
The switch from studying law to becoming a pastry chef may seem confusing to some. But according to Zorah Booley Samaai, it happens more often than you’d think.
“You’d be very surprised how many lawyers have actually gone into the food realm. I think because it’s so contrasting, they like the change,” she says.
Both of Zorah’s parents are lawyers, so as the eldest child it felt natural that she go into that direction. However, after a while she realised it wasn’t for her. “I decided to go and study abroad. I needed a dramatic change because I wasn’t enjoying it,” she explains.
While studying at Le Cordon Bleu in London, she was constantly creating new recipes. “I started a blog and I was like, ‘I need to take photographs’. I started with my phone because I couldn’t afford a camera then, I was a student.”
She began to develop her photography skills from 2016 onwards because she understood how important presentation was to get people excited about her recipes. Now, the food photographer has over 70 000 followers on Instagram and a popular food blog, ‘Inthemidnightkitchen’.
In 2017, Zorah was diagnosed with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. “After being triggered, I noticed a lot of my friends had the same problem. I started creating foods that were a bit softer on the tummy. That you could still enjoy but a little less spice – even though I’m Indian, there’s usually a lot of spice – just kind of tone that down,” she explains.
Zorah’s book focused on gut health, ‘The Everyday Low-FODMAP Cookbook’, was released in September 2021. “I think my own struggles of having to cook for myself got me into making recipes that could eventually turn into a cookbook,” she says.
“It’s actually good for everyone, to focus on your gut and what the microbiomes need in that area,” she adds.
Her husband, Junaid, owns his own media company. “We’re kind of in similar fields, he actually helped me shoot the book... It was a great experience to work together.”
For Zorah, while work is work, it’s still a big passion of hers. “I think doing all of these things that I love really does make it a lot easier. I enjoy all the aspects of it; the recipe testing, the shooting, the editing,” she says.
To get your hands on Zorah’s recipes, follow her on social media:
@inthemidnightkitchen / https://www.inthemidnightkitchen.com / Inthemidnightkitchen

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