Our interview with the world-renowned chef, entrepreneur and philanthropist who found his passion in Italy (and never forgot it).
Khalid Dahbi is known globally for KD Luxury, his catalogue of precious foods like caviar and edible gold.
“I wanted to become an actor and be on Italian TV, but I applied to Cinecittà and sadly, my application was refused.” It’s one of the many surprises that Khalid Dahbi reveals over the course of our interview, and one of the twists in a cinematic life that brought him to where he is today. “I always wanted to be an actor, and I used to love the charisma of Italian TV. But when I saw that it wasn’t going to happen, I made my way to the Lido di Jesolo in Venice and instead, 20 years later I’ve become a pretty successful chef.”
Successful is something of an understatement and chef doesn’t quite capture the many hats he wears. Throughout an incredible career and life, Khalid Dahbi has managed to remain unnervingly humble, and much of it is due, in his words, to the time he spent living in Italy. Although these days he’s known globally for KD Luxury, his catalogue of precious foods like caviar and edible gold, he doesn’t see much difference at all between those high ticket items and the mozzarella he used to pick up every Sunday in his adopted hometown. Elegance lies in simplicity, and in the humble respect for a well-made product and the person who created it. It’s a theme we’ll return to throughout the conversation and the thread that ties his journey together.
But for all the laughter, luxury, and caviar he’s experienced (and it’s been a lot), Khalid Dahbi is driven by a desire to give back, and to create a community of people who can spread the kind of kindness that sustained him along his winding road. His latest initiative is Together Thank You, a global campaign to support mental health during the pandemic and to provide resources and funding to organizations who are sustaining communities hit hard by lockdowns. He reflects on this throughout our conversation and as with everything else, it is simple and elegant. “Nobody can pivot their way out of the pandemic by themselves and we’re all going to need some help at some point. We’ve got to be there for each other.”