Cheese and Chai and the foodie couple catering to Love Island and UFC stars

Birmingham Cheese and Chai’s catering service has been a resounding success in hosting international celebrities.

The Aston-based company is run by husband-and-wife duo Hamza Ali 31 and Adian Al-Sammer 26.

What started as a small tray and catering service in February 2019 has grown into a thriving food business catering to stars like Love Island’s Anna Vakili and UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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The couple of the dream team offers delicious Asian and Arabic fusion cuisine inspired by their respective origins.

They now host weddings, birthdays, corporate functions and more with their mouth-watering menu and visually striking table style all over the country.

Norwegian Adian Al-Sammer was just 21 when she arrived in the UK before getting married and having her first child. Interestingly, it was her son Adam who inspired the business idea as she recounts:

“I was planning my son Adam’s birthday party when he was a year old, I wanted catering like this (Cheese and Chai) but nothing was available.

Cheese and Chai Spread

“Local catering companies tend to use traditional South Asian food and all look the same, but I wanted to make catering more fun. Then I thought, why don’t I do it?

“The first six months I worked alone and my sister-in-law drove me because I couldn’t drive. Also, I only did events on weekends, but the business grew so much that I ended up doing weekdays as well.

“My husband finally quit his full time job as a teacher to work with me.”

Adian started out with luxury platters and gift sets consisting of fresh savory snacks, desserts, meats and fruits presented in style.

Cheese and Chai colored sliders

Barely two years and a Cheese and Chai mobile later, the business has exploded into a massive function catering of loaded hot dogs, tacos, curries, Moroccan fare, brunch bites and stylish multi-ethnic desserts. .

They also distributed their exclusive Falooda (Kashmiri dessert drink) at the Freshers Desserts, Mushtaq’s and Chaiiology Cafe food establishments.

The menu consists of Asian, Middle Eastern and Western cuisine. It also has a unique look that includes multi-colored foods and beautiful table decoration, inspired by Adian’s artistic background in art and calligraphy.

Adian spoke about the menu: “It’s inspired by our wedding because I’m Arab and Hamza is Asian. Being an interracial couple, we wanted to make it easier for other couples who want the best of both worlds.

Hamza with UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov

“We try to cater for all cultures, presentation is important as well as taste.”

Covid came as a big shock to the couple as customers suddenly stopped ordering and Hamza had just quit his job as a full-time teacher. As their income depended solely on customers, the future looked worrisome.

However, they focused on the positive and turned to their options of gift boxes that customers could send each other if they were separated by the lockdown. It was a huge success.

Cheese and Chai then saw great success when celebrities came knocking for their unique menu. Stars include UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, Anna Vakili of Love Island, beauty influencer Vanity Femme, social media star Lil Rayray and menswear label Ziggi Menswear.

Cheese and Chai present their new van

One of those clients was particularly important, as Hamza explained: “I think the restoration of Khabib was the moment we knew we had done it.

“I’ve been such a fan of him for ages, two years ago I was watching him on TV and I said jokingly ‘Can you imagine if we take it over?’ This dream has come true. “

For Adian, it was a big step as a new arrival in the UK and a new mother, but inside there was a thirst to imprint her name in Birmingham.

She said: “I have been through it all so quickly like getting married, moving in with my in-laws and having a child.

Cheese platter and Chai

“I was only 21 at the time. I am getting used to a new culture and a new language. But I am full of ambition and wanted to show everyone that I am a young Muslim woman and a mother who can do something for myself. “

Hamza concluded: “We started from humble beginnings in a disadvantaged area, there are a lot of misconceptions that you can’t accomplish anything with such barriers in place.

“We want to send the message that you can achieve anything with hard work, passion and honesty.”

Hamza also showed great pride in his wife saying, “Adian came from another country knowing nothing, so to achieve all of this in such a short time is amazing.”

The powerful couple have big plans including going international and expanding their squad, but Hamza stresses that they will follow whatever path life sets for them.

Visit their official website or their Instagram page.

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