Saqib Keval

Chef Saqib Keval co-owns and operates Mexico City restaurants Masala y Maiz and Mari Gold with his wife, chef Norma Listman. The pair is known for their innovative blending of cooking techniques and ingredients from South Asia, East Africa, and Mexico. Keval is also the co-founder of The People’s Collective in Oakland, a grassroots food, art, and social justice project. 

Experience

Although Saqib Keval did not go to culinary school, he did cook in the South of France learning French cuisine and techniques. However, after a few years, he concluded that what he was learning was based on white supremacy and colonization which had led him to devalue his own culinary heritage, with roots in India by way of Kenya and Ethiopia. He has spent the last decade working to change the food world’s Eurocentric narrative through his activism and “mestizaje” cooking style, a term that describes the respectful mingling of Keval and Listman’s different cultural traditions. Since opening Masala y Maiz in 2017, the duo has formed a restaurant group that includes the more casual breakfast and lunch eatery Mari Gold, the worker-owned grocery Super Cope, and a chef residency program. Keval divides his time between Mexico City and Oakland.

Education

Saqib Keval attended Humboldt State University and holds a degree in French post-colonial literature.

About Food & Wine

Food & Wine, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is an award-winning online resource for anyone passionate about the culinary world. With rigorously tested recipes and the most trusted restaurant, drinks, culinary travel and home coverage, we inspire and empower people everywhere to discover, create, and devour the best in food and wine. Learn more about us and our editorial process.

Latest from Saqib Keval