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Camel milk hot chocolate? Young chef in Abu Dhabi gets Al Roker to try it

Bader Najeeb, 19, is a star chef in Abu Dhabi. Al Roker catches up with him and learns why camel milk might just be the next big thing.
/ Source: TODAY

Our own Al Roker has been broadcasting from Abu Dhabi this week, and of course, he’s already tracked down one of the city’s star chefs: Bader Najeeb, a self-taught 19-year-old cook, who already has two shows.

Najeeb grew up watching his mom cook and “annoying her” in the kitchen, he says. But male chefs in the United Arab Emirates are pretty much unheard of: “Women are supposed to be in the kitchen, not men,” Najeeb says.

Al Roker with Bader Najeeb in Abu Dhabi.
Al Roker with Bader Najeeb in Abu Dhabi.

But soon after he showed off his skills in a high school entrepreneurial competition, an interview on a web site sparked several newspaper articles, good and bad, and generated loads of buzz—leading to two local television shows: “Extra Sugar” and “With Bader” (his full name is pronounced “Better Nah Jeeb”).

Still, the chef is pursuing an undergraduate degree in business, which he figures will come in handy, whether he open a restaurant or get out of the field altogether.

Regardless of what he decides, this young man can cook, as he proved to Al on TODAY, where he shared this recipe for Rocky Road Camel Milk Hot Chocolate—yes, you read that right. Camel milk is becoming trendy in the Emirates, Najeeb says, adding that it tastes like regular cow’s milk, only saltier, and it has less fat and more calcium.

Camel Milk foods
Bader Najeeb shows Al Roker how to make Rocky Road Hot Chocolate using camel milk.TODAY

And if you start hearing more about camel milk in the United States, don’t be surprised: It’s being touted as one of the next super foods, and the first U.S. camel dairy farm, Oasis Camel Dairy, just opened in San Diego.

While you can camel milk stateside, primarily online, it’s pricey—about $18 a pint!—so yes, you can use regular ole’ fashioned cow’s milk in the recipe, the chef says.