Nestlé Professional MENA is showcasing its creative food and beverage solutions through easy-to-make recipes with the region’s top chefs.
Designation: Owner/ Co-Founder
Country of Origin: Originally Lebanese with a UAE passport
Years of culinary experience: Seven
Please tell us a bit more about your career journey.
I have always worked in private, semi- government and government companies as a corporate communications specialist. My love for food and looking for the best quality was what attracted me to the food business.
I started my own butchery in Sharjah called “Al Shams Meat” along with my brother- in-law and business partner Khalid AL Halyan, then opened a Lebanese restaurant called Qasr Al Dayaa Restaurant & Grill, which serves authentic Lebanese food, all the way to Gaya Catering which is our new company – to serve different sectors in the market.
What would you say is your favourite dish?
Chicken mouloukhia, because it reminds of the simplicity and combination of the most im- portant ingredients in Lebanese Cuisine: coriander and garlic.
What are you cooking up?
I’m cooking oriental quinoa with grilled chicken, baked kale crisps, cherry tomatoes and a CHEF Demi glacé sauce, which brings together basic ingredients from traditional kitchens for a delicious, nutritious meal.
As a chef, what are the top ingredients and products you’re using these days?
I personally always look for the best quality in each product we use and, when it comes to spices, we grind our own to make sure that we’re using the most premium quality.
How do you see the food scene now, any important trends to look out for?
Personally, I’m always working on bringing traditional, real food back to the tables of each family or customer. I love trying and tasting new flavours, but once I crave something, it’s surely a traditional homemade dish that mum used to cook.
What would you advise suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer their best to the market and meet demand?
To offer the best quality they have, ensuring consistency in flavours and availability in the market all year round, if possible.