Marta Yanci explains why she gave up a successful career as a lawyer to open boutique catering business, Marta’s Kitchen
What inspired you to switch from law to catering?
I’ve always loved cooking and have always been passionate about great food. Although I really enjoyed my career as a lawyer when I lived in Europe, I wanted to try something new when we moved to Dubai in 2005. I was always being asked to help cater my friends’ parties, so by 2009 I realised that opening my own boutique catering company was a great path to take. That’s when Marta’s Kitchen was born.
Please explain the concept of Marta’s Kitchen?
Our catering truly adapts to our clients’ needs and helps us bring such a unique offering to the market. We pride ourselves on ensuring our clients receive exactly what they are looking for, with us even doing an ‘all-blue’ menu once! The menu on the whole has Mediterranean and particularly Spanish roots, but most of the time we are quite flexible with our dishes. We don’t like to limit ourselves to a specific type of cuisine, but love to experiment, mix and match, and see what we can come up with.
What is unique about Marta’s Kitchen?
One of our unique elements is the fact that I personally interact with all my clients and love doing so. People love to hear the inspiration and stories behind the dishes and this helps them appreciate the food even more. Another unique point is that we never say no. We always try to adapt to our clients’ needs and expectations.
Tell us about Marta’s Workshop?
After five successful years’ catering, we decided to go one step further and open a small restaurant in JLT – Marta’s Workshop. It has since turned into an award-winning culinary atelier that has quickly risen to become one of Dubai’s gourmet hideaways. I really love the social part of my job, especially interacting with clients, and now I wouldn’t change my job for anything!
What challenges have you faced operating in the Middle East?
Most of the challenges come down to taste and particular traditions that sometimes can be difficult to adhere to in the catering world. For example, the way I would cook beef is considered raw by many of my clients, and the same applies to rice or even pasta. So it is a matter of knowing each individual client and ensuring you get it just right. Other than this challenge, I believe the Middle Eastern market has been extremely welcoming and it’s great to work in a place like the UAE where food is such an important industry.
What are your future plans for Marta’s Kitchen?
We are currently in the process of expanding our catering and we will open a new restaurant very soon, so watch this space!