Ennismore, one of the fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality companies, announced the appointment of chef Sara Aqel as the global executive chef of Fi’lia, the award-winning Italian restaurant concept that continues to expand worldwide.
The appointment will see Chef Aqel, the 26-year-old Palestinian-Jordanian chef, who trained with the team of Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura, expand her current role from chef de cuisine of Fi’lia Dubai to overseeing sister Fi’lia locations in Miami’s SLS Brickell and South Beach locations and SLS Baha Mar in the Bahamas, with a fifth location in Paris to open this year.
Chadi Farhat, brand COO, Ennismore, said: “We are very proud to see Sara expanding her role at Fi’lia as our new executive chef. Sara not only brings her leadership and culinary expertise to the team, but also her passion for bringing people together through authentic dining experiences.”
Aqel said: “I’m very honored to continue my journey at Fi’lia as executive chef and I look forward to exploring even more opportunities to enhance the experiences of our guests with honest and innovative dishes.”
In her role of chef de cuisine at the recently launched Fi’lia Dubai, Aqel led a talented team of women, creating unique stories through her dishes and seeing potential in every ingredient in the kitchen.
Born and raised in Jordan and coming from a family who expressed their feelings through food, Agel discovered that cooking was her passion and something she wanted to pursue professionally. After graduating from high school, she went on to study at Les Roches Crans-Montana in Switzerland, one of the world’s leading hospitality schools, with a focus on culinary arts and hotel management. During her time at Les Roches, she was the only student to be selected for an internship at the prestigious The Hong Kong Jockey Club, where she excelled. Following her time in Hong Kong, she successfully completed her studies, obtaining degrees from Les Roches, as well as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in Jordan.
Prior to joining Fi’lia, Aqel worked for a number of renowned establishments in the Middle East and most notably with the Michelin-star crowned chef Massimo Bottura, where her passion for Italian cooking was fully ignited and nurtured.