How you were selected for this award and what does it mean to you?
I was selected for this award based on the impact, achievements and contributions that I have made throughout the three decades I’ve spent working in the culinary field, both in Lebanon and abroad.
I feel very honored and privileged to receive this award from my peers and experts in their fields, who have assessed my work and skills, and deemed them to be the best of the best. It is also immensely gratifying to be recognized for excellence in service to your industry in my beloved country — Lebanon. This award is a testament to the hard work and tremendous effort that I have put in, as well as all the challenges I have overcome to get to where I am today. I also believe that this award portrays Lebanon in a positive light.
As the head of culinary at Seagrass, how does your Lebanese heritage translate into your culinary offering?
My culinary heritage, the flavors, the ingredients, the cooking techniques and my experiences in Lebanon and in the Middle East have positively impacted my culinary choices and performance in whatever tasks and activities I have undertaken and will embark on in the future. I try to implement, whenever I can, these tastes and practices into my dishes to produce a product that showcases the restaurant’s concept, menu and market need, as well as enhance the clientele’s dining experience exponentially.
How will this award influence your future plans?
Appreciation and recognition are powerful motivators for your overall job and self-satisfaction. However, this award adds a certain sense of responsibility to maintain the high standards that I have set for myself. Consequently, this accomplishment reaffirms my resolve to always strive for excellence, to reach even further heights in my work, develop new skill sets, innovation and enhance my creativity, as well as encouraging me to further revolutionize the dining experience a new challenge that I feel I am ready to attain.
What makes a person excel?
To excel in your chosen field and become the best at what you do, I believe that you need both the skills and the desire to excel. This requires you to work meticulously, continuously refining your skills and applying them where they can be of most use. You must then want to perform well, be committed to producing quality work and see it through from start to finish, no matter the challenges and difficulties you may face along the way. Once you combine all these elements with a positive outlook, your performance will soar to unparalleled heights.