Fatima Al-Ajmi and Hind Al-Raisi… A dreamy journey that ended with the title of “Emirati Chef”

Two stories of success and inspiration that carry with them all the meanings of determination and passion. These are the stories of Emirati chefs Hend Al Raisi and Fatima Al Ajmi, who chose the field of hospitality and cooking, after studying and working in other fields, to present two success stories added to the achievements of Emirati -women in the world of hospitality. Hind and Fatima were attracted to the world of food, so they decided to learn more about its diverse flavors and cultures, combining it with Emirati influences to offer traditional and modern dishes.

The story of the chef at Jumeirah Group, Hend Al Raisi, began when she left the world of decoration and interior design, and followed her passion for cooking, so she traveled abroad and underwent a series of educational and training courses to in the culinary world. Al-Raisi says about her journey with cooking: “I graduated from the American University in the field of decoration, and actually you can say that cooking runs in my veins, so preparing various dishes has been my hobby since childhood, and for that I decided to undergo many courses in Armenia, and I was the first Arab woman to obtain a diploma from Armenia. Al-Raisi pointed out that she initially worked in the “breakfast department”, and after two years she moved to work in the kitchen department dedicated to room service, explaining that this development in the profession was the result of a number of factors, including undergoing courses and developing skills through daily work.

It was not easy for Hind Al-Raisi to convince the family to become a “chef” and indicated that she faces a big challenge in convincing her family because the profession is unknown to Emirati -women, indicating that society encourages women to enter many fields, even those whose entry was previously unknown to women. She noted that women receive great support from the Emirati leadership to overcome difficulties in all fields, achieve themselves and present the most prominent achievements at the local and global level.

Al-Raisi tried to create a unique experience through a five-star hotel, as she saw that this experience would facilitate her to start her own project at a later time. She pointed out that the profession has many difficulties during work, especially the commitment to speed in preparation, in addition to strong personality, and communication skills with the team, because working in the kitchen is the work of an integrated team. Al-Raisi pointed out that the number of male chefs far outnumbers women, without it being difficult for a woman to distinguish herself or prove herself. On the contrary, she found that it enabled her to progress and continue, expressing her ambition to see the world. Noting that the concept of global access today has many channels, including social media platforms, the Emirati chef explained that at the beginning she cooked from home, and had her freelance work for eight years, and she had ‘ achieved an excellent position, but she moved to the hotel in search of a hotel experience that will contribute greatly in her field.

Al-Raisi loves to travel and get to know famous chefs, so she often visits famous restaurants, gets to know the chefs, and wants to enter their kitchens, and learn about their cooking style, emphasizing that Indian cuisine is one. one of the most difficult kitchens I’ve tried, given the variety of spices and sauces in his dishes, it’s a very diverse kitchen, but it’s a lot of fun to work in.

For the sake of experience

On the other hand, Fatima Al-Ajmi’s story with the culinary world was not much different. Chef Fatima Al-Ajmi started her work in the hospitality sector in the field of management, but her love for the culinary world forced her to look for a starting point to introduce it. About this beginning, she said: “I started working in the hospitality sector through a program that supports nationals and motivates national cadres to enter the sector. Therefore, I studied for about a year in more than one department, and in this period I developed a comprehensive idea and experience about the sector and its management method.” She pointed out that after working in the administration field, through which she sought to highlight the welcoming Emirati culture, customs and traditions known for generosity, she decided to enter the culinary world from experience, and through courses at the knocked on its doors. which enabled her to obtain gold medals in this field.

Working on local Emirati dishes, taking her skills in applying recipes from home, from the world of hospitality and from international chefs, Al-Ajmi worked hard to combine traditional Emirati food with contemporary flavours, and has noted that time spent creating flavors that people admire generates great happiness in the heart of the one who prepares it. . She noted that the challenges she faced at the beginning were many, especially from the Emirati society, as the Emirati family is conservative, and the girl’s work in hospitality may not be familiar to her, and for that she has proved with determination that she will be able to enter this world, and hard work has led her to achieve what she desires.

Al-Ajmi aims to elevate the name of Emirati woman through her work, especially by focusing on the Emirati identity and culture, the Emirati home, and what women can learn from this home. She emphasized that the wise leadership in the UAE supports women to enter various fields in which success is achieved, and Emirati women are happy with all the support provided by the state, because the secret of the path to success lies in to seriously pursue ambition.

Armed with perseverance

Hind Al-Raisi and Fatima Al-Ajmi gave advice to women on the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day, entitled “Arm with persistence.” Fatima Al-Ajmi said: “I advise every Emirati woman to follow her passion and dream to achieve the path she loves. As for Hind Al-Raisi, she advised Emirati women to pursue their dream and said: “Following the dream is very important, and no matter how difficult the difficulties may be, it can be achieved through will and determination, especially as the Emirati leadership encourages women to pursue all fields enter and reach themselves.”

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