Behind The Scenes of Ayamna – The Secret is in the Cheese!
We are excited to share yet another exclusive interview with one of our amazing chefs, Ali Albourji from Ayamna Lebanese Restaurant in Dubai and unveil the secrets of making a good Kunafa along with other kitchen secrets.
Tell the readers in summary what was it about the culinary art that first attracted you? Are you are familiar with the saying “cooking with love, baking with heart’? Well, my journey began at home in my childhood years. Seeing my mom cooking and helping her out in the kitchen awakened all my ‘kitchen ‘senses as I like to call them. With every dish, she made she gave her full attention, taught me to take my time and not to be scared to be creative but most importantly to love cooking. Basically, that is how my passion towards the culinary art grew and here I am today.
We are celebrating The Holy month of Ramadan at Atlantis, what food would you recommend to the readers to try at Asateer? Ramadan is a special time to spend with family and friends. I would recommend the fattoush salad and I believe it is a healthy dish during the holy month of Ramadan.
If you had to pick one dish that you had to eat throughout Ramadan, what would it be? That’s an easy one! soup would be my choice. One can play around with the different flavors like a vegetable, chicken, lentil, Harrira, tomato just to name a few of my favorites.
With your years of culinary experience, what is the secret to making a good Kunafa? Kunafa is a traditional Arabic dessert made with cheese pastry soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup. The secret is the cheese! without a good cheese mixture, you will never know what a good Kunafa tastes like.
Working in the Kitchen requires long hours, passion and commitment. What do you do for fun outside Atlantis? I have a few hobbies like swimming & biking which keep me fit and spending time with my family is always my ultimate goal to happiness.
What legacy do you wish to pass on to the next generation of chefs? I believe every chef must make it their culinary responsibility to cook healthy food. Chefs need to stay passionate, cook with their hearts and be creative in order to always produce the best, even when you have a recipe passed down from generations.
Visit Ayamna at Atlantis, The Palm to truly enjoy Lebanese fine dining in Dubai.