The journey of Pinch Gourmet starts all the way from Montreal, Quebec in Canada. After living the majority of my life in Dubai, I decided to continue my studies at the John Molson School of Business where I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing. Throughout my studies, I found myself enrolling in a Marketing of Food course that really triggered my inner foodie. My professor stressed that in order to compete in the food industry, I’d have to learn how to cook. Not exactly music to my ears, I really had no interest in learning the art of cooking, let alone becoming a chef… Three months later, I was enrolled in elite culinary school Le Cordon Bleu Paris in Ottawa (Hey, it was good enough for Julia Child, it was going to be good for me too) The first semester was hell on earth. The first week alone was dedicated to cutting, julienning, brunoising and turning vegetables. I hated it. Every time I cut something, it was either too small, or too big or too ugly. Everything I served was under seasoned or over seasoned. I was miserable. About two months into the course, I remember serving a poached chicken dish and the Chef told me that it was not bad. “Not bad?” Not bad! Success. I had the biggest smile on my face. Finally I did something right, well, ish. I danced around the kitchen singing “Not Bad!” As the months went by and the work hours got longer, the passion grew (surprising, I know). I got better at cooking but I was miles behind my classmates. They had all worked in restaurants and hotels before, and I was clueless. I spent countless hours at home turning carrots, chopping onions and memorizing every quantity and ingredient for the next day in class. It was the only way to keep up. I made it to graduation, and soon after, I moved back to work and worked in some of Montreal’s most prominent restaurants. To give you a visual: Imagine constant yelling, banging of pots, burns, scars and stress- those were the norm. These places were full at all hours of the day. It was a constant battlefield. The Chefs had no mercy and expected nothing but the best. In their minds, shortcuts were for the weak and unfit. I saw a lot of cooks get fired or quit on a monthly basis. It was like a culinary boot camp, if you will. Yet, for me, nothing could break the love- I had found my happy place. When I made the move back to Dubai in April 2014, I was determined to open a restaurant. While figuring out details of such a venture, I would host parties at my house, and the feedback was great. It then dawned on me: catering. And that’s how Pinch Gourmet was born.