Meet the First and Only Female Emirati Pastry Chef
Chef Sahar Al Awadhi speaks on the joy of food and being the only female Emirati pastry chef in the Middle East.
Hardworking, passionate and in love with the hectic life of working in a kitchen, Sahar Al Awadhi is the first and only female Emirati Pastry Chef in the Middle East. Her kitchen of choice: the Burj Al Arab.
Sahar’s career could have taken an entirely different direction were it not for her passion for pastry. After graduating from high school, she went on to study Communications and Design Management at the American University of Sharjah. Her first job was at Zayed University, where she handled social media, communications, marketing and branding for 4 years.
“I loved that job!” she said. “I got to work on their social platforms and start them from scratch! It was amazing and creative and wonderful, but deep down I knew that I wanted to work in the restaurant business.”
That was when she took a leap of faith to follow her passion for pastry as an experimental journey. “I quit my job without having another one lined up. I knew I would succeed because I wanted it bad enough.”
It was due to this leap of faith that Sahar applied to work at Dubai’s home-grown restaurant La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie in 2014 as Pastry Commis.
A year later, Sahar was working alongside one of Dubai’s most talented chefs, Izu Ani, who recognized her talents and sent her to Paris to perfect the art of bread making from his own mentor at ‘Le Saint Georges’.
Sahar returned to La Serre for another year before joining the team at Burj Al Arab in 2016. She joined as a Junior Sous Chef and worked her way up to Pastry Chef.
She knew her whole life that she wanted to work with food. She says, “I love pastries and being in a kitchen. It is a very tough job. I work 14 hour days on my feet and have to do the same thing over and over again but I don’t mind it because I love it so much. I get to do what I am passionate about.”
Sahar is among the very few Emirati women who work in the culinary sector. And today, Chef Sahar works alongside a team of 34 pastry chefs in a kitchen that operates 24 hours a day.
Source: Gulf News