Name: Ahmed El Meligui
Restaurant/Concept: Crossroads Restaurant, JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City
Title: Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing
Chef: Massimo Bottura, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Lucio Galletto, Giada De Laurentis, Antonio Carluccio & David Rocco.
Cooking show: Shows on Food Network and The Great food Truck Race.
Cookbook: Master in Italian Cookery and The Art of Pasta.
What experience most defined your decision and desire to get into the Food and Beverage and Hospitality industry?
My passion for the hospitality industry began at a very young age. When I was a child, we used to visit my uncle in Europe who was a hotelier at the time. He used to take me to work and show me around while explaining everything in detail. Every summer, I could not wait to see him and hear him speak about food and how everything functions in a hotel, which was very exciting to me. Those were one of the best memories of my childhood and, I believe, the start of my desire to work in the hospitality industry.
Where is your favorite place to shop for food and ingredients in Kuwait?
I prefer to shop for fewer but fresher ingredients. I tend to procure my spices and herbs from different sources in Kuwait from standalone stores and sometimes at Sultan Center. My focus is fresh and clean ingredients, so if I have to prepare seafood I would go and buy them fresh from the fish market. When I want something delivered, I discovered a website which delivers fresh and exotic herbs and spices to your door step.
What food most reminds you of your mother’s house, and why?
The Spanish Paella always takes me to my mom’s home. Every mother is the best chef for a child and so is mine for me. Every dish she prepared was special, but the day she used to make us Spanish Paella, she would prepare each ingredient with great care and she is definitely the reason why I am a foodie today.
When you want to go somewhere else to eat, where do you go and why?
I love going to Soul and Spice at the Courtyard Marriott and sometimes, I visit Nino or Bice. Since I eat out frequently, I like to try different restaurants now and then.
Who in the world would you most like to cook for?
If you were to leave Kuwait and could take only one kitchen gadget with you, what would it be?
I cannot leave Kuwait without my pasta maker and the strainer.