Chef Mimi

“When IΒ first joined, I was overwhelmed by the screaming in the kitchen, large
men, deep voices, screaming their lungs out. “FIRE!!!” I would hear
every 2 minutes, and I would think, “Where?? Where?? Why isnt anyone
freaking out??”. Then I started to understand the concept” – Maryam AlNusif

Who is Maryam AlNusif? She is a talented chef who is living her dream and selling her life to her passion… cooking that is, and where? At Nobu – her favorite restaurant…. not to mention that she also worked in both Ottolenghi and The Providores! So not only am I a fan of her and her work, but I strongly believe that she is an inspiration!

I came to know about Maryam from my friend Nour! We, Maryam and I, were supposed to meet in Kuwait while she was in town, but I was swamped with work, and Maryam was in town for a short period of time… so lucky for me, I got to meet her in London, again, thanks to Nour AGAIN πŸ˜‰ who got us in contact!

I met her at Starbucks Berkely branch, just across the street from Nobu where she works. She was so full of life and positive vibes which made this interview more interesting!

Tell me about yourself, background, and how it all started for you in London?

I graduated from Kuwait University with Accounting major. I did my masters in London. I worked in an investment company in Kuwait and loved it, but I dont think I am going back there. Soon after I applied for Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School, and while I was a student there, I aimed for Nobu for that it is my favorite restaurant and my dream was to work in their kitchen! My mind was set that I wont be going back home before I do this, I was so determined that I literallyΒ sneaked my way through the kitchen to meet the chef… I really did it!

How?

I tried it the right way, and was faced with some unfriendly faces… but I didnt give up! I looked into every possible channel to get through, and the “proper” channel that got me to the chef’s office was Nobu’s supplier.

Tell me more about your first encounter with the chef?

I basically got into his office, showed him how determined I was – how I wanna live for what I love, and when he asked me “When can you start?” I said “Tomorrow!!” Of course I did not start the next day, but I was asked to come back in a couple of days. So after two days -at 10:00AM sharp- I was there ready to go under testing, and for 12 hours that day I just did what I was asked to do… 10 to 10, under testing and working hard! It was nerve wrecking and I kept an open mind that it could be my only time at Nobu’s kitchen, but I did it! I got in and I was overjoyed! I MADE IT!

Whats your favorite cuisine?

I love Asian food… Thai, Japanese,Vietnamese… but not Chinese! I also loveΒ Moroccan, French, Spanish, South American…. You name it!

What makes you different?

Am I different? Well, I am just so passionate about food and I love what I do. I dont like to dream, but rather LIVE those dreams. I am driven and lucky too πŸ˜‰

Whats next? What will happen when you come back to K-Town?

I am going to start my own business and open my restaurant specialized in fusion food, which by the way isn’t really “mixing” – fusion goes beyond mixing! Its more of a union or blending of ingredients, regardless of which region they come from in the world, as long as they taste good together. All modern day cuisines are a result of historical fusion. The English wouldnt have their chips to go wit their fish, neither would the Thai have peanuts or chilies in their’s, because all these ingredients came from the New World. I could go on, but I think you can see my point πŸ˜‰

Well, I cant wait for this to happen! She already catered some events last Ramadan and I heard nothing but AMAZING reviews…..

Mimi’s Restaurant, I am already a fan πŸ˜‰

Check out her facebook page for more info/pics (link)

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40 responses to “Chef Mimi

  1. This article put a huge smile on my face. I love reading about success stories… especially those who have achieved their dream through hard work and determination. Well done, well done, well done Maryam.

  2. mashalla 3alaiha.

  3. Mimi’s food is nothing but heaven πŸ™‚ I would also like to add that she is a perfectionist, and has a very strong quality control. Good luck Mimi with your ugly beautiful creations πŸ˜‰

  4. U Go Girl testahleen kil khair mariam e9ara7a shay esharif min haga enna fe wa7da kuwaitia teshtighil fe Nubo

  5. used 2 go 2 high school with mariam, a true talent indeed, wish u the best

  6. So proud of you Mimi!! So soooo proud!! I don’t even know what to say… But cant wait to see whats to come! :*

  7. I’ve met Mimi in person a few years ago here in my hometown of London and she’s a really sweet, amazing person. I am extremely happy for her that she has made her dream come true. As soon as my student money comes in, I’m off to Nobu πŸ™‚

  8. LOOOOOOOOOVE HER!!!

  9. Masha2 Allah πŸ˜€

    Allah yetamem 3leha insha2 Allah o yewafeqha… now that’s an achievement to be proud of! Way to go!!!

  10. Mashalla! Good for her and hope we get to hear more success stories of Kuwaiti youth working hard for what they are passionate about…good luck to her on her future goals πŸ™‚

  11. So proud of you chef Mimi, way to go!!
    Great work Ansam :*
    Good luck to both of u

  12. Way to go mimi !!!

    Thanx Ansam, brilliant as usual!

  13. Chef Mimi we are all so proud of you and we support you 100%. I looooovvvve you and your food. Can’t wait to eat in your restaurant πŸ˜€ thank you ansam for writing about this wonderful lady, and amazing chef .

  14. well done mimi i wish u all the best !
    sure i will visit Nobou next time enshallah

  15. I’m So ProuD oF u mimi ,, Le aLa3La Da2eman inshallaH ,, allaH yewaFGiCh ..

  16. Amazing Mimi!!! Love your determination!!! You Go Girl! w 3asa allah yewafgich! and can’t wait for Mimi’s Restaurant! πŸ˜‰

  17. all the best mimi πŸ™‚

  18. That is so amaaazing! I love love love hearing about/reading about/seeing successful Kuwaitis who’ve worked their butts off to achieve their dreams!

    This just gives me more ammo for when I’m encouraging my students to wake up, work hard and get to where they want to πŸ˜€

    Great job, Mariam! Ya36eech alf 3afya oo keep it up oo Allah ewafgech :*

  19. Pingback: 2010 Wrap-up ;-) | FIVE ONE EIGHT

  20. fareah al saqqaf

    I think everyone in Kuwait is proud of you Mimi. We cant wait to see and experience your success in here and be certain that we will do anything that is needed to support your success. Well done Mimi and count on me if you ever need any help. We love you and admire you.

  21. fareah al saqqaf

    We are all in KUWAIT very proud of Mimi. We cant wait to see her having her own buisness in Kuwait . Count on us habeebti if you ever need any kind of help. Well done Mimi. We all love you and admire you.

    • Yes I think so too… we are all proud of her and her achievements! She is awesome and a great person to know πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your comment and encouragement πŸ˜€

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