Dima was born in England to Lebanese parents and was raised between the UK, Singapore, and Dubai. Dima’s culture taught her that moments shared around a table are the most precious, and her artist mother sparked her creativity. After earning a degree in visual communications, Dima decided to follow her passion and love for food and joined the French Culinary Institute in New York. Since then, she has worked in restaurant kitchens in New York, Belgium, and Dubai. She was Sous Chef at Inked in Dubai for the past 3 years and now works as a consulting chef.
I have always tried to think of food not as something you eat, but as an experience. My cooking is creative, always in motion, I am constantly thinking about improving the way I cook a fish, working differently with an ingredient, making the experience even more interactive.
I am of Lebanese origin but born in England. Then I grew up between the United States, Singapore and Dubai. Throughout these travels I had the chance, very early on, to shape my palate to different cuisines, and different flavours. The table has an important place in Arab culture. That’s where we come together to talk and share all the good moments. Food was also a way for me not to forget my roots.
My mother is an artist and sculptor, and I spent my childhood making objects, puppets, plaster casts. I loved it. My degree in visual communications then taught me to think in an unconventional way. However, my passion and love of cooking quickly took over and I entered the French Cooking Institute in New York. Since then, I have worked in restaurants kitchens in New York, Belgium and Dubai, where I have been sous-chef at Inked for 3 years.
At the cooking school, where I trained in French cuisine. Olive oil used to be my main fat, but I have since discovered the different facets of butter and what it can bring to the kitchen: texture, flavour, finish; butter raises and refines any ingredient. It has become a key ingredient for me, and I use it all the time.
Good question!! Sweet butter without hesitation. It is more versatile, and I like being able to control the amount of salt myself.
I like its complexity and versatility. It is a multifaceted ingredient that can just as easily be in the background of a dish or, on the contrary, play a central role. For sauces, for example, it adds texture and balance, and it can even be a sauce on its own. Butter can be sweet, salty, be in knobs, clarified, emulsified… It is a real asset in cooking.
I have absolutely no interest in margarine! There was a time when margarine replaced butter for people with health concerns, but that time is over. Today we know that butter is good for us. I only use margarine when I need to create a vegan dish for a customer, but even then, I barely do use it.