This week we sit with Stasha Toncev, founder of Dubai’s award-winning Balkan bistro, 21 Grams. Hailed in the media, Stasha’s restaurant was praised as “charming” and “brain melting” by The Financial Times supplement, How To Spend It, and Bill Addison, the Los Angeles Times’ celebrated food critic. In a heart-to-heart with Hashem, Stasha opened up about her childhood in Socialist Yugoslavia; her daring move to Dubai with 200 Euros in her pocket and the struggles of launching her restaurant business as a woman of Balkan descent—a double whammy in her view. Stasha and Hashem also talk openly about the importance of mental health for entrepreneurs and the struggles and personal sacrifices Stasha braved for her business.
Hashem speaks to Ahmad Al Marri, founder of Dubai-based ice cream brand Canvas Gelato.
Hashem and guest host Samantha Wood aka FooDiva catch up with Issam Kazim, CEO of the DTCM, which helped catapult Dubai from the early pandemic days to the other side of lockdown. They also talk about the impact of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants and The Michelin Guides on the F&B and tourism sectors.
Hashem catches up with Mohamad Orfali, TV celebrity chef extraordinaire, restaurateur and co-founder of the award winning Orfali Bros restaurant in Dubai.