Chef's Corner: Chef Yasmina Hayek


In a recent interview with Connector, Chef Yasmina Hayek, the executive chef at Em Sherif, discusses her culinary skills, her roles and duties, and her love for Lebanese heritage. Chef Yasmina Hayek who joined the family business a year ago, following an exciting journey working with renowned chefs and earning a bachelor's degree in culinary arts from Institut Paul Bocuse and a master's in Food Design in Milano, credits her mother, Mireille, the founder of Em Sherif, as a perpetual source of inspiration.

1. How did you get started in the food industry?

My journey began with a deep appreciation for Lebanese heritage. I have always embraced my cultural identity and let it shine through my culinary creations. My mother, the founder of Em Sherif - Mireille has always been a perpetual source of inspiration to me, rooting me in the true essence of Lebanese home cooking. This has fuelled my journey and remains an anchor in my career. Authenticity radiates from beautiful, lived experiences and I believe this shines through at Em Sherif.

2. What is your earliest cooking memory?

I grew up in a family and an environment where entertaining was a big part of who we were. I’ve got three brothers, so together with my parents we were always a family of six at the dinner table, and we used to sit down together every lunchtime and every evening to an absolute feast. My mother used to love hosting themed dinner parties at home. She loved having everyone over for a big meal, and she always prepared everything herself from scratch. That was something I admired growing up – and still do today. 

3. What is your favourite dish from your country?

Since I travel a lot and always get to spend my time in hotels and restaurants, I always miss having a heart-warming stew back home. It’s just so comforting, healthy and delicious. One of my favourites is artichoke stew, which is cooked, during the artichoke season, with pulled lamb, coriander and lots of lemon.

4. What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings?

A toasted markouk bread with your favourite dip or cheese 

5. What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country?

I love working with sumac.

6. What is the best dish to try at your restaurant?

My 'Freekeh' and lamb shank casserole with seasonal vegetables and a good full-bodied jus, for its richness and variety of flavours.

Chef Yasmina Hayek

Executive Chef 

Em Sherif

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