PAST PERFECT PIZZA
I am a certified Pizza Maker with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana AVPN. Before my husband and I got into the pizza business, we decided to learn everything we could about making pizza. That meant going to the birthplace – Naples – and learning about Neapolitan pizza, a craft that hasn’t changed in almost three centuries.
A CAPITAL CHILDHOOD
My fondest childhood memories are of growing up with my grandparents in Abu Dhabi. Those were some of the best years of my life. Many friends I went to primary school with are raising families of their own in Abu Dhabi now, and I am in touch with them. The UAE has changed so much in the past 20 years, but many residents have deep roots. I hear a lot of expats say the UAE is a transient place. That’s not necessarily true.
I love Radiant Creamy Concealer by Nars. For me, all things make-up begin and end with mascara – L’Oreal makes one of the best ones. These are my go-to products to glam up on weekends – I work even then but tend to be more dressed up.
My husband Rami and I like to go out for coffee on Friday mornings, usually to local cafés. We spend a few hours just trying to unplug, and talk about everything but the business. We also like to go for massages. My day ends around midnight, and I like to unwind in front of the TV. The best way for me to relax at this time is either to read or watch something that has absolutely nothing to do with my business.
When I opened The Pizza Guys, people would tell me ‘You’re lucky, you can schedule your own day and take time off when you want.’ The reality of running restaurants is I’m always working and haven’t holidayed in almost five years. On weekends too I can’t completely check out. If I could I’d head to NYC for a pizza tour with Rami and stay at The Roosevelt Hotel. It has the feel and glamour of old-world New York.
Right now, I have Prince blowing up my playlist. I also love R&B, music from the eighties, Michael Jackson and Motown. My current favourite song is Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.
COURTROOM TO KITCHEN
I was at a point in my law career where all drive had gone out of the window. I was putting in long hours and feeling uninspired. Around the same time, my husband wanted to fulfil a lifelong ambition of opening a pizzeria. I thought, why not work this hard for myself? I also love to bake and have been doing so since I was nine.
I’m a big fan of a good crime thriller. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson is my favourite. I love to watch this TV channel called Crime and Investigation as I’m drawn to the motivation of human behaviour. I don’t watch a lot of movies.