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Women & Food: Exploring Some of the Region's Best Female Chefs

From underrated online recipe bloggers to full-blown restaurant entrepreneurs, here is the list of our current favorite women from the MENA who are specializing in the beautiful and diverse world of culinary arts.

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Sama Jaad

Winner of Top chef MENA champion in 2020, Sama Jaad is a Saudi culinary artist who has shown us exceptional skills and creativity. She specializes in various dishes, but mostly always gives us a glimpse of Arabic cuisine. Follow her Instagram to keep a look out for her delicious recipes that always keep us, food enthusiasts, inspired and captivated.

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Tala Bashmi

Tala Bashmi is a chef and entrepreneur from Bahrain that owns and works at Fusions by Tala, her own restaurant located in the heart of Manama. She always dazzles diners with her innovative culinary creations that seamlessly blend diverse flavors and techniques. Her restaurant was named #3 in the MENA region by World’s 50 Best and #1 in Bahrain.

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Rawya Al Ghofaili

If you are a cooking enthusiast, then you follow Rawya’s Instagram for sure. She does not make an appearance mostly, but her tantalizing recipes definitely do. Rawya has a diverse approach to cooking so you will find anything from desserts to meals. She develops recipes for newly opened restaurant in Riyadh, Bell Bird.

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Salam Dakkak

Salam Dakkak, a Palestinian chef, who has lived in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the USA, operates a Dubai-based restaurant where she invites guests from across the globe to gather around Bait Maryam's table. The restaurants which boasts of authentic Levant recipes is a heartfelt homage to Dakkak's mother, Maryam, who served as the muse for the concept.

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Tara Khattar

Tara Khattar, a Lebanese chef, wrote "Liban", a cookbook which features more than 100 Lebanese recipes. Khattar's grandmothers were her primary culinary influences, teaching her to cook with love and passion. As a private chef and consultant, Khattar has traveled around the world, but she still remains loyal to the culinary influences of Lebanon. Also, she posts recipes on her own personal Instagram!

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Nour Al Zaben

With a Cordon Bleu background, Nour Al Zaben has made her mark in various restaurants in KSA. Her specialty? Revitalizing restaurants all across the Kingdom. Notably, Al-Zaben undertook the task of reinvigorating a small, outdated eatery in Jeddah, which has since become Urb Kitchen, one of the most popular restaurants in the country.

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