What lessons has your work life taught you?
My work life has taught me that ‘mis en place’ is necessary to make it through the day. It’s not a term just for chefs; it applies to my everyday work life. Being organized and prepared is my best bet to make it through the day successfully.
What qualifications do you need in your industry?
This industry requires a lot of actual experience. School and education are not enough. Real life experience is the only way to learn in our industry.
Best beauty buys?
Waterproof eyeliner and mascara for those 16 hour days.
What’s your daily uniform?
During the day it’s business dress and a pair of trainers or converse. At night, for service, it’s a nicer pair of black dress shoes. No heels, can’t work these hours in heels!
What are you most proud of?
Having my own restaurant with my husband.
What should someone expect to earn in your field?
Not a lot. Restaurants are not the most profitable businesses. People are in it for the love of it.
Make up your ultimate ‘super band’…
Snoop Dogg with the Petshop Boys
If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
Lucy Liu. Because she is American Chinese like me, and I’m a big fan.
What’s your fail-safe impressive dinner menu?
Milk braised pork cooked till the milk becomes jam and the pork is tender. Served with petit pois and bacon lardons, roasted beetroot salad and rice pilaf with pine nuts and apricots.
What are your ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty’ looks?
My on duty look is professional. Off duty I usually look like a 21 year old college student. I wear very minimal make up so on and off duty is the same look for me. I just tend to not care too much about fashion on my days off.
Best way to wind down?
Watch trashy TV shows on Netflix.
Favourite city in the UK and why (excluding London)?
Cambridge. I just love the buildings and history there. And I also love being surrounded by all the academia. James and I also got married there as well.
Top tip for talking about pay at work?
Most embarrassing item in your wardrobe?
My hot dog costume…but I like wearing it. It just embarrasses my husband.
Favourite drink discovery?
Music I’m listening to?
Best of Erasure
The book you most enjoyed reading?
The Soul of a Chef
Who do you wake up to?
My husband James and my dog Noodle.
What would you delete from your CV?
Nothing. Everything I’ve done has got me to where I am now.
Most treasured trinket?
My necklace with my name in Arabic.
Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver?
Joanne Searley, Director of Operations for JKS Restaurant Group.
Has anyone left you star struck?
Check out Bubbledogs.