Abdullah Interviews Mohammed Al-Dhubaib
Interviews are back, had a nice break from hosting’em since you lovelies been out and about on vacation galore.
Back in january 2010, Mohammed Al-Dhubaib & his cousin invited me to sink my teeth in their sicilian cuisine creation, Melenzane. I did, I reviewed it and the crowd went WAW.
However, due to construction delays surrounding the restaurant, all they could offer was a low key, call before you come, welcome. Trust that the owners wanted everyone to rush in, have a great time and just enjoy the atmosphere that screamed “escapism”.
I’v always seen Mohammed socializing with people I knew from time to time, never had the chance to properly introduce myself. When we met, all it took was 10 minutes, then I felt home. Like I knew the guy from ages. Very open, sincere, down to earth, grounded, super polite and very very funny yet attentive.
I remember while we were sitting, I grabbed Mohammed on the side and I slowly said “so how did all of this come together ?” I was referring to the whole project. He gave me the proud father face and said ” You really wana know ? really ? Its a long story, I don’t want to bore you” I said, shoot, but gimme some sweet sweet dessert and coffee coffee so I can fo focus with you. I was still in a daze after all the eye pleasing, stomach feeding, heart warming servings of excellence we got.
As he was telling the story, I was in shock. The idea of quitting your job, keeping a secret from your family for the longest time, not having a steady income, living in fear, ignoring everyone and everything because you believe in a dream that you may or may not create is beyond what anyone can bare. I was in shock and you, dear readers, wont understand why until you read about it below. I don’t want to spoil the fun but i’ll say this as a direct message to Mohammed :
“I am so proud of you, your story is full of courage, commitment and clarity, you did what most men claim they can but didn’t – keep your head high, you have my full support, love and appreciation.”
Lots of things were said, I prefer you read them from Mohammed directly.
Click away !
Mohammed, Speak up !
Well, first of all, I am Mohammed Jasim Al Dhubaib, 26 years young. My major interests are cooking, reading, traveling, watching movies, and visiting new places.
Childhood flashes ?
As a result of being the youngest in the family, I did not have an active and a vigorous childhood. Therefore, I was the calm one and the closest one to my mother. Also, my brothers were my role models and I looked up to them.
What inspired you to tap into who you are now ?
My parents, without them I am sure I would not have been the person I am today. Also, have the characteristics of a hard worker and a dreamer pushed me to do the best I can do.
Ofcourse I had an interest in cooking ever since I was young, I remember how I used to ask the people working with us at home to cut onions, tomato, mushrooms, green peppers, then barge in, mix them up, cook eggs my way, put them together nicely in a presentable way, knowing that no one will see them but me, still, it had to look good. I thought I had it in me ever since.
What differs you from the rest of the competition out there?
We represent a Sicilian restaurant specialized in an Italian cuisine, what makes us different is the way we create our food, we cook and create every dish with our atmost attention, minds, heart and passion, thats always the reason that drives everything to be unique and at Melenzane you will notice that.
I think the interior design of the place has played a big role to differentiate us from other competitors the twisted upside down world that was designed by the architect Ahmed Albaghli.
What were the difficulties you faced and how did you overcome them ?
In my opinion, the first step you take is usually the hardest step. A lot of people think that leaving a permanent job that provides you stable income and going after a dream that doesn’t exist yet is one of the worst decisions a person could take. But, I’m glad and honored to say that I did it. Of course, at the beginning I struggled on how am I supposed to tell my parents that I quit my job and am willing to run after my dreams. I kept it a secret for a year and 7 months. I used to fake that I was going to work and after that I decided to reveal my secret because it is for my own good. I faced my fears and it turned out to be the best decision I took because they turned out to be my #1 supporters.
The difficulty of not believing in our selves, it took me a long time to overcome this issue but it got solved by people’s love and support.
Its hard to find a team like what we have in Melenzane, we tried our best to create the perfect team at first and complete the Melenzane family, but we made it, now it feels like home to each and every member.
Share with us your big trip abroad, what went down ?
Our trip took 3 years, from 2005 – 2008. We went to paris and sicily a couple of times. In paris we met Nino Trapani, he inspired us and he started working with us. He taught us how to cook from scratch. We had an amazing time with Nino and we benefited a lot from him. We moved from a location to another in Sicily. We learned there alot and it was a great experience.
Later on, we took a brave step and started Melenzane. It was a tough challenge for me.
Whats your support system like ?
I’m happy to say that I got support from so many people and I thank god for that.
First of all I would like to thank my parents, brothers and sister, the whole family, specially My close brother Yousef Al-Dhubaib and my sister in law Bedor Al-Jeri.
My partner Mohammed Najeb Al-Dhubaib.
Arch. Ahmed Al-Baghli and his wonderful wife Zainab Al-Abdulmohsen.
Mr. Essa Al-Loqani , Ahmed Al-Hozami, Essa Adel Al-Essa, Abdulaziz Al-Tabtabai, my cousin Mishari Al-Dhubaib and all my friends that’s supported me in my journey, im really sorry if I forgot any names.
My team at Melenzane, I call them (my kitchen warriors), my energetic servers, also the operational manger and Mr. Mohammed Mostafa.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now ?
One of best Italian restaurants and I have so many plans I hope inshala it all comes true .
Throw something for p0ach readers.
Don’t say I cant and how , go direct to your target and believe in yourself, and you will realize that everyday has something new for us that we have to learn and overcome . we just have to be brave and keep our full energy to succeed.