It has been a little while since I last posted but I have some exciting news! Aline Kamakian, Co-Founder of Mayrig, a successful Armenian restaurant based in Dubai and Riyadh, will be sharing with us her favorite #FitNutApproved recipes twice a month for the next three month! The first recipe will be up on the blog tomorrow so watch this space!
Until then, get to know our latest recipe contributor, Aline Kamakian 🙂
Aline discovered her passion for cooking at the tender age of 13, when on a quest to convince her father to buy her a motorbike, she undertook the responsibility of helping with meals at home alongside her mother. The adolescent Aline chose to begin with the most difficult Armenian dish, ‘Soubeureg’, a layered pastry made with three cheeses, as proof of her tenacity for challenges!
Although suitably impressed, Aline’s father did not give in to her demands immediately and it was a while before she got to ride that motorbike. However what this did lead to is a lifelong affair with the heritage of a cuisine so myriad in its taste and texture. Aline continued to cook frequently at home with a love and passion for the food of her ancestors, with her father becoming her first discerning customer.
Aline was 17 when she began selling insurance part-time to pay for her education. Aline’s hard work and perseverance allowed her to graduate from Université Saint Joseph – USJ, with a double Masters in Finance and Marketing. Being the persistent woman that she is, she succeeded in the insurance business with eventually owning her own insurance brokerage firm and elevating it to a position of being one of the top 9 firms in Lebanon.
All through her financial successes, Aline never forgot her first passion – Armenian food made with love.
As one would expect, Aline made a success of her first restaurant venture, albeit with many challenges and since then has a belt of successful food ventures to her credit including M Catering (2004), Batchig – Lebanon (2013) and Mayrig – Dubai (2013), Made by Mayrig (2014) and soon to be opened in Riyadh in 2016.
Aline dedicated most of her time from 2010 to 2011 for co-writing her first cook book “Armenian Cuisine” where her research for traditional recipes took her on a journey to Cilicia, present day Eastern Turkey, the ancient Armenia that her grandparents fled during the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
Today Aline has brought a vast amount of heritage and experience across her culture to all her restaurant ventures and is open to franchising her brand but to only those partners that can carry her love for the food and its culture.
Together with her cousin Serge Maacaron, Aline opened ‘Mayrig’ – a traditional Armenian restaurant in June 2003 to share with the world, the forgotten flavours of ancient Armenia. Aline was the only chef in the kitchen when she first opened, and her love for food and for Armenia drove her to succeed. You can still find her in the kitchen – her favorite place – cooking for guests and making sure her family recipes are honored.
Awards & Accomplishments:
- Aline was also voted Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 in the BLA – Brilliant Lebanese Awards organized by BLC bank.
- Aline is a board member of the Lebanese Franchise Association as well as a board member of the LLWB – Lebanese League of Woman in Business.
- Successful candidate of the 2014 Vital Voices Fellowship Program and accomplished the Global Ambassador Program in 2016.