Baky Hospitality and Reif Othman have teamed up for a collaboration aiming to raise the Egyptian culinary and hospitality industry to a new level.
When owner and founder of Baky Hospitality, Ayman Baky, approached Othman, the chef perceived the Egyptian culinary sector as challenging in terms of being able to work with local ingredients and having to import expensive produce. Still, Othman accepted the challenge and delivered refreshed menus comprising high-end dishes which use mostly local products.
The new menus have pushed the Egyptian market out of its sensory comfort zone and have been very well-received.
After the reinvention of Sachi by the Sea and Kazoku’s menus, Othman turned to Lexie’s, modern Italian restaurant. The menu was made =more sustainable and given a new edge with the use of more premium local ingredients while staying true to Italian flavours.
Speaking about the collaboration, Othman said: “In Italian cuisine if you have pasta, tomatoes, and olives you have everything, but even though Italian is very simple and easy; still a lot of people don’t do it right, so that’s the tricky part.”
Baky Hospitality beverage director Walid Merhi also found the market challenging at first. Finding the right ingredients, the right products, continually educating the guests had about cocktails in general was no easy task yet, he is a strong believer that Egypt and especially Cairo, has great potential.
Merhi commented: “Many things formed a lot of challenges to me in Egypt - the lack of resources and ingredients necessary for a decent cocktail bar programme and the increased taxes on imported goods, compromising the quality of the products. But the biggest challenge was to be able to change the perception of our guests about an Egyptian cocktail.”
To celebrate the launch of Lexie’s new menu, Baky Hospitality hosted a VIP dinner on the November 29 2019.