The Chef’s Table


It seems like I’ve been talking about this project everywhere except on my own website. I blame twitter because there is instant feedback and the pressure to write a particularly interesting post dissolves when you’re faced with 140 characters. I’m sure there’s an observation to be made about decreasing attention spans or the power of haiku styled tweets; but let’s be honest and say it: I’ve been lazy busy.

The story of the Pop up and it’s progression has been documented in a number of online and print publications, as well as on my twitter feed or the Pop-up facebook page. Please excuse the cellphone pictures of the food; my photographer friend has been too busy walking the spanish countryside.

After a while in the restaurant industry in Cairo its easy to find yourself catering to the lowest common denominator: the couple that thinks the only chocolate dessert worth eating is a brownie with vanilla ice cream. After a while this gets frustrating, and unless you have a big trust fund or an alternate career, you’ll be forced to keep on doing it to make ends meet.

On the other hand, there aren’t many (or any) restaurant in Cairo that challenge the diner anymore. It’s all too safe, too predictable. It’s nice to be excited once in a while, to have butterflies in your stomach at the anticipation of a dish that was designed specifically to teach you something new, remind you of something old and make you smile.

That’s the logic and the mission behind each Chef’s table – as Chefs, we want to have fun and really let loose; as Diners, we want you to leave your prejudices at home, and eat with an open mind.

Principal Chefs:

Ayman Samir: Born and raised in the restaurant business and educated at the Le Cordon Bleu California Culinary institute. The Cellar door – formerly known as Le Petit Swiss Chalet – is one of Maadi’s oldest and highly regarded restaurants known for its North African and Mediterranean inspired cuisine marrying Chef Ayman’s Tunisian heritage and his classic culinary training. Chef Ayman is also the owner and operator of Cairo Cocktails, known for its imaginative bar-tending and creative combinations.

Moustafa El Refaey: The mind behind the nouvelle Egyptian cuisine served at Zooba in Zamalek, Chef Moustafa has cooked at countless restaurants in the United States, Dubai and Cairo. He draws upon a wealth of experience from working in the fine dining hotel industry as well as having cooked with Gordon Ramsay and previously taught at Henry Ford University in Michigan, USA. He is also a WACS certified judge and presides over culinary competitions worldwide.

Wesam Masoud: Licensed physician and webmaster behind, Wesam began by writing food reviews and articles and then stepped into the kitchen as Executive Sous chef under Ayman Samir at the Cellar Door followed by a stint as Executive Chef of the Cairo Jazz Club and is currently chief consultant of his own restaurant consultancy company.

Sample Menu (s)

Chef’s Table Cairo #1, 15th July 2012


Our Facebook page has got all the info you need and more.

On Twitter, we use the Hashtag #Chefstable #cairo #food #egypt. All in one tweet!

In The Press

I’ve aggregated the full list of links below; If you haven’t seen these yet, please take a look and leave a quick message about how I’ve changed your life and given your palate a purpose to keep on living.

Chef’s Table listing on Guestaurant

Big Bang Theory by David Blanks, Daily News Egypt [Review]

A Victorious Concept by Sarah Khanna, Egypt Monocle [Review]

Sit at the table of a Top Chef by Dalia Ferrer, Ahram Online [Interview]

Pulling the Strings by Wesam Masoud, Egypt Monocle [Opinion]

Meet the chefs before the 10 November pop-up event by Dalia Ferrer, Ahram Online [Profile]

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