As you watch her cutting down a tomato into thin slices, gazing down at each slice sliding next to the other, with a backdrop of a rhythmic sound of her sharp knife hitting the board. She’s engulfed by her craft, it’s taken a toll on her and there’s nothing on earth that could pull her attention away. It’s a spell; it continues until a perfectly round, feverishly red tomato is split in eight.
It’s until you stand across her, make your presence felt with an Ahem that she’d raise her gaze and pass a warm smile.
Meet Haya Emaan, a line chef based in New York…
A sensation at the all-popular Jean-Georges in New York City, Haya has a certain persona that immediately grows on you. Her warmth, balanced personality reflects in her cooking prowess. She likes to play along the traditional and contemporary lines!
Haya is a Business and Law School drop-out and her passion for cooking has taken her anywhere she has aspired to
Haya’s story is a personification of dreams coming true. Her backstory opens up 8 years back when she made the tough choice of dropping out. In a society, in a dimension where there’s no stronghold for culinary and no culinary schools at all, it’s a tear-jerking tale of how Haya Emaan managed to come out as a Professional Chef. We wonder, how could anyone even aspire to be in the first place? Surely, there was a passion beyond everything.
Haya Emaan appeared to be resilient. She has a knack for it. It was not an easy route. Obviously, her chances abroad were not very slim but in order to enroll in a good overseas culinary school, she had to have a professional kitchen experience.
Here in Pakistan, that professional kitchen experience is a male-dominant, male-driven and rampant of men on all levels. However, it was not even what could stop Haya from pursuing her dreams. She bagged an opportunity in one of the leading restaurants in the city and gave her best shot.
Her next step? Culinary Institute of America (CIA). She had amassed enough experience to submit an application at CIA. Haya’s utmost concern was being a top candidate, worthy of being enrolled at a prestigious institution like CIA. She got accepted; it was a ground-breaking moment. She was one step ahead in pursuing her dream. It was well within reach and no matter what may be underlying obstacles along her path, she was somewhere now. She had made it!
Fast-forward to her graduation – Haya Emaan was unstoppable!
We are not just talking about graduating with flying colors, we are talking about a gold medal. Haya was awarded a gold medal for winning the Salon of Culinary Art competition. She had the support of her family and friends, who stood by, with shimmering pride and applause for Haya.
“It’s my ambition that one day, when people hear the name of Pakistan, rather than evoking images of terrorism and war, it evokes images of tantalizing spices and mouth-watering food, and perhaps, a celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant!” – Haya Emaan
She’s exemplary for all aspirations chefs working hard to achieve their dreams. Her story entails a great lesson of defying all odds and pursuing her passion.
We wish Haya Emaan all the great luck in her future endeavors! More power to you, girl.