CYN­THIA BI­TAR

Owner and ex­ec­u­tive chef at Nazira Cater­ing

Executive Magazine - - Special Report | Women In The Workplace In Photos -

Jour­ney and mo­ti­va­tion

Cyn­thia Bi­tar’s mother, Nazira, was one of the first women to en­roll in the hos­pi­tal­ity school in Dek­waneh, grad­u­at­ing in 1967. Nazira then worked in the restau­rant at Al Bus­tan Ho­tel in Beit Meri, and later gave cooking classes for years. Thanks to her mother, Bi­tar grew up im­mersed in the world of cooking.

In 1997, Bi­tar de­cided to study at the In­sti­tut Paul Bo­cuse in Lyon, a school spe­cial­iz­ing in culi­nary arts and hos­pi­tal­ity. She came back to Le­banon in or­der to de­velop the fam­ily cater­ing com­pany, which Bi­tar ex­plains was the first one in Le­banon.

Oth­ers’ per­cep­tions

Bi­tar says that in France, men are more ac­cept­ing of women work­ing as chefs, whereas in Le­banon she sees a lot more sex­ism.

Ob­sta­cles

Ac­cord­ing to Bi­tar, there are sev­eral ob­sta­cles for fe­male chefs, com­pared to their male coun­ter­parts. First, there are the phys­i­cal con­straints, with the heavy lift­ing re­quired and the long work­ing hours. Women, says Bi­tar, need to work more and do more in or­der to prove their pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

Fu­ture projects

Bi­tar has plans to begin work­ing on her first book, as well as give cooking class. She also would like to ex­pand her cater­ing com­pany out­side of Le­banon.

Ad­vice

Bi­tar be­lieves that women should be con­fi­dent and pro­fes­sional. For her, cooking is not just an or­di­nary job, it’s a pas­sion, and chefs should fully im­merse them­selves in their work.

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