Hospitality News Middle East - - NEWS - tonyk­i­

Al­ge­rian born Tony Kitous’ re­la­tion­ship with food be­gan very early on - a re­la­tion­ship which, 26 years later, has led to him nur­tur­ing and chan­nel­ing his pas­sion into four restau­rant con­cepts, com­pris­ing 30 out­lets through­out the UK, the coun­try he orig­i­nally trav­eled to for va­ca­tion, be­fore de­cid­ing to take up res­i­dency there. His fifth con­cept, Shawa, is a Lebanese-style grill, which has three out­lets to date. Com­ment­ing on this lat­est of­fer­ing, Kitous said, “For rea­sons that re­main a mys­tery to me, I have al­ways har­bored an affin­ity with shawarma and make it a point to try new restau­rants of­fer­ing the dish wher­ever I hap­pen to find my­self in the world.”

Kitous ex­plained that the chal­lenge when in­tro­duc­ing the dish was to strip it down to its orig­i­nal form and present it in the way that shawarma is served in Le­banon. “We em­ployed this ap­proach for two main rea­sons - first to high­light that all the in­gre­di­ents go­ing into our shawarma are not only fresh, but also very healthy, and sec­ond, to make it as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble to all who care to try it,” he said. “We hope to see the dish be­come an ev­ery­day meal as pop­u­lar through­out the world as the burger.”

To help achieve these aims, the three out­lets were care­fully se­lected to en­sure that peo­ple from all walks of life have ac­cess to the shawarma and can eas­ily af­ford it. Kitous also pointed out that most other restau­rants of­fer­ing the shawarma cater to con­sumers of a spe­cific na­tion­al­ity. “We, how­ever, do away with these spec­i­fi­ca­tions, pre­fer­ring to make the dish friend­lier for all types of palates, ir­re­spec­tive of where a cus­tomer comes from,” he noted. “In the com­ing year, I hope to raise as much aware­ness as I pos­si­bly can about Shawa, be­fore ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Tony Kitous

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