UAE famous: In talks with queen of culinary Natasha Sideris
“If you have a great idea and are willing to work hard, the possibilities of success are very high…”
UAE Famous is a What’s On column focusing on people out there making the scene. They’re out there around town, making noise. We asked them what’s good in the UAE. We asked them what’s bad in the UAE. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves…
Who are you, and what made you famous?
My name is Natasha Sideris. I am the Founder & CEO of Tashas Group. I am not sure if you could call me famous but, if I am, it is because I am a passionate restaurateur and creator of a number of unique restaurant concepts including tashas, Avli by tashas, Flamingo Room by tashas, Galaxy Bar and Le Parc by tashas.
How would you sum up your experience in the UAE in three words?
Intense. Amazing. Enlightening.
What does a typical day look like for you?
As soon as I wake up, I go to the gym. It has become an important part of my life and is key to making sure I maintain clarity as well as my energy levels throughout the day. My typical day consists of both in-person and video meetings about interior design, marketing, menu design, and food tastings. I always try to get to one or two of our stores during the day, to check in with our teams and our guests as I love being on the floor. It is always invigorating. At the end of the day, I collapse in a heap and get up and do it all over again.
Life inside a restaurant is pretty hectic, what do you like to do outside of work?
I am very committed to my health. I do cryotherapy, cold water immersion, massages, and play Paddle Tennis. Travel is my biggest passion and I do it as often as I can. I love engaging with other cultures – particularly with regard to food and design. I also love to watch movies.
Who would be your dream customer?
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We have had many royal and famous people visit our restaurants. However, every customer is a dream customer regardless of fame.
What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
I think my biggest achievement thus far has been successfully exporting our business from South Africa to the UAE while, at the same time, building such a dynamic and amazing team in both countries.
And your biggest challenge?
Finding a balance between my personal life and my work life.
What do you love about the UAE?
If you have a great idea and are willing to work hard, the possibilities of success are very high. It’s a competitive environment that makes me want to push the envelope. As well, I love the warmth and hospitality of the people. The safety, organisation, and cleanliness of the UAE make for a fantastic lifestyle.
What frustrates you about the UAE?
The hot weather and if you miss a turn, you add another 30 minutes to your drive!
Do you think it will be your forever home?
It’s hard to say, however, I cannot see myself living anywhere else for now.