After 18 years combined in the UAE, we are announcing that we will be moving on to our next adventure in our expatriate culinary life.
Leaving the UAE
While we are giving up full time residence in the UAE, this is not “goodbye” per se, but simply, “until we meet again.” We still have business interests in the UAE and will continue to travel and work back and forth. Just know that we have HUGE plans for Chef and Steward.
We have done so much here together:
- We got married here
- We had our first child here
- We set up Chef and Steward here
- We made a name for ourselves locally and internationally here
- We met so many wonderful, diverse people here
- We have forged a few lifelong friendships here
- We got to work with some amazing people and companies. Our hearts will always have a special place for the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah Team and the Lexington Grill Team. Colleagues at Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Emirates Towers and
- We moved houses the most here (ask any Dubai expat)
- We faced our biggest challenges here
- We have earned some of our greatest rewards here
- We have won many culinary awards here – (9 nominations and 5 wins for Chef Lij) and 3 nominations and 2 wins for this blog.
- We met the world because the world literally lives here
- We discovered what real love was here
- We got stronger in our faith in God here
- We bought his and hers Global Chef knives here (life is better that way)
- We bought our first dining table and Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer here (yes that is a big deal for two people who small talk about food and cooking)
- We paid more for RTA (road and traffic) fees/fines than anywhere else here (I had to go there)
- We got to sample so many authentic cuisines in the homes of our friends and in fine and street restaurants that make this place so special
- We have been blogging for 5 years and have made some amazing bloggers and we were among the first group of bloggers here (over 5 years)
- Our worldview expanded way beyond we ever knew possible here
- Chef of the Year (BBC Good Food Middle East) 2014
- Best Steakhouse (BBC Good Food Food Middle East) 2014
- Best Restaurant (BBC Good Food Food Middle East) 2014
- Meat Chef of the Year (Pro Chef Middle East) 2014
- Meat Chef of the Year (Pro Chef Middle East) 2015
- Best Steakhouse (BBC Good Food Middle East) 2015
- Best Food Blog (BBC Good Food Middle East) 2015
- Best Jamaican Overseas Blog (Jamaican Blog Awards) 2012
- Best Expat Blog for the UAE (Expat Blog Awards) (2012)
- Best Restaurant Team (Caterer Middle East Awards) 2015
- Best Steakhouse (Food & Travel Magazine) 2015
- Meat Chef of the Year (Pro Chef Middle East-for Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria ) 2014
- Meat Chef of the Year (Pro Chef Middle East-for Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria) 2015
- Best Steakhouse (BBC Good Food Middle East-for Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria) 2015
- Best Jamaican Overseas Blog (Jamaican Blog Awards-for Chef and Steward) 2012
- Best Expat Blog for the UAE (Expat Blog Awards- for Chef and Steward) (2012)
- Best Restaurant Team (Caterer Middle East Awards-for Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria) 2015
- Best Steakhouse (Food & Travel Magazine-for Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria) 2015
The time is short before we go and it will not be possible to sit and meet with everyone before we leave. But life is like that. If we must be successful at anything in our lives, we must work our hardest and smartest in preparation for the big moments. Often times those opportunities strike when you least expect them and when they do, you have to seize them. It’s pretty much like the parable of the 10 virgins Jesus talks about in the bible. We know not the day nor the hour, so we must simply be prepared and ready at a moment’s notice. So we have to pack up, give away, throw and sell 10 years in a matter of days. It seems like there is never enough time. It is what it is. Life. Beautiful. Dynamic. Never a dull moment. This is the life of an expatriate. We travel far, settle for a bit-maybe even a bit longer, then we move again.
We are not ready to make an announcement as to where we are going next but would love for you to give us your best guess.
What you can expect from this blog going forward:
- Mega growth
- Lots of great fun, vibrant, delicious and healthy recipes
- Continued food and travel features on the UAE
- More features on Jamaica, the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Asia food and travel scene
- More lifestyle, travel, family and wellness posts
- More posts on how to turn a blog into a successful career
- More international partnerships linking Dubai, USA, Caribbean, UK and Asia
- Ground-breaking international events focusing on personal and family wellness and spiritual travel.
- We are working on our first cookbook and looking for the right agent for the many books we have within us as a culinary couple.
- ExcitingNew ventures to be announced in the next few months
Our hearts are full with with the experience of 18 years combined exclusive domicile in the UAE. Now, we simply stretch beyond, taking what we have learnt here and the friendships we have fostered here into a new era in our lives. We have always promised an adventure here at Chef and Steward. We certainly look forward to having you continue with us along this ride.