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Aminath Hameed is Taking the Girl Power into the Kitchens of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives

Aminath Hameed, Demi Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives
Aminath Hameed just landed her dream job at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands as the luxury resort’s demi pastry chef.

Pastry Chef, Aminath Hameed is making a new impact in the kitchens of the Maldives. The Maldivian-born chef is not just an inspiration for home cooks striving to go beyond but a role model for all the women aspiring to get into the culinary industry. Aminath just landed her dream job at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands as the luxury resort’s demi pastry chef.

I am excited and proud to be part of the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton brand. Follow your passion, and there are no limits to what you can achieve.

Aminath Hameed, Demi Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands.

The Ritz-Carlton has been a brand on Aminath’s radar even when she started working in the culinary industry. “I was overjoyed to hear Ritz-Carlton is making their debut in the Maldives and when I found out about the amazing team and management behind the resort, I wanted to be a part of it right away!”.

While she has already worked at several luxury resorts in the Maldives, Aminath had to overcome many hurdles and challenges as women in a professional kitchen. After some life changes, she decided to follow her passion to explore baking and culinary arts. When she first made the decision, people questioned her determination, alleging the culinary industry is dominated by men. Nevertheless, against all the odds and with the support from her family, Aminath Hameed followed her passion to become a pastry chef.

To achieve her dream, Aminath started travelling and doing masterclasses from world-class chefs in different countries. She trained with renowned chef Jean Pierre for 9 months at his bakery in Sri Lanka.

During the months of lockdown last year, Aminath even came up with unique Maldivian desserts of her own. Seeing the same Moringa tree every morning inspired her to curate something from the flavours of the tree. After crafting the dish, she decided to make another fusion dessert with betel leaves. “We have challenges to source the ingredients and tools in the Maldives. But these challenges helped me to learn more and think outside the box”.

Sharing her opinions on Maldivian cuisine, Aminath believes there’s more to it than just fish and coconuts. At one of her former workplaces, she came up with a range of Maldivian desserts and enhanced them while maintaining their originality. “The guests loved how we used the Maldivian flavours in different ways and I believe our cuisine is very rich in flavours”.

Aminath spent her time working in diverse teams with different cultural backgrounds. Hence, the work ethics of these chefs and their personality inspires her. While she can name countless of the people she admires, Chef Adil who brings Maldivian flavours into life always gave Aminath the best moral advice. Her former co-worker Hamdhaan who is a mixologist also inspired Aminath to create her own desserts.

Despite all the challenges in her career, Aminath didn’t face discrimination in the kitchen. “Everyone has their task in the kitchen regardless of gender. As long as we don’t limit ourselves to specific tasks, we wouldn’t face any discrimination in the workplace”. She firmly believes everything must be done with passion and one must put their heart into whatever they do. Likewise, Aminath recommends that we embrace all the aspects of our job.

The pastry chef added several accolades to her portfolio throughout the years. But nothing remains closer to her heart than representing the Maldives at the Asia Pastry Cup 2019 where she competed with 9 other countries. Despite the award she won at the competition, Aminath felt more honoured as a woman to represent the Republic of Maldives.

The culinary industry has always been dominated by men. When Aminath first started her career in Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, she didn’t witness women working in the industry. After all, back then it wasn’t considered ‘normal’ for women to work in either hospitality or the culinary industry. But Aminath feels the winds of change as more women are raising their interest in the industry. Of course, with role models like Aminath Hameed, every woman and Maldivian will feel more empowered to follow their dreams.

Feature image by Aishath Naj / www.najphotos.com
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February’s Finest: 05 Key Appointments in the Maldives Resorts

The month of February has seen various key-promotions and appointments in different resorts of The Maldives.

Resorts in the Maldives are constantly working towards providing travellers with better experiences and services. One of the key factors that contribute to these personalised experiences is the effort put in by employees. In addition to anticipating the needs, preferences, and interests, the amazing teams at resorts tailor services perfectly customised for each traveller. To provide this stellar experience, resorts are constantly on the lookout for the best of the best. The month of February has seen some amazing appointments and promotions. Here are the top appointments made in February, as some key personnel joined top-notch resorts!

Rifaath Saeed Returns to Dusit Thani Maldives as DOSM

One of the most major appointments, or shall we say re-appointments of this month was the return of Rifaath Saeed to Dusit Thani Maldives. Rifaath was part of the pre-opening team at the resort back in 2011, taking on the role of Director of Sales and Marketing (DOSM) before she departed from the resort. As she returns to the role, Rifaath has gained 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Before her return, Rifaath worked as DOSM at Amari Raaya Maldives, Cluster DOSM at OBLU XPERIENCE Ailafushi, Kandima Maldives, Kurumba Maldives, Velassaru Maldives, W Maldives, as well as Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.

Roberts Ejubs as Group Director of Operations at Crown & Champa Resorts

This February, Crown & Champa Resorts revealed the key appointment of Roberts Ejubs as Group Director of Operations. Hailing from Australia, Roberts has an extensive career, spanning several countries. Prior to the Maldives, Roberts has worked across the US, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. With a specialization in sales, marketing, revenue distribution, and resort operations, Robert has some ambitious goals lined up for the resort.

Zakwan Ahmed as Director of Sales at Kuda Villingili Resort

Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives announced the key appointment of Zakwan Ahmed as Director of Sales this February. Zakwan joins with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Prior to this, Zakwan worked as Assistant Director of Sales at THE OZEN COLLECTION. At Kuda Villingili, Zakwan will work towards developing strategies to achieve the sales target as well as managing relationships with key partners. Additionally, he will also collaborate with various teams to ensure successful sales outcomes for the resort. In this role, Zakwan’s primary focus will be the German-speaking countries, Europe, and the UK market.

Josje Van Engelen as General Manager of Soneva Secret

Soneva’s newest addition to the resort collection, Soneva Secret announced Josje Van Engelen as General Manager. Hailing from the Netherlands, Josje brings to Soneva Secret over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Before this, Josje worked in various countries across the globe including the Netherlands, Belgium, Costa Rica, Australia, and Turks and Caicos. Josje will be leading an incredible team of over 25 nationalities. With this, she brings a new wave of rare, personalised hospitality to the Maldives!

Ali Ashfag as Front Office Manager at Seaside Finolhu

Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll introduced Ali Ashfag as the new Front Office Manager this February. Ashfag joined the hospitality industry at the young age of 18, working his way up to this new position. His transition to Front Office was made eight years ago. From here on, Ashfag ventured on his journey as a butler, later becoming the Front Office Manager. Ashfag brings over a decade of experience across five internationally recognized brands and two local establishments to his new role. In addition to his priceless contributions to Seaside Finolhu, Ashfag has also made generous contributions towards handpicking and training individuals at the resort.

Interested in all the appointments made this February? Head over to our website, and find out more.

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