Beachroad Magazine meet up with Natalia Ciotirla at Culinary Boutique, Natalia was born in Constanta, Romania, a vibrant city on the shores of the Black Sea and is the Reception manager for Culinary Boutique on Jumeirah Beach Road.
How did you get involved in the culinary world? //
I studied Hospitality Management and my first job was a sales role in Vodafone, where I discovered my passion for customer service. I then pursued a career in Dubai, working for companies such as Hilton Hotels and Gaucho DIFC. My passion for the culinary arts combined with the inclination towards customer satisfaction has led me to Culinary Boutique, Our gourmet Café, cooking school and events venue created from the vision of Hessa al Qassim.
Where do you like to eat and shop in our community? //
During the slight amount of time when I am not in Culinary Boutique managing events or taking charge of the restaurant floor I like to go shopping at West LA, for breakfast at The Hamptons Café and sweet treats at Home Bakery.
Natalia answers the Beachroad Q&A //
NAME? // Natalia Ciotirla.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Sales & Customer Care Agent VODAFONE.
CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Guest Relations & Events Manager at Culinary Boutique
YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF COOKING? // I think I was probably about 4 years old and when it comes to food memories they are long-lasting and a special memory is the “ Pancake Sunday “ - a family tradition of cooking and flipping out pancakes with mum and my sister . Definitely being together in the kitchen with the family is where we bond and learn about our family traditions, as much as it's about the food or recipes we're preparing.
WHO IS YOUR CULINARY INFLUENCE? // Yotam Ottolenghi – for his iconic cookbooks and his successful career in food. And I also get inspired from the owner of Culinary Boutique - she’s always keeping us up to date with food news and flavors from her journeys. Her cookbook collection is just competitive.
YOUR FAVOURITE CULINARY DESTINATION? // Barcelona – A sense of taste
IF YOU COULD SPEND THE DAY WITH A CHEF DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE? // Chef Ferran Adria i Acosta
A COOKBOOK YOU COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT? // Jerusalem – Yotam Ottolenghi
YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY? // Sarmale – rolls of minced meats, stuffed into cabbage or vine leaf – cooked by my Grandma in a traditional way.
DID YOU COOK AS A CHILD? // I used to spend time in the kitchen helping my mother during Christmas time – this is another family tradition for most of my friends back home.
WHAT ARE THE PRO'S AND CON'S OR RUNNING A KITCHEN? // Working with Chefs and working with Chefs…
YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS? // Basil – very aromatic and refreshing herb.
SWEET OR SOUR? // Sweetaholic.
YOUR CULINARY SECRET WEAPON? // Mise en place. (A French culinary phrase which means "putting in place",)
YOUR FOOD HEAVEN? // Moussaka.
YOUR FOOD HELL? // Scallops.
IF YOU COULD PREPARE A MEAL FOR ANYBODY WHO WOULD IT BE? // It would be for a get-together with good friends and family at home. I’ll be definitely cooking a classic moussaka.
THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER? // The Visit of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum in Culinary Boutique.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT FOR YOUR LAST MEAL? // Good company.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Culinary Boutique Team is looking forward to welcome you all in the world of culinary arts: the art of learning, eating and celebrating.