Reem Ayash

Founder of

Palestinian national Reem Ayash’s profound love for food is seen through her aptly named blog, A Food Affair. The 29-year old food blogger and Marketing Director of Sho Cho restaurant group lives in Al Barsha, Dubai, with her husband, and loves travelling the world to try traditional dishes, collect cookbooks and shop for fridge magnets – something she has a serious penchant for!

About the blog

I’ve always wanted to be part of the blogger community, and looked to beautiful food blogs for inspiration, but was a bit too intimidated to start. After leaving LivingSocial, where I worked previously, I was ready to dive straight into what I love (almost) more than my husband – food! After months of perfecting the look and feel, launched in November 2012. It’s a diary of my food experiments, with a few adventures thrown in for good measure. It’s a place to explore step-by-step recipes, clever D-I-Ys, and inspiration and tips for stylish entertaining.

Fondest food memory

Food seems to have a magical power that can transport you to a special time and place. Every time I eat maftoul (the equivalent of couscous in rural Palestine), I recall my late grandma sitting in her kitchen making it from scratch for the family. It’s everyone’s favourite dish in my family.

Culinary icons

I’m inspired by so many people, but I really love Nigella Lawson’s simple and elegant approach to food. She makes sneaking into the kitchen and reaching into the fridge for a midnight snack so sexy.

Secret ingredient

Dijon Mustard! It’s the best emulsifier for sauces and dressings, and adds a zing too.

In ten minutes, I can cook

Pan fried red snapper fillet with a lime and cilantro sauce, topped with sliced avocados.

A dish I’d like to master…

Beef Wellington – I always end up with overcooked beef and raw puff pastry. I want to learn how to make gorgeous, elegant, perfect beef Wellington like Gordon Ramsay does!

Favourite cuisine

Mediterranean – It takes your taste buds to a whole new level. I love the freshness and perfect balance of flavours, and usage of lots of vegetables, olive oil and feta cheese, my absolute favourite combinations.


White truffle oil drizzled on wild mushroom pizzas – heavenly!

On top of my culinary bucket list is:

A trip to Spain, since it’s known to be a food paradise and one of those cuisines you need to taste and experience for yourself, in the country, to really appreciate the flavours.
I’d like to try dishes that are rich in olives, oranges and lemons, as well as barbecue meats and sauces flavoured with cumin or saffron, tomatoes and peppers. And of course, there is the paella which tastes best when made by a Spanish cook.

My guilty pleasure

Macaroni and cheese. Even three kinds of cheeses are not enough for me, as I love it really cheesy. I rarely eat it because I know it’ll take hours to burn off the calories, so I’ve created a much healthier version using pumpkin purée.

I sate my sweet tooth cravings with…

Chocolate fondant. I see it as a love child of a rich brownie and a creamy chocolate pudding.