Amina is blessed with culinary expertise that originates from two different parts of the world – the Middle East and Asia – thanks to her Egyptian dad and South Korean mum.
Close to both her parents, but a self-confessed “Daddy’s girl”, Amina lives with her younger sister Eman, with whom she would one day love to own a funky but traditional Middle Eastern mezze restaurant.
“Eman would run the business and I would cook!”
Amina was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to Australia in the late 1980s. As a child, family life was centred on food and weekend trips to the produce markets. Her mum cooked through the week and father at the weekends – both bringing old family recipes and techniques to the table. Amina remembers the pickling her mum used to do and the fridge being full of jars and fresh vegetables.
“To get me started they would give me the bad jobs – peeling onions!”
As well as cooking, her childhood and teenage years were very focused on education and with degrees themselves, it was important to Amina’s parents that their children did well in their studies. Amina is now a paediatric nurse and her sister is studying law.
One of Amina’s proudest achievements in her life so far is buying a house – for which she saved for a long time. Initially she found it very tough being away from her parents but feels good about it now.
“It has been really good for me and made me independent.”
Amina is always giggling and says she is an optimist. She is very proud of her ethnicity and Muslim background and spends most of her time with her friends and family. She loves to prepare big barbecues either at her house, or at her parents. Amina also loves music.
Amina says French cooking – and pastries – are her weakness. Her favourite ingredient is olive oil.