Welcome to Deliveroo HQ. Not just a hub of food tasting and deliveries but a hive of interesting employees, all with their own unique backstories! Today, instead of perusing menu items, we're giving you a chance to get to know the Roo Crew. Welcome to 'Humans of Deliveroo'.
Meet Yousef, our Special Projects Manager. Yousef is a classically trained chef and retired thespian who's been living in Dubai for the past 6 years. Half Palestinian and half Jordanian, Yousef spent a lot of his early life travelling around. Throughout his life, he's lived in several exciting countries that include Kuwait, Jordan, Botswana, Lebanon and Canada, to name but a few!
So Yousef, what do you like the most about living in Dubai?
For me, I like that I have roots here. My family is here and I built my own family here as well, I actually have a baby right now. So it's just that, it's home. I like that it really feels like home.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Deliveroo?
So I am the Head of Special Projects for Dubai and that primarily means that I'm managing the launch of Deliveroo Editions in the City. In addition to that there are a couple of other things I work on, like launching a courier programme here in Dubai.
Deliveroo Editions? That sounds exciting, can you tell us more about that?
So Deliveroo Editions is primarily these delivery only kitchens that are going to be opening all over the city, enabling us to bring certain restaurant partners into areas where they don't have any presence. It will open up a whole new segment of the market to them and it's pretty low risk for them too.
We'll look forward to that, it sounds great! So before working at Deliveroo, did you have any interesting jobs?
I was in financial services for a while, I worked in the Hedge Fund industry, and I've actually been working in hospitality on and off since I was 14 years old. You know, I've held literally every single job there is to hold in a restaurant: busboy, dishwasher, waiter, cook, everything in between! So, yeah, I covered that full spectrum.
You were a cook? So is cooking still a big hobby?
I'm actually a classically trained chef! I trained at the Cordon Bleu in Canada whilst I was living there. It was great, very interesting.
I never knew that about you, how interesting! So do you have a speciality dish?
I know it sounds really funny, but I would definitely say scrambled eggs. I put a lot of twists on it, cream, chives, a lot of butter, and it's always a crowd-pleaser! Other than that, I also think I make a great beef bourguignon.
Some very classic dishes! So apart from cooking, do you have any other hobbies?
Brazilian jiu jitsu is one of them. I haven't been doing it for that long and it's something that I previously knew nothing about. I'm hooked now though. I'm hoping to compete in it one day! Funnily enough, the UAE is actually one of the World centres for jiu jitsu.
Sounds like a dangerous hobby! Have you gotten any injuries?
I'm actually nursing one right now. I have a cracked rib!
Ouch, sounds painful. Any less risky hobbies?
A previous hobby that has unfortunately fallen by the wayside is acting. That was something that I did professionally for about 4 years. So I was a professional stage actor and I was a professional playwright as well!
What a range! So what was your favourite role that you played?
There was one that was my particular favourite, not because it was a role that I particularly enjoyed, but because the troupe was just so much fun. It was a role in a play called 'The Bear', by Chekhov. What was really ridiculous was that all of our names were Russian names, because obviously it was a Russian play, but we did it in a Southern American accent for some reason. I just thought that was really funny.
An interesting artistic choice! Ok, so if you were going to stay in for the night, watching a film and ordering Deliveroo, what film and restaurant would you recommend?
My go to is Busaba. I love that place. And film… I mean, I don't know. I would say it's between Goodfellas and Casino. I've lost count of how many times I've watched those two movies. I'm a big fan of the Gangster Movies genre.
Great! Ok now lastly we just have some quick-fire questions. So…
Indian or Chinese food? Chinese.
Night in or night out? Night in.
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Dog Person. I have a dog called Eddie!
Pineapple on pizza, yes or no? Absolutely not!
Spicy food or mild food? Spicy.
Describe the Deliveroo Office in one word. Loud!
That's everything! Thanks for your time Yousef!
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Want to know Yousef's favourite lunch options? Take a peek at Tried and Tasted.