A foodie who loves her family and helping food artisans is the perfect way to describe Betty Cherkaoui. The mother of three spends a lot of time in the kitchen with her own catering company but also providing food preparation space for other chefs in the community. Cherkaoui enjoys teaching others the tricks of the culinary world and is a huge supporter of locally grown ingredients. She believes in helping non-profit organizations, specifically Soup Sisters. Betty Cherkaoui of Saj Common Kitchen and Lebanese Cuisine are In Focus.
What is your name?
How do people connect with you on Linkedin?
What do you always find yourself saying?
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why?
My dad … because he has Parkinson and sadly that only goes one way, so I would want to spend that day with him.
If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
I don’t know … I’m never looking or expecting to receive awards.
Who inspires you?
People who effortlessly show kindness with integrity and non judgement
What are three things on your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list but I think it would be fun to cook a traditional Lebanese meal for someone like Gordon Ramsey
If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
“I can go my own way”
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about all the incredible things that life has to offer and the people in my life whom I learn so much from…. and the opportunity to pass on what I’m learning.
What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
I have 3 favourite days …. the birth of my 3 beautiful children .. truly there is nothing that can parallel that!
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Raising 3 beautiful, kind, loving human beings.
Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
The FIX cafe …. it’s just so fresh, tasty and uncomplicated and Lisa is a fabulous chef.
What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
I love riding a bike on the kettle valley from Kelowna to Penticton.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Saj Common Kitchen and Lebanese Cuisine
What does your business/organization do?
It is an approved commercial rental kitchen that can be used for food preparation by chefs, caterers, food artisans, and set up to teach cooking classes as well as small functions for up to 20.
Lebanese Cuisine offers personal catering and Cooking classes of traditional Lebanese cuisine.
Where can people find your business on Facebook?
Saj Common Kitchen
What is your mission?
To provide an approved space for people to use that is safe , functional and convenient for any one who is starting a food business or wanting to grow their business as well as a place for foodies to gather for cooking classes or gatherings where you can hire your own chef or caterer to enjoy events with family and friends or business meetings.
If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
To see others become successful. It would give me great great pleasure to provide a space where people can grow their business and become successful. I believe we all have the potential to be successful by doing something we love, we just need someplace to start … Saj Common Kitchen is the someplace you can start.
Where do you want your business/organization to be in 5 years?
Thriving with food artisans cooking, teaching and enjoying what they are providing to the community.
Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
There has not been any place like this … this is a totallly new concept!
What three qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
Professional and functional kitchen
A place where food, people, and learning come together
What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
Don’t have any employees yet.
How does your business/organization impact the community?
This is a great place for food artisans to show their skills, to teach the community how to use the abundance of food that is being grown here and for wonderful gatherings for dinners, cooking classes, team building sessions, meetings as well as non profit organizations like Soup Sisters.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Of course the weather but more than that the abundance of beautiful fruit and vegetables, grape vines that are grown as well as meat and poultry that is raised here. So Fantastic!
Some general comments I would like to share are:
I am also a caterer of Lebanese Cuisine and found it difficult to grow my business because of lack of approved kitchen space and the times they were available, even though my catering was personal catering I found that I could not grow into other types of catering like larger events because of the road blocks with kitchen use. Having use of the kitchen has proven to be successful for me as this has been my busiest summer yet, and I have seen how other caterers who are using the kitchen,like Raw Food Chef Motoko Mitche, have been able to grow their business as well. I am excited at the possibilities and all the great ventures that will come forward through the kitchen.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do. We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below, and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna!