INKED, an experimental event space, takes dining to a whole new creative level and it is the brainchild of husband and wife team Kenza and Patrick Jarjour.
Today we are joined by Patrick for a steaming cup of coffee to chat about the dining scene in Dubai and what males their concept truly unique.
Describe your morning routine.
At the moment, it changed drastically. It depends actually on if we have events the night before. I try to wake up pretty early, not look at my phone, read a bit, chill, having my time alone, trying to relax as much as possible.
What can you tell us about Inked and how the idea came about?
We were on our honeymoon with Kenza in Berlin and we saw the food scene there and then we started having ideas of how we can make something happen that is not actually a restaurant. She is the one who is the expert in food, I’m more on the events side, so why don’t we combine that? When we had the idea we said that it has to be in Alserkal avenue and not anywhere else.
What is the most interesting dining experience you’ve worked on so far?
There was a lot but I would say the most meaningful was Cook for Syria. We looked at each other and said we actually created a successful business because we are able to utilise it for a good cause. That was really something that we liked working on. The other one that I really liked was the event we did in Barcelona not long ago. It was quite challenging, we flew all management team to there to execute the event.
What is your take on the dining scene in Dubai?
I think it’s progressing a lot and more and more in the last few years. You have less companies wanting to bring franchises thinking what’s done abroad is better than what’s done here. More and more homegrown concepts and people are liking the new trends in the homegrown concepts.
Are there trends or experiences that don’t resonate with you?
I’m not a big fan of talking negative about anything, however when you feel there is a concept that has been created for money and not by passion.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
Probably Inked. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and I opened several business, and I have another business at the moment. Probably Inked because it was a concept created with a lot of passion and not with a lot of knowledge because it’s not like a restaurant where you can speak to people who have done it before to understand what we should and what we shouldn’t do. Everything was based on a feeling, and with a proper belief system, with the right feeling and obviously with the right team you can achieve anything you want.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
Kindness and ethics.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge at the beginning what we wanted to do really, because it evolved while we were under construction, and everything evolved even after opening. But we do have challenges for each event we do because even when we do our own pop-ups the first day is the first day, you don’t have like a restaurant when you invite friends to test things, it’s really the first day there is that little stress to make sure ‘everything is fine, this is what we created, but is it the outcome that we wanted?’ Most of the time it turns out to be pretty cool.
What do you still want to achieve?
A lot. The more you grow, the more you want to change things but I would say the main thing I want to do and that’s throughout whether its professional or personal, is to change people’s life in a positive way. Inked is a tool to create something, that’s why Cook for Syria was the biggest success. From an event perspective, Cook for Syria was one of the easiest ones, we did very complicated events, but the meaning of it was bigger than any others we created.
Who has influenced you the most?
A lot of people. I did work a lot in the US with a life coach because I did events for them as well so you interact with them a lot. I don’t really believe that someone should have one specific person because everyone is unique. You need to take the best of each one and what suits you at the end and not just copy and paste what they do. You can do it and be successful but you might not be yourself.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Patience, a lot of patience and way more reading. I didn’t read when I was young.
What would you tell yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully what a great 10 years we just had and lets push it and see where we can go.
Complete this sentence: I’m happy when…
Love is around with a big L.
What do you say ‘no’ to?
Someone who doesn’t take responsibility or finding excuses the negative part of that.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari) it’s very interesting.
How do you want the world to remember you?
No idea. Anything that fits the values we have and what we’d like to achieve. It’s not necessarily one specific business or something else but something that’s in line in what we do. I realised that the moment your actions are in line with your values then everything seems to be rolling.