21 Questions with Jawad Ghabra, Co-founder, Shawerma Plus

We ask restaurant personalities we think are unique 21 questions to get to know them in a different light.

In this edition of 21 questions, we get to know Jawad Ghabra, Co-founder of Shawerma Plus. Those who know Jawad will tell you that he is a talented marketer and is passionate about customer service. His role also includes overseeing Shawerma Plus’s operations and sales development. With two locations in Waterloo, Shawerma Plus provides its guests with mouth-watering Syrian and Mediterranean cuisine in a comfortable environment. Learn more about Jawad below!

Where were you born?

I was born in the capital of Syria (oldest capital of the world) – Damascus.

Where did you grow up?

My parents grew up and worked in the Middle East and I lived the majority of my life in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Biggest inspiration?

When I was a teenager, I played basketball on a wheelchair with my dad and his work colleagues against the national team of U.A.E. during the Dubai Shopping Festival, and I found out that disability is just a mindset.

Top 3 ingredients in your pantry?

Black pepper, cheese & vinegar.

What do you make for a lazy supper?

Scrambled eggs or croissants with cheese.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ice cream for sure and preferably dark chocolate ice cream.

Favourite vacation spot?

Spain and Malaysia are my top two destinations.

Favourite regions for food?  

Thai, Japanese, and Indian.

Favourite item on your menu?

For plates, it’s either Grilled lamb cubes or Mix lamb & chicken shawarma plate with special spicy biryani rice and fattoush. I also love the Jawad’s chicken wrap which my mom called after my name – it’s pita bread stuffed with chicken shawarma, fries, pickles, garlic mayo and hot sauce. Can’t go wrong with the wrap that I grew up eating back in the Emirates.

What’s the last [Netflix] show you binged?

Haven’t been on Netflix for a while but my favourite all-time movies are Inception, American Gangster & The Godfather.

Favourite Instagram account?

National Geographic (@natgeo), nothing compares!

Go-to lunch spot in KW?

Bao, Ken Sushi

Favourite restaurant to celebrate a special occasion?

Ennio’s if it’s KW.   However, I always want to try Cambridge Mill, Langdon Hall, Borealis and a few other local eateries that I haven’t had a chance to visit yet.

KW’s best coffee…

DVLB and Smile Tiger.

KW’s best-kept secret?

Sabletine pastries.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Fishing, playing soccer, meeting family, friends & networking.

What food trends need to go?

Frozen and pre-packaged meals.

Name 3 guests at your ideal dinner party?

There had to be more than just 3: Gordon Ramsay, Malcolm X, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mendela, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Ruler of Dubai), Mahathir Bin Mohamad (PM of Malaysia), Pele, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo.

3 things you’d tell a new restaurateur? 

Work SMART not hard, know your business inside out & serve people with love.

What would be your mediocre superpower?

Managing the amount of food I consume.

Who should we interview next?

Sandor Dosman & Nick Benninger.

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