Mariae Hackett, founder of Dapur Mariae, tells QFA why she started her business, what inspired her to enter the QFA, and how her business has changed since winning.
Can you tell us more about Dapur Mariae? What is your main source of inspiration?
My husband Gerard is a trained chef, and his mother was an excellent cook, and I come from a culture where food plays a pivotal role. My own family hailed a generation of great cooks, particularly my mother who introduced me to the kitchen at a very young age. Together it was a perfect union where food, fun, and laughter around the dining table with family and friends was and still is a regular feature. Hence Dapur Mariae was born after we were prompted by everyone who fell in love with our food to share our passion beyond our humble kitchen. They believed it would be a resounding success especially as Malaysian cuisine was still relatively unknown 5 years ago and desperately needed to make its mark amidst a sea of other all too familiar South Asian flavours. Our main source of inspiration undoubtedly would be our families who have encouraged and supported us from the start, and through all the highs and lows.
What is your advice for anyone looking to enter the Quality Food Awards?
I would advice anyone who is reticent about entering to just take the plunge and go for it. Even if you don’t win, there is the opportunity to network and more importantly, receive valuable feedback from the judges. As a start-up or even if you’re an established business, there is always room to learn and gaining perspective from others helps with future growth.
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