When Rushad Wadia, the owner and chef at The Greedy Man Pizzeria started his own pizzeria soon after graduating from the International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai, little did he know what success had in store for him.
Rushad is still in awe when he talks about how his "one little idea" like how he refers to the pizzeria, managed to bag the Times Food Noteworthy Newcomer Award for 2016 which was then followed by The Best Pizzeria Award in the consecutive years.
Let's find out what Rushad has got to say about his experience with the pizzeria, awards and his journey so far as a chef and an entrepreneur.
How does it feel to be a successful entrepreneur at such a young age?
Rushad: Honestly I don’t know if I am there yet to being successful. There is so much to learn in this industry and I have just started off with one little idea hoping for it to transform into something magical. So I guess the moment I have that magical feeling is when I can call myself a successful entrepreneur.
Tell us about your Times Food Awards experiences. Did life change after your win?
Rushad: First award was a real shocker to the entire team. It had been only three months into opening the restaurant and one fine day we get a call saying that The Greedy Man has won the Prestigious New Comer Award at the Times Food Awards! I think I went blank for a few seconds but slowly it started to sink in when the awards started coming home quite often after that.
Life has changed in the most beautiful way for us after winning the awards. We started getting recognized for the different Neapolitan style of pizza that we were doing and people have now started to accept our style of pizza over the other pizzerias in the city which in itself is a huge accomplishment.
What influenced you the most in your decision to go ahead with a pizzeria?
Rushad: When the plan of starting a food joint came along, my mind said Persian Cuisine, but my heart said PIZZA! I honestly don’t know why we decided to get into the pizzeria but we are glad we did. I felt it’s a beautiful art that needs to be shown in its true form that is from making the dough from scratch to hand tossing. However, not many pizzerias are doing it in the right way here.
How is food sourced at The Greedy Man pizzeria?
Rushad: All our vegetables & Meat cuts come from the local morning market here every single day. Everything is ordered as per the number of pizzas we are making every day. We believe in Quality over Quantity and that’s why we limit ourselves to only 60 to 65 pizzas a day. We are soon going to start making our own buffalo mozzarella, so we are really excited about that.
What are the bestsellers of the pizzeria?
Rushad: The classic Margherita and our popular Nutella Freak Shake.
How did you manage to build such confidence to embark on entrepreneurship so early in your career?
Rushad: ICCA Dubai was definitely a blessing for me. Throughout the course ICCA taught me to be focused, organized, to understand how a kitchen is and also to have a little fun now and then.
You need to be on your toes every single second during your service time. ICCA helped me with achieving a good speed in the kitchen, and most importantly the confidence and a free mentality to take some risks, and that Small Risk I took then is called “The Greedy Man Pizzeria” today.
How much are you in touch with your ICCA Alumni network?
Rushad: I am in touch with everyone. You become a family in those 3 months. We had our stupid fights during our college time but when you graduate, you come out as one batch, as one big Chef family and I am so proud of where everyone is and what they have achieved so far.
What would you look for if you were in the position to hire new graduates from ICCA Dubai?
Rushad: Someone who has a free-thinking, who is ready to take some risk and with good speed.
Do you have any advice you would like to give the students who want to become entrepreneurs like you?
Believe in yourself but most importantly believe in your product. People will come running down to criticize you but it is important that you believe in your product that you are serving.
We are extremely proud to know where our alumnus, the pride of ICCA Dubai stands in their professional lives today, and we are glad we could be a part of their culinary journey. On this note, we are wishing Rushad Wadia more success, just the way he wants it to be with his magical feeling.