By her own admission, she’s never “had much time for the conventional way of doing things, anyway.” Born and raised in Egypt, she studied in Miami after high school, before moving to New York City a decade ago. Home today is a whimsically furnished flat in downtown Manhattan, which she shares with her husband, Omar Sosa, (one of the co-founders of interiors magazine, Apartamento) and a giant PVC foot. The couple are known for hosting intimate weekly dinner parties for a close-knit circle of friends—a diverse group of creative nomads including former Semaine tastemakers Ana Kras and the designer, Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
The otherworldly nature of Gohar’s cooking style and avant-garde presentation was unparalleled, and the audience—plus her clients—were immediately hooked. Six-foot-tall marshmallow mountains and dehydrated fruit leathers hanging from towel rods are, it turns out, hard not to love. Gohar has distilled her magic formula for throwing the perfect dinner party at home (hint: an overflowing bar helps), and the unexpected foods that will always have her heart. Growing up in Egypt shaped her interest in food: “ I always say that I feel more Mediterranean than anything else. That way of life, the ingredients that I’m drawn to—it defines who I am and what I cook.” The ephemeral quality of creating draws Gohar to food, “We all need to eat so there’s a simplicity to it in that sense also…..A concept that might have been in the back of my mind for years and taken months to bring to life can be gone in a few minutes. There’s kind of a beauty to it.”
It’s not all flames and magic, though, Gohar stresses that cooking is work, as much as it is art; “The majority of my time is spent researching and coming up with ideas. The concepting period is more than half of the work.” Gohar’s frantic schedule is smoothed out during the summer, every summer, when she and her partner spend six weeks sailing in the Mediterranean with friends: “My life is either full throttle or I’m doing nothing at all.”
Drawn on her favourite foods, simplicity is a main trait of each: “I eat really simply when I’m alone. I like quite plain, primitive foods. Right now I’m in a bean phase. I especially love different types of heirloom ones from a brand called Rancho Gordo.” From the halls of high fashion to her chic kitchen, Gohar still has her soft spot for greasy, messy hangover food— hot dogs are in my top five most favorite foods ever.”
By Elsa de Berker for Semaine.
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What does the word “taste” mean to you?
Do you have a life motto that you live by?
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
I’m at a hotel right now and sat on the toilet when I got into the room and my feet didn’t touch the floor. And I’m not short. I laughed hysterically at myself.
What are your favourite qualities in a human being?
Who is your hero?
What is your biggest flaw?
What is your best quality?
What would your last meal on earth be?
Anything made by someone I love.
What does success mean to you?
Creating something bigger than myself that enriches those around me.
If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world, what would you change?
No one needs to be hungry.