Chef Philip Juma is a self-trained chef in London. Born to an Iraqi dad and Irish mom, he worked in finance until he had the realization that “doing what you love is more important than any paycheck.”
Fast-forward a little less than a decade later, Phil owns a business that does popups and catering called Juma Kitchen, he writes a regular column on Iraqi cuisine for the London Evening Standard, and he does food demos at locations like London’s iconic Borough Market.
Always a fan of London’s food stalls, and noticing the placement of those carts being on the front line of London’s energy, he knew that there was a space for his family’s Iraqi cuisine, which was, at the time, not represented on a significant way before Juma Kitchen hit the scene. “I’ve gotta put this on the map,” he thought.
He took a leap of faith, and in this podcast he says, “for anyone who’s on the fence in life, I’d say, categorically — just do it. It’s all about action,” and that’s when it all falls into place. We also talk about getting unstuck and finding strategies to get yourself out of the way, when you’re your own worst enemy.
I hope you enjoy this episode, and I hope you’re inspired to find or make Iraqi cuisine! He describes Iraqi cuisine as like Middle east meets India. It’s delicious, and Phil is definitely doing his part forging a path of contemporary Iraqi cuisine.