Sunjeh Raja is the Founder, Director & CEO of the ICCA Dubai, of the international award-winning world-class culinary training center established in the year 2005. Since then he has been spearheading the engagement of the company’s Vocational Education Training (VET) programs and takes on a holistic approach to establish ICCA Dubai as a Center of Excellence, offering world-class culinary education. He adopts a very practical and innovative approach with an eye for detail, to continually develop the concept of industry-focused training and outcome-driven learning.
He is a recipient of several international awards & recognitions and has been consistently raising the standards of culinary training and food service across the region. Recognizing and taking opportunities as they arise, the centre has been able to leverage on many strategic partnerships with world majors – a direct result of Raja’s vision and leadership.
Inspired by her inherent passion to teach and excited by the opportunity to set up a Technical Vocational Training (TVET) Center in Dubai, Shanaaz has been one of the strongest pillars of the founding team, working tirelessly to put together outcome-focused course plans, programs, and quality assurance processes that make learning at ICCA meaningful and fruitful.
Being exposed from a very young age, having grown up with a mother who founded four schools which flourish to this day, she understood the importance of having good infrastructure and talented instructors to provide quality education. Little did she know that her love for food, passion to teach and a Masters Degree in Food Science would come together to lead her on this beautiful journey. Her advice to young people is to keep learning, keep persevering, and give your best to whatever you do, and your vocation will find you!
Sergio Freitas is known for his love for fusion to create new tastes, flavours and textures, that are not widely expected to be seen or experienced in a surprisingly complementing way. In his over 16 years of honing his knowledge and skills in culinary, he has risen from being a premier emerging chef to becoming a new-age culinary entrepreneur and a seasoned Chef Instructor of repute.
With more than 17 years of experience in operations at world-renowned Hotel chains, preparing a wide variety of unique multi-cuisine dishes, Shiv Negi, has a track record of training, developing, and fostering strong teams focused on quality, presentation, and cost containment. He is proficient in numerous cooking techniques and cuisines with a talent for working with ingredients from countries around the world.
Michelle is a dynamic and energetic Chef with around 20 years of experience in Culinary, working in hotels and stand-alone restaurants, including the world-renowned 3 Michelin Starred Chef Marco Pierre White’s restaurant and within the aviation sector. She is an expert in her craft and fundamentally thorough and innovatively sound with several cuisines.
With over 16 years of experience in culinary (Pastry), Ashwani Pathaniawnn has hands-on experience in hiring, training, and coaching pastry and baking teams with in-depth knowledge of cake decoration and flaky pastry techniques. He has won several awards, including winning the best patisserie award, Top 3 chocolate showpiece, and securing 3rd place overall in the World Chocolate Masters 2017 Middle Eastern Region selection.
Passionate about baking, Chef Hartono has always been focused on learning and excelling in his craft of creating high-end pastry products. With over 16 years of culinary experience and working under some of the biggest names in the industry, namely Pierre Gagnaire, he aims to share his knowledge with those keen to enter this field.
Driven by a strong passion for teaching and working towards contributing to the gastronomic heritage study of Chile, Chef Leonardo Luza Villo has always been focused on excelling in his craft. Armed with Gastronomy Associated Degree from INACAP, Food Innovation Diploma from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and training from Lenôtre Pastry School in Paris, Leonardo Luza Lillo comes with a decade of experience training Pastry Chefs and aims to share his knowledge with those keen to enter this industry.
An innovative patissier, with formal training in all disciplines, Cookery, Baking & Patisserie, Gelato and Sugar Crafting, Sabeen Fareed, specializes in lavish buffets, exotic high tea, fine pastry, custom menu development and food presentations. She owns a charismatic style with finesse in both Cookery & Patisserie and independently managing Projects & Events.
Suunil G Murudkar is a culinary professional and an enthusiast who has enhanced his culinary knowledge & skills as a food blogger, photographer, and entrepreneur. He brings with him in his experience of more than a decade of running a cloud kitchen and has since redefined his love for food by taking up a role in culinary training and support.
Nasarene Jeddy Dhanki is an internationally renowned Master Sugar Crafter and has been teaching the British Sugarcraft Guild approved cake decoration techniques and skills for over 25 years. Each year she returns to the UK to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field and to renew her Sugarcrafters guild license. She is recognised as an expert at delivering training at the Personal. Professional and Entrepreneurial levels, creating exquisite Cakes and masterpieces of edible art for every occasion.
He is a well-renowned name in coffee in the Middle East and famous as the first Global Champion for Costa Coffee. In his career spanning over twenty long years in coffee, he has successfully trained and mentored two global and eight regional champions and professionally educated over 3000 baristas in the UAE and the region.
Benjamin brings years of experience in sales operations combined with his certified knowledge & skills in culinary arts. He manages the online resources platform along with monitoring student assessments.
Mary Jane, fondly known as MJ, is a people’s person with around seven years of experience in sales, customer service and client relations. She is also a passionate online gamer and, as a Gamemaster, has gained more than 1M followers during her active years within the gaming community.
Zainab is all about helping individuals bring their passion for culinary arts to life. She is a Baking & Patisserie enthusiast, a zealous home baker with a dash of quirk, and she says, "Everything I dough, I dough to make you smile."
A cabin crew for 6 years with Qatar Airways and playing host for people worldwide, Nidhi has mastered the art of people skills and helps take care of student counselling & sales. Nidhi is a serious food enthusiast and strongly stands by the saying “Learn, eat then eat some more and repeat” to keep herself happy and motivated.
A people person, Michelle comes with a solid experience in customer service and sales. Fluent in English and Shona (the official language of Zimbabwe), she is also a keen listener that brings with her enthusiasm and ability to counsel and service her clients in the best manner possible.
Confident and dedicated to providing the very highest standards of service, Sheena has an excellent understanding of what her clients need through her past work, mentoring, and personal experience. Fluent in English and Chichewa (the official language of Malawi), she is energetic and motivated with a genuine desire to help others.
Sunil Nair is a seasoned online strategist and analyst with extensive experience working with agencies and corporates of all sizes, from start-ups to corporate giants, for over 17 years. Sunil is responsible for delivering seamless digital experiences and establishing the brand online.
Being a certified chef herself, Sara’s passion for advocating culinary education comes from her own experience as a student at the ICCA Dubai. She focuses on coaching to effectively manage her team and maintains strong client relationships, especially with the Arabic speaking clientele, by helping them choose the best options in culinary.
John is the Multimedia & Creatives Specialist and is responsible for the day to day coverage of events and happenings at ICCA Dubai. Aside from being proficient in Photography, Videography and Social Media, John is also a DJ for nearly a decade with having cut many albums around the world.
Joyce is the happy face that greets you at the ICCA Dubai front office. With over half a decade of experience in customer services, she brings an exceptional flair in providing support to customers at the ICCA.
Akhila handles student performance monitoring to ensure holistic learning and overall development. She plays a key role in maintaining an effective online education management system.
Anu’s proactive and goal-oriented attitude to providing quality work outcomes makes her the go-to person for any insights on the learning and development of students here. An MBA professional armed with a post-graduate diploma in Digital Marketing and Data Analysis, she brings with her solid experience in client management, training & mentoring students, service operations, process improvement, and consumer research and data analysis.
Priyanka’s winning personality ensures that you feel at home upon entering ICCA Dubai. With strong experience in client relations in the hospitality industry, she brings a unique blend of warmth and competence to support customers at ICCA.
Ashutosh is the Visual Specialist and is responsible for the coverage of dishes and events at ICCA Dubai. An experienced and passionate Cinematographer, he has also worked as a Director of Photography (DoP) on several television commercials for top brands and also handled food photography for reputed restaurants.
Roopa Menon is the Content and Communications Manager handling all aspects of content creation and management. A published author with over 15 years of work experience across journalism, advertising, PR, and social media, she has worked and dealt with companies across diverse verticals and industries, producing content that best suits their brand identity and messaging.