ORLANDO, Fla . – The pandemic hit Enas Gebaly and her family hard.
Her husband lost his job and it prevented Gebaly from traveling to see her family, who still lives in Egypt.
For her, cooking became a way to feel connected with her family and her home country.
“I miss my family so much,” she said. “I tried to do something that (helped) me remember my family, especially my mom’s food.”
Food also became a way for Gebaly to help her family in Florida, her husband and her children. After her husband lost his job, Gebaly was told about Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program.
“It’s like a magic story,” she said. “One day, my friend she called me and she told me ‘Enas I know you love baking, you love food. It’s a place they do in culinary school and it’s free. You have to call them now.’”
Gebaly was shocked to find out that she only needed to fill out some paperwork and she was all set to join the program “and the magic happened.”
She said that Second Harvest taught her everything she needed to know “to be professional.”
“I’m a shy person and they (Second Harvest) try also to teach you to be confident,” Gebaly said.
With her newfound confidence and business acumen, Gebaly started Nosa’s Bakery. The business takes orders from its Facebook page and Gebaly uses Second Harvest’s kitchen to prepare the baked goods.
Gebaly said she likes to mix cultures with her baking in hopes of helping to bring people together around a shared meal.
“If I mix two cultures together, like a baklava cheesecake — the baklava from my country and the cheesecake from here (the U.S.) — if I try to mix the two cultures, I can do something. I can touch people’s hearts with my dessert,” she said.
In the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Gebaly talks more about her experience with Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program. She also talks about her family in Egypt and what her plans for the future are.
Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candace Campos on Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”
Florida Foodie is a bi-weekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.
Use the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com Florida Foodie newsletter, sent every other Wednesday.