Foodie portfolio: Karen Mclean, Samantha Wood and Arva Saleem Ahmed

ByAhlan! Live ReporterThursday , 19 March 2015
Foodie portfolio: Karen Mclean, Samantha Wood and Arva Saleem Ahmed

Arva Saleem Ahmed 
This culinary journalist’s Frying Pan Adventures are cooking on gas
Frying Pan Adventures offer gourmet fiends a plethora of culinary tours around the UAE.
Aside from our hugely popular Arabic, Little India and North African Dubai food tours, we have just launched a new morning trail showcasing the Creekside in a non-touristy, food-orientated way.
Branching out into international TV was a huge achievement. We were invited to help produce segments for South Africa’s Girl.Eat.World, CNN’s Inside the Middle East programme and the Travel Channel.
The Deira Spice Souk is a great place to scour for ingredients. Unraveling the Souk: A Pocket Guide to the Exotic Mysteries of the Spice Souk in Deira details our finds that include beetle cocoons (with beetles inside!), folded walnut bark and black curd.  
I love doughnuts. But I wish I loved something more sophisticated like a macaron or a financier.
Trust but don’t be naive. Never share your best ideas for free. I volunteered a plan too quickly and had it stolen from under my feet! 

I FOLLOW.. 
WEBSITE: eatingasia.typepad.com
I enjoy Robyn Eckhardt columns.
WEBSITE: ladyandpups.com 
This “angry food blog” was referred to me by the incredible mycustardpie. 
TWITTER: @davehagerman 
For his incredible food and travel photography. 
INSTAGRAM: @heraldherrera
For authentic photos of Old Dubai.

FOLLOW ME... 
WEBSITE: iliveinafryingpan.com
TWITTER: @fryingpantours, @inafryingpan
INSTAGRAM: @fryingpanadventures

Samantha Wood
FooDiva is the culinary critic who can make or break a dining den
My remit has hugely expanded.
The FooDiva restaurant review site is now in Abu Dhabi and we’ve recruited guest reviewers to keep up with demand.
Gongs are always gratifying. Winning The ProChef Middle East Food Ambassador of the Year ward for raising awareness of the restaurant and chef scene across the UAE and internationally was a huge highlight.
Don’t take a ‘yes’ for granted, always follow-up. I find that piece of business advice invaluable. 
Being active on social media doesn’t make you an extrovert. I’m a very private person and do not share my personal life online.
Elia, the Greek restaurant at The Majestic Hotel Tower is my hidden haunt. Not such a secret any more!
Eating out for a living means that I have to work-out. I have a personal trainer, a cross-training machine at home and I also enjoy sunset yoga on the beach. 
Use the ‘test-pilot’ approach. Work with someone on small-scale trial projects before committing to a long-term and serious investment. 

I FOLLOW... 
WEBSITE:  finedininglovers.com
For global restaurant and food news. 
TWITTER: @jayrayner1 
In his own simple words: “Eats and writes about it.” 
TWITTER: @gilescoren 
For his food writing expertise and wit. 
INSTAGRAM: @marinagpoloughlin 
Top London restaurant critic.

FOLLOW ME...
WEBSITE: foodiva.net
TWITTER: @foodivaworld
INSTAGRAM: foodiva
PINTEREST: foodivaworld

Karen McLean
This healthy eating fan’s recipes have garnered a cult online following
Instagram has been a hugely powerful tool for me
. I started my food blog in 2013 but when I started posting photos on Instagram and gathered over 75,000 followers in one year, my social media persona, Secret Squirrel, was born.  
Shhh… don’t tell them it’s healthy. That’s my strapline. If you’re looking for scrumptious raspberry vanilla coconut chia popsicles, mini banoffee pies or raw chocolate mousse, log onto my site. 
I’m still overwhelmed by the response to my posts. The lovely comments I receive daily have inspired me to leave the corporate world and pursue my love of healthy eating. 
Raw food king Matthew Kenney is my culinary icon. He is passionate about health, the environment and sustainable living.  I also have all the Ottolenghi cookbooks too.
I wish I’d learnt to speak Chinese when I was younger. My parents always encouraged me to learn but I didn’t think it important at the time. 
I can’t live without my food processor. It’s absolutely my most prized possession. 

I FOLLOW... 
WEBSITE: mynewroots.org
The imagery and recipes are inspiring.
WEBSITE: deliciouslyella.com
All of blogger Ella’s recipes are based on whole plant-based foods.
INSTAGRAM: @alice_gao 
For her effortlessly chic photography.
INSTAGRAM: @gkstories 
For healthy food ideas and their expert food photography.

FOLLOW ME: 
WEBSITE: secretsquirrelfood.com 
TWITTER: @secretsquirrelfood
FACEBOOK: secretsquirrelfood