How The Bearded Bakers Made An Empire With One Molten Cheesy Dessert

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Let’s just say it: most food trends secretly suck. Who actually wants a 1,000 metre Snack Pack? Who orders a glass of frozé more than once? Do not @ me; you know I am right.

But if you’re tempted to put the insta-famous Bearded Bakers’ mobile shipping container in with the droves, then you simply haven’t tried their knafeh.

It’s a pristine take on a Jesrusalem fave, a molten, creamy cheesecake-like dessert topped with pistachios and a crunch that makes you forget all about crème brûlée.

“It’s probably the most symbolic dish of the Middle East, a dish that we grew up on,” says owner Ameer El-Issa. 

This, my good friends, is the real deal:

Since starting things up in 2014, the Knafeh Bakery has blown up: not only do the crowds follow them across the country wherever they pop-up, but Ameer has opened three bakeries in Sydney, Melbourne and New York.

If they pop-up at your local market or festival, you’ll probably hear them long before you spot ‘em, cooking, dancing, dabbing and singing with an infectious energy (see for yourself in the video below).

The best way to describe what we do is: we sell an experience, and we kind of use a best dessert as a kind of conversation starter,” says Ameer.

So how did they turn dancing and dabbing around while cooking into a full-fledged empire?

For creative director Ameer El-Issa, their success is due to that bombastic combination of personality, technical know-how and bloody good food – their knafeh is based on his mum’s recipe. They’re bearded men, dancing around, singing into mics and having a good time: it’s a spectacle for the eye and the sweet tooth.

“It’s personality and charisma and charm: it’s showcasing our culture in a way that’s never really been done before,” says Ameer. “So there’s that element of it, then there’s the element of design.”

For Ameer, Knafeh Bakery is really a merging of his two loves: cooking and design. He studied architecture at TAFE NSW. For a long time, he hustled hard, running restaurants at night then studying in the day. Then, once he graduated with his TAFE NSW diploma in architectural technology, he decided to design and create his own space.

“So one day I came home and I was like – ‘you know what guys?, I’ve bought a shipping container’ – and they thought I was crazy,” he says.

With real skills, connections and experience in architectural design, Ameer could get the project over the line and create the slick-as transportable container that’s been integral to their success. If you haven’t tried their knafeh yet, check their Instagram to see what location they’ll be in next – and to see what big things loom in the future. If Ameer has his way, Knafeh Bakery might just take over the world.

“Three years ago, if you had’ve told me Knafeh would have the success it has [had] – and the people we’ve met and the opportunities – I probably would have laughed at you,” says Ameer.

“Knafeh exceeded all our expectations and I feel like we still haven’t pulled out the big guns.”

We’re all about bettering ourselves and moving forward in our careers and lives in 2K18. Feeling the momentum? TAFE NSW’s enrolment week is from 15th-20th Jan, so pop down to a TAFE NSW campus and get moving with over 1,200 courses on offer, from degrees to certificates, short term classes and online studies.

Image source: Knafeh Bakery