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Stories

Hidden Cities Dubai: Kathy

November 22, 2018 / United Arab Emirates

Discover the pioneer of local artisanal chocolate who’s paving the way for homegrown craft food.

Turn back the page to Old Dubai and follow the story of the spice trade with an expat-kid-turned-chocolate-producer who has a passion for artisanal craft food. Take a walk through the spice souks and explore the Dubai Creek port, passing by the abras and dhows in what was once the gateway for trade.

Fast forward to a place where new tales of trade are being written: a homegrown chocolate factory with countless flavors inspired by local ingredients. Get a glimpse into the making of her Mirzam Chocolate bars, then settle down with her favorite craft coffee at Zero Four.

“We follow the story of the spice route and the history of spice trading, and the Dubai Creek was a hub on that spice route.”

About Kathy Johnston

Kathy is the Chief Chocolate Officer of Mirzam Chocolate Makers and a passionate contributor to the craft food movement in Dubai. A part of the founding team, Kathy had a life-long obsession with chocolate, returning to Switzerland many times over five years to learn about the chocolate production process. She moved away from a career in marketing and communications in 2014 and began working full time in craft chocolate. She now runs the chocolate factory in Alserkal Avenue, where the whole bean-to-bar process is on display for visitors.