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Aida Mady’s powerful essay was the third winning essay. Aida is a gourmet chef, entrepreneur, and a changemaker in her own right. She beams success wherever she sets her heart into.  Read Aida’s essay and get ready to splash into a world of culinary creativity as well as being inspired by her story. Click here for a complete list of our other winners.

Aida is a recipient of a $200 prize for her winning essay plus a package that includes marketing and promotion of her wonderful work in our social media platforms, as well as in our newsletter newsletter and blogposts.


Aida Mady

Egyptian Cuisine from Ancient to Modern Time

My name is Aida Mady and I am a wife and a mother of three. Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the United States 35 years ago.

I have worked as an interior decorator, and currently as an accomplished home cook, using the cooking and baking techniques that I learned as a child from my family. I am actively involved in my community and I enjoy cooking and baking for relatives, friends, and those in need. With the help and encouragement of my friends and family, I finally decided to make my dream of starting my own cooking and catering business a reality.

I joined Empowered Women International (EWI) and took the Entrepreneur Training for Success class (ETS).  After graduating in June 2012, I immediately launched my business, Cooking & Beyond, a dream come true for me! Sharing EWI’s vision for using the arts as a unifying language of multicultural understanding, with my EWI mentors and teachers I was able to bring a unique entrepreneurial spirit to my business, rooted in my rich culture and passion for the art of baking.

EWI has been by my side since day one, and the mentors and volunteers that I’ve met through visionary organization have become a second family to me. Through constant and endless support, I was able to persevere through the at times tough and challenging journey of establishing my catering and food business. I have received countless opportunities, ranging from selling my baked goods at local businesses, to participating in marketplaces and negotiating rates for commercial kitchen use. Now my business is growing steadily and I will be selling my baked goods at Whole Food Market, where a portion of the sales will be donated to EWI and other charitable organization.

Through my participation in the advanced Grow My Business (GMB) class, I’ve given my business a professional edge. Looking at myself at a personal level, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my personality and confidence levels when it comes to pitching my business, talking about my products, and owning my own business in general.

Thanks to EWI’s continuous support, I’ve been able to expand my business by selling to more stores, building a solid clientele base, offering cooking classes, and hiring new part-time and full-time staff to accommodate my business’ growth. I am forever grateful to EWI for the support, help, and love they have given me from the very beginning of my journey, and I look forward to contributing to future students and graduates.

 Be a changemaker. Make a difference. Donate.



Aida Mady’s Third Place Winning Essay: Bringing Back Ancient Culinary Taste Buds
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