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I’m a Critic, not A Promoter; Dona Maria

Dona Maria, a teacher, food critic, and one of Bahrain's most prominent food journalists, has a plethora of knowledge to impart. As a teacher, she has worked as a College Counselor at Alia School; she enjoys teaching and uses her teaching skills in her business. She is a well-known food critic with the Instagram handle @bahrainfoodie and is the owner of the infamous coffee shop called Dona’s Wonders.

Dona's life as a food journalist has not been easy. She describes how dangerous the job can be, citing three lawsuits against her, multiple death threats, and being attacked three times. As a result, she decided to hire a lawyer and have the restaurants she reviews sign waivers. She explains how being a critic entails providing constructive criticism and only praising and appreciating what is meant to be highlighted/appreciated. Her job isn't to promote a specific restaurant, but to share her knowledge and food experience with her audience. Perhaps it is for this reason that she has become one of Bahrain's most acclaimed food journalists. Since she loves food, and all kinds of food in general. There’s no bias and no preference for one cuisine over another. What tastes good, is what appeals to her.

With her intellect and planning abilities, she created Dona's Wonders, a cross between Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. As she doesn't stick to one cuisine in particular and prefers to share the types of food she enjoys, she gave it the name Dona's Wonders. Dona's Wonders, located in Sheikh Ebrahim Center, serves various dishes such as durros, a cross between churros and a donut, and ‘Doramisu’, a revamp of tiramisu with an Italian twist, among others. Unwilling to be limited to one cuisine, the majority of the items available in Dona's Wonders are a mash-up of various cuisines and textures. Textures that some people may have never tried before. As a result, if she were to start another branch of Dona’s Wonders, she would most likely want to emphasize the concept. The concept of rare textures and cuisines, as well as palate exploration.

While talking about creating specific recipes, Dona explained how recipes wouldn’t work due to the humidity of Bahrain or the reactions caused by a certain drink, which resulted in the drink tasting bad. This dialogue revealed that Dona had taken a Food Chemistry course to improve the efficiency of her recipes and output. It goes on to display her dedication and passion for her work and the high food quality she strives to maintain. As the conversation unfolds, Dona expresses her adoration for children and her preference for having them at her restaurant. She stated that one of the reasons that she’s a teacher is due to her admiration for children and her excellent rapport with them.

Dona is an English teacher with a degree from the University of Cambridge. She has a CELTA certification, which allows her to teach English to foreigners. She uses her teaching skills to train her employees since she's a teacher. Teaching has taught her to be more patient, empathetic, and kind. She gushed about how much her students adore her and how well she gets along with them.

While discussing the differences between Homeschooling and Formal Education, she stood for the side of Formal schooling. She believes that there’s a need for some reforms to occur, yet she stands by formal education and its perks. As a teacher, it’s hard for her to disregard formal education. Also, rote learning is something that she believes should be eradicated. Incorporating her skills as a teacher, her knowledge of the English language, and her knowledge of food has helped make Dona’s Wonders a success.

Dona’s Wonders, located in Sheikh Ebrahim Center, is a great place to visit, especially if you're an explorer looking to broaden your horizons. Visit it along with Dona's Episode, which is now available! If food and exploration are your passions, then watch Dona's episode to learn more about Dona's Wonders, and the world of cuisines.

The episode is Now available from apple podcast, Spotify and even YouTube;

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x9ng34UAcU&t=281s Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5UcGDfwM8hrLobQlVEDe0r?si=yq4SJvgMRQmwVoR9fx1X1g iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/being-a-food-critic-in-the-arab-world-is-scary/id1580002083?i=1000577187300

Website: https://www.Unslovedtruths.com

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