Industry Profile: Dynami Al-Anjeri of On the Way Cafe

BY JEANETTE HURT  |  PHOTO BY DAVID SZYMANSKI 

RECIPE CORNER:

Detox Paleo
Breakfast Salad 

Ingredients:

2 organic eggs

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly
grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

Dash of black pepper

Dash of paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons almond milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup fresh lettuce and spinach, mixed

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 cup mashed
cauliflower

1 small, brown heirloom tomato, sliced

Preparation: In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients, excluding the greens, chia seeds, mashed cauliflower and tomato. Turn the stove to medium high. Pour the mixture into a tagine, nonstick iron skillet or pan and cover. After one minute, reduce heat to medium and cover again for three minutes. Afterward, check if it needs more time — if the mixture is runny, add one more minute to the cooking time, then flip.

Cover for two minutes, then turn off heat. Set aside.

On a plate, arrange the lettuce and spinach. Slice the tomato and place on top.

When the omelet has cooled down a bit, it will be somewhat firm. Spoon the cauliflower mash on half of the omelet and sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on top. Fold the omelet over with a spatula and use the tool to place the omelet on top of the salad. Drizzle the lemon juice over the salad and omelet, then sprinkle the chia seeds over everything. Enjoy!

Before Dynami Al-Anjeri became the co-owner, general manager and chef of On the Way Cafe in Mequon, the Santa Monica, Calif.,  native was a fashion and jewelry designer, paleo blogger and industrial engineer. In fact, she was even on the Kuwait television version of “Project Runway,” called “I Wish,” where she was a finalist. Al-Anjeri sat down with M: Milwaukee’s Lifestyle Magazine to discuss how her love of food led to her new career trajectory.

You grew up in Santa Monica, traveled, and lived around the world. How did you end up in Milwaukee?

I was ready for a change. I randomly chose Milwaukee. Then, I applied to work at this cafe on a whim. I was actually applying to work at law firms in Milwaukee. But food has always been a constant in my life, ever since I was 4 years old. It’s the one thing I’ve been able to continuously do without getting tired of it. I followed a strictly paleo diet (for a while), and I was organic growing up. My father’s from Kuwait and my mother’s from Barcelona, and they met at UCLA.

I speak Spanish (and) Arabic, and I’m OK at Farsi. I majored in industrial engineering at Cal State, and I would like to finish my second degree in international business when I have time.

Initially, because I don’t have any formal culinary training, I was hired to assist the cafe’s founder, Jill Check, and then I kept volunteering to do things.

Tell me more about that. 

Well, with my industrial engineering background, I built some of the tables (and) helped with the countertops and the shelves. I finished other projects (that were) started, and I also would help out in the kitchen whenever I could.

What do you want people to know about On the Way Cafe?

When people come here for the first time, I want them to have never experienced something like this before. We are very careful with our sourcing of our food. A lot of our greens, herbs and heirloom tomatoes are grown by our founder. We are very careful to make sure our ingredients are organic and don’t have any GMOs, and we are sensitive to people who have allergies or dietary restrictions. Our meat is grass-fed. A lot of thought goes into our sources of food. Also, while our food here is very nutritional and healthy, it’s also very delicious.

I love making soups. Right now, we have a shredded soup. It started out as a vegan soup with shredded cabbage, Brussels sprouts, fennel and wild rice, and then someone said they had a craving for chicken and wild rice soup so I added chicken. It’s a beautiful, purple color, and when you squeeze lemon juice over it, it changes to pink because of the acidity. 

What can visitors look forward to this spring?

We sell quarts of bone broth, and we also sell vegan green broth. We do catering and meal preparation, especially for athletes, and we are going to be doing more grab-and-go cleanses (and smoothies) for local gyms for pre- and post-workouts. We would love to have more high school athletes come here too — for before- and after-workout smoothies. We also might be open earlier hours, as our customers have been asking us to open earlier. Eventually, we might expand into a second location.

 

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