Today we meet Khalil Tawil, Co-Founder and CEO, Umi Kitchen.
I’m a graduate of West Point, former U.S. Army infantry officer, veteran of three deployments to Afghanistan, and JD candidate at Yale Law.
The idea for Umi Kitchen was inspired by my mother (“Umi” is the Arabic word for “my mother”). She immigrated from Lebanon to Montana in 1976. To make ends meet in those early days, she used to cook Lebanese food with my grandmother and sell it at a local farmer’s market.
When I was in the Army, she would vacuum seal and send me her cooking wherever I was stationed. While at Yale, I was craving a home cooked meals but I was too busy to actually cook, so I posted on Craigslist offering to pay someone to make me a home cooked meal and within 24 hours I had 17 responses. This made me realize there was a need in the market for connecting home cooks with hungry consumers.
Hallie (a friend from Yale) and I teamed up and created a community of home cooks who create small batches of their signature meals. Our first Umi cook in New Haven was my mother! She flew out from Arizona and cooked 80 meals in four days out of my studio apartment. We delivered them to New Haven students and families, and the rest is history. After successfully serving over 500 meals to the New Haven community with dozens of New Haven Umi cooks, we decided to bring the idea to New York!
We’re currently live in Brooklyn and Manhattan and excited to be unleashing the hidden home cooking talent within NYC’s diverse communities.
As for my personal style:
Jeans: Nudie Thin Finn
Shirts: Uniqlo Oxfords
Pants: Massimo Dutti Chinos
Suits: The Lazio from Suit Supply
Shoes: Vans Authentic Sneakers and Billy Reid Loafers
Accessories: Kletterworks backpack , Hamilton Titanium Field Watch.
Outerwear: Barbour Classic Jacket
Favorite cologne: Chanel Platinum Egoiste
Favorite app: Umi Kitchen
Favorite piece of technology: iPhone
Next style/gear purchase: New MacBook Pro