Business ingenuity and savvy use of technology are two of the most important keys to success in today’s world. Fortunately for Amr Helmy, he has both in abundance, and has already put them to good use in a number of different career paths. eniGma’s Mahmoud Al Badry sat down with Helmy to uncover the story behind his unique journey and what led him to become a professional food critic.
Amr Helmy has been a journalist at a number of reputable newspapers, a singer in a successful band, a fashion designer for some major TV shows and a video editor of documentaries aired on several Middle Eastern networks. Currently, he is the region’s first certified food critic and the creator of The Sexy Food, one of the biggest and most followed social media food accounts in the Middle East. There’s really little that Amr Helmy can’t do. He’s got a creative mindset, a rock solid work ethic, and a stern determination to succeed, a combination that has allowed him to excel in every creative avenue that he chose to embark on. With such an impressive resume at the tender age of 25, he’s always believed that being content or staying put can only mean going backwards.
Helmy has always had that burning determination needed for success. Having grown up in a somewhat westernised family, Helmy has been working and living alone since high school. He started by being a singer of an underground music group that he founded with some of his close friends. Later on, while obtaining a journalism degree at university, he decided to pursue another passion of his: fashion. His eye for detail in clothes was instrumental in landing a job as an on-set custom designer in a couple of Egyptian TV shows. Soon, however, he decided to leave the fashion industry behind, and dive into video editing and the production of documentaries for television. Despite his success in this field, his love for video waned nearly as fast as it had with fashion, and he left the business altogether.
Before leaving, Helmy had already dabbled with what he now considers to be his true passion. Growing up, Helmy had always thought of himself as a food connaisseur. His mother and closest friends seemed to echo that sentiment. Around early 2013, he began writing food reviews of multiple restaurants in his free time. His reviews became a hit among his inner circle of friends, and before he knew it, he had become their go to guide on where to eat. With the increasing number of favorable messages that his reviews were garnering, he felt that he needed to have a specific page on social media, and, with proper preparation, to pursue being a full time food critic. However he was convinced that success in this new venture would only be possible if he worked at improving three key interrelated aspects: food tasting, cooking, and journalism.
Helmy proceeded to take courses in all three. His aim went beyond becoming the first internationally certified food critic in the Middle East. In the process, he also wants to revolutionize what he feels to be an extremely stale food industry in Egypt.
Helmy is now considered one of the biggest up and coming food critics on a global scale. Next year, he plans on going on a tourism/nutritional project, starting in Turkey then heading to other countries, to examine the cultural basis of their food. Helmy hopes that this process will help par-ticipating Egyptians look critically at the food market in the country, which he finds rather bland and unhealthy. He is also planning on opening his own pasta-based Italian restaurant in 2017.
Helmy recognizes that he might not really reach all of the goals he’s set for himself on the long run. After all, he’s unpredictable and gets bored quickly. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing that he’s learned along his unique journey, it’s that determination and good taste are perfect recipes for success.