Saturday May 18th, 2024
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The Kitchen Behind Your Favourite Foodie Festivals Now Does Catering

Meet Grill Setup, the pop-up dining experience bringing gourmet food all Egypt – and maybe to your next party, hmm?

Catherine Johnson

The Kitchen Behind Your Favourite Foodie Festivals Now Does Catering

When you’re setting up a party, if you’ve got the right food and the right people, then what else do you need? Judging by the story of Grill Setup, Cairo’s picnic-inspired pop-up dining experience, those are the two most important ingredients for success. Started by childhood friends turned business partners, Mahmoud Abo El Abbas, Ahmed Shamaa, and Ibrahim Sharkawy, Grill Setup has spent the last two years bringing affordable, high-quality food to outdoor spaces around Cairo – and now, these three friends are opening their kitchens to private events.

Grill Setup has seen enormous success in the Cairo event scene, largely stemming from its founding philosophy. “We wanted to do events that we would have fun in,” said co-founder Mahmoud Abo El Abbas. “Laid-back, easy, with zero expectations except for great food.”

That unpretentious vibe has become a hallmark of Grill Setups. But don’t let the chill atmosphere fool you – a lot of work goes into creating a good time. The Grills Setup’s kitchen is capable of serving 5,000 to 6,000 food items in four hours. All of these meals are made fresh and in-house by the Grills Setup team for their ticketed, all-you-can-eat food experiences.

This level of production is necessary considering the culinary company’s success. Grills Setup has come a long way since their first event, an 80 person brunch out of a friend’s house in Maadi. Within a year, they were hosting their first 1,000 person event. Now, two years after launching, the group has provided food for events like byGanz’s New Year’s Weekend at Soma Bay. They have also collaborated with groups like Venture Lifestyle and the Administrative Capital for Urban Development. And Abbas, Shamaa, and Sharkawy are just getting started.

Now, the culinary venture has set its sights on spreading the party even further with a new business venture – catering. With the Grill Setup team’s expertise in adaptable, large-scale high-quality cooking, this business move seems like a great choice for the company – and for the hungry party-planners of Cairo.

The group already excels at feeding enormous groups of people. And as for the age-old hosting struggle of providing for multiple dietary restrictions, well, they’ve already tackled that problem simply because they think it’s the right thing to do. Grill Setup has always made sure to provide at least two vegan options at all of their events – and those options are good, too. When asked about his favourite Grill Setup meal, Abbas shared, “I’m a carnivore. I eat meat one hundred percent, but something that really surprised me was the sweet potato tacos. I crave them. I never thought I would like something vegan.”

The Grill Setup menu, crafted by Shamaa, is chock full of incredible dining options. Beef Kogi tacos, burger sliders, and s’mores skewers are just some of the options included in this gourmet menu that is guaranteed to bring flavour to corporate events, weddings, birthday parties and more.


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