Bashir's focus on multiple industries is lead by pure passion. He is an owner of Butcher's BBQ Joint, Floyd The Dog and Tenno, as well as a leader for young democrats internationally. He is beating the seemingly folkloric advice that the only sure way to succeed is by sticking to one domain. Bashir's vision is both unwavering and changing with the times, getting both culinary entrepreneur and politician treatment.
"A farmer that comes up with new ways is also as important as a doctor. We are all astronauts and the important thing is to keep discovering. "
Please introduce yourself, including what you do and what you are passionate about.
"Hi, my name is Bashir Wardini and I can't think of a way to label my passion or limit it to one thing. I have quit my desk job seven years ago and since I’ve been making a living from things that I have passion for. Things I’m creating. If anything I would title myself as a creator. I'm passionate about various things equally. Politics and fashion are some of the things that I have ventured in. In the past years, the food industry and how to approach it differently has been growing on me - and it will continue to be my main interest for the years to come."
In which situation/ series of events/ moment did you realize your passion?
"When it comes to politics, it has always been my main passion, and it goes back to as far as I could recall. During school days, the only classes that I voluntarily attended were history classes. Just like a pianist or an athlete who follow their passion that's the only way for me to explain it.
As for the culinary and other passions - they were always there but wasn't until lately that I have showed strong interest in them. I believe it is all about growth and being able to have the freedom to do what you want to do at this certain period of your life.
It was never planned, but for a country that is known for its cuisine [Lebanon], it has became static and utterly boring, as if we are stuck in nostalgia and that doesn’t help us evolve. Very few people are trying to push food forward today; I simply had to fill the gap, to do things differently to use different ingredients and different cooking methods."
To A,F, postponing your freedom usually means holding off on what you’d prefer to do in order to please others, or follow a “norm”. When/ how did you decide not to postpone your freedom?
"I believe that's quite common in our societies - you are expected to be this or that, otherwise you are a failure - this is changing, you have teenagers today coming up with innovations that are changing the old world and how humans interact.
They are teaching coding to kids in schools now; it is a necessity for the future. The market is changing and so is the world, and you shouldn't be stuck in the old ways and limit your happiness to please anyone. I believe today, even designing a bag differently could be beneficial to millions of people.
A farmer that comes up with new ways is also as important as a doctor. We are all astronauts and the important thing is to keep discovering. I've personally always approached life as such, even though I had to pull graveyard shifts and take on underpaid jobs to survive at some point just like many of you, but what is important is that you have to pull yourself out of this situation and that's when you start discovering your growth and freedom."
How do you define success?
"Success is being able to change a whole industry, that your creations remain immortal."
Which of your creative accomplishments gave you the most satisfaction, and why?
"It was when pig farmers told us that we have opened a whole new market for them, and their sales went up 500%+ up in less than three years. I could never grasp this, that we have changed how people eat and that we have created jobs and opportunities for people across the country from a 20 square meter shop."
What do you want your work to be known for?
"Changing the local food scene forever."
What’s your favorite thing about your city and why? (Beirut)
"Sometimes that chaotic freedom that you can’t find anywhere else."
What is a setting/ activity/ routine that makes you the most happy? Anything at all.
"I don't have a certain activity or routine that makes me happy. I'm a sucker for the simple things. Like right now all I want to do is sit on the roof have some melon, natural wine, prosciutto and a good conversation. Being able to afford the simple things is a luxury and a freedom that many don't understand."
What is your motto to yourself? / What motivates you?
"'Always Strive and Prosper' is the motto that I live by on all levels - You shouldn't stop striving for knowledge or a better life quality or discovering, and what motivates me most is waking up in the late mornings and knowing that I have people that relay on me to be successful together, and a big team that also have families and needs to make a living. That is what gets me out of bed."
Why do you think most people settle for a career or life they don’t love?
"Our mentalities are often enslaved to a certain corporate world, and some people prefer safety, unhappiness over-taking chances. You should never settle, maybe compromise some things when you have kids - but remember you are their first idol and role model and you should act your role."
What simple advice would you give to people hesitant to pursue their interests?
"You will fail, you might even go broke, not once or twice- but eventually will stand up again, you will learn to become more successful, your ideas will become more bulletproof. But trust me it is more rewarding than settling for a desk job that you hate. The freedom alone of it is more satisfactory and the financial freedom will come with it."
What is your favorite quote?
"I don't have ONE favorite quote but hip-hop has shaped me throughout the years, and I've learned from its growth- but since we are talking about this subject I have one from Jay Z:
'See Martin, see Malcolm, see Biggie, see Pac, see success and it’s outcome see Jesus, see Judas, see Caesar, see Brutus, see success is like suicide. Suicide, it's a suicide when you succeed, prepare to be crucified' then he adds 'But real kings don't die. They become martyrs, let's toast to them.'"