Having spent his childhood in the kitchen with the women in his family, Nedal Ahmad(31) grew up with not only a passion to cook, but also to create. Chicago-born and Hialeah-raised, Ahmad worked in the grocery store business most of his young adult life and honed his talents for cooking from a very young age in the family's kitchen.

At a family barbecue in 2010, while making his family-famous burgers and taking turns with his cousin Otto Othman who was grilling up some of his mother's equally-famous meat and vegetable skewers, the duo cooked up more than just delicious food. Looking to make changes in their careers, Ahmad and Othman decided that these simple elements burgers and kebabs would make the perfect springboard for a successful fast casual chain. The dream was
hatched: to open their own restaurant, serving delicious burgers and skewers of undeniable quality, made with the freshest ingredients.

With $6.27left in his bank account and his friends and family by his side, Ahmad's journey led to what is now one of South Florida's most homegrown fast casual success stories. On the heels of its win of the 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Amstel Light People's Choice Award, Pincho Factory is rapidly expanding its South Florida presence.

In addition to their locations on Bird Road and in Westchester, Pincho Factory is developing a corporate store in their hometown of Hialeah, Florida, slated to open summer 2015. Several stores, with franchise partners, are slated to open in South and Central Florida in fall and winter 2015.

Learn More About Nedal Ahmad

What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
Growing up as a kid with my mother baking bread is one of the earliest and happiest memories I have regarding food.

If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
Winning Burger Bash People's Choice Award 2015.

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Chef Gordon Ramsey in a bad mood.

I never leave home without my:
My trusty lighter