Lebanese Food and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"soup for syria" cookbook to help syrian refugees in lebanon ".حساء من ...

 This is a report that was made by Alhura TV to introduce our book project Soup for Syria. I invite you to watch it. Cristina and I cooked soup for an Iftar during Ramandan at Aya's family tent.

Meatless Monday

I will be making open faced sandwiches with my homemade bread, spread with goat cheese and toppings that will leave you perplexed... salty / sweet depending on your mood. Come, it's great fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I'm Cooking Indian ...

So I'm cooking Indian next week at Motto. 


Because I love Indian food / people / spices / colors... and I feel inspired. And guess, what by coincidence a friend of mine who works as a chef in India (cooks Lebanese) will help.Also, a friend from the USA, cookbook writer Beth Howard who is going on a world tour will be here to share this event.

At the Taj Mahal on my visit
 Lots happening in Beirut these days! All good!

Here is the announcement...

Mótto is moving! Summer garden pop-up.

Mótto is moving from Monday to a summer garden pop-up at Makan, a new cultural space. Makan is 500m away (map below), and has a large, quiet garden where we'll be serving all our usual great food:
Nimal’s Lebanese and Sri Lankan lunch buffet 12-4pm

Dinner among the bamboos from 8pm (M-W Nimal's Sri Lankan, Th-S Barbara's Indian)
Saturday brunch 12-4
Afternoon cakes

While you enjoy great food in our garden, we will renovate the Madrid Street restaurant - which will be closed for the works. We'll be back 'home' in a couple of weeks.

Here's the map:

Here's the menu:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cool Summer Breeze Menu @ Motto

From the 29th to the 1st of July... We are cooking at Mótto at night only... To reserve a table you have to call or SMS them at 70 954 057.

Cool Summer Breeze

• Homemade baked bread with red pepper dip on side
• Cold cucumber, mint and yogurt soup
• Quinoa and beetroot salad
• Filet chipotle sauce with fresh herbs served with organic Ratatouille
• Dessert: Orange dark chocolate with Grand Marnier with Sarah’s homemade cookie 

Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a Lebanese / American cookbook author, photographer, local and international food consultant and TV host. Massaad is currently president of Slow Food Beirut. She is also the author of award-winning books: Man’oushe: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery, Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry, Mezze: A Labor of Love and will launch in fall 2015 Soup for Syria: Recipes to celebrate our Shared Humanity. All proceeds of the book will go to help refugees in dire needs. She is currently working on other book subjects related to food.

Albert Massaad has just graduated from high school at Notre Dame de Jamhour and is heading to Lyon, France to study at the famous Paul Bocusse Culinary Institution. His passion for food dates back to his early childhood when at the age of two he set the table to eat a chocolate bar with a fork and a knife. He has traveled often to Slow Food’s fairs and has recently been making lots of pizza in street food festivals all around Beirut.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lebanon: a day in the life

What happens when a Lebanese man who has never lived in Lebanon returns to his roots?


Proud to have a shot of my family baking flat breads during the Beirut Street Food Festival in this short preview of Cedars in the Air. Watch it, it's really filmed well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Soup for Syria Cover

It's finally done!

Good news is that my US publisher found a UK publisher too to help publishing Soup for Syria. Presently the book is being printed in China! Ouf...I am planning a launch in Beirut in September. In the US there will be launch/benefit concert on September 20th in MA.Will keep you posted on developments.Thank you to all who made this book possible! Everyone worked for FREE. All proceeds will go to a fund to help Syrian refugees It feels good to have been part of this amazing experience. Hope people will understand the core message behind the book.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon or directly on the Interlink page.

Soup for Syria may be the most compelling cookbook ever created. Through her photographs and collected recipes, Barbara Massaad directly connects us with a people in dire need of our help.  Just holding this book is nourishment for the soul.”
—Jim Clancy, former CNN Correspondent and Anchor, awarded A.H. Boerma medal for coverage of food and hunger issues by F.A.O. (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization)


The world has failed Syria's refugees and some of the world's wealthiest countries have turned their backs on this humanitarian disaster. Syria's neighbors-Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq-have together absorbed more that 3.8 million refugees. The need for food relief is great and growing.

Acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors the world over have come together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees. Each has contributed a recipe to this beautifully illustrated cookbook of delicious soups from around the world. Contributors include: Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Ana Sortiun, Sally Butcher, Claudia Roden, Greg Malouf, Alexis Coquelet, Chris Borunda,  Alexandra Stratou, Necibe Dogru, Aglaia Kremenzi, and many others.

• Celebrity chefs contribute favorite recipes to help feed Syrian refugees
• Fabulous soups from around the world-from hearty winter warmers to chilled summer soups
• Easy-to-follow instructions with stunning color photos throughout
• Recipes made with no-fuss ingredients found in your local supermarket

All profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through various nonprofit organizations. Most Syrians hope that one day they will be able to return to their country and rebuild their lives. For now, though, what we can do is listen to their pleas. Be part of this vital work of saving lives and help us deliver essential food items to the displaced refugees.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


This means a lot to me. You will never understand but it's OK because I don't want you to. Sometimes things are better left unsaid.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baking Pizza "en Famille" at the Beirut Street Food Festival

Caramelized onion and fresh mozzarella made in Lebanon
"Mourou, this is my happiness. How can people not see it?"

"Mami, it's OK, if everyone knew it, there would me too many of us." — Albert, my son at the first Beirut Street Food Festival on the day of his 18th birthday, May 17 2015, while baking flat breads (pizza).

This was such a special evening for us as a family. It reminded me of the "restaurant" years with my own family in Florida.

I'd like to thank the organizers of this event  for doing such a great job namely Zeina Halawi and Youmna Mteiny. The only problem they had was that the festival was so in demand to so many that food stalls could not deliver so much food to such a crowd. Lesson learned .... next time will be even better. You have my full support.

It all started with Lea and the balloons
And then it suddenly filled up like mad
And we had hundreds of people waiting to EAT
And we we were very hard at work
Lea and Sarah becameperplexed on the crowd's demands
Mia finally showed off her talent
Albert baked like mad

A moment of tenderness with my youngest daughter Sarah
We watching in awe the crowd and giving thanks. This will be a memory someday.
Miou and me
Papi (dough, cut cheese, bring cheese) ... Our constant support

It was a memorable day.... 18 years ago today, I had given birth to my first child. It had been one of the happiest days of my life... Today, the happiness continues. I am lucky to have such a supportive family at my side. It's definitely my strength.May we always cook, eat and share our food together and with those who want to share it with us...Can't wait till the next one...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Beirut Street Food Festival - Some Thoughts

To the ones who cook, cheers!
Beirut is having an awakening and it has to do with food! I'm so glad and have dreamed of this moment for a long time. It takes people who have traveled the world to come back and make a difference. So I am grateful to all those who are contributing to this amazing initiative, those who are cooking and to those who will come and taste the food. It does not matter if we make money or not. All that matters is that we live together this experience which in turn will bring many more alike. I have a feeling...

And this is what we are doing!
This Sunday is an important date for me too personally because it is my son's 18th birthday. What a coincidence that he will be cooking at this festival on his birthday, especially that he is going off to Lyon next fall to study culinary arts. Things happen for a reason in life and we just have to accept the good and sometimes the painful to finally become better people. This is an amazing experience for me... to be cooking with my son on his birthday with all of Beirut. It's really amazing. Beirut I love you!

The future...

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