Lebanese Food and Culinary Traditions & Thoughts

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Barbara Preparing Man'oushé with Fares Helwe Beirut



Fares has played an important role in my life. I met him because I was meant to become his apprentice. My Man'oushe book started in this small street corner bakery. Fares was generous with his time and his teachings were a must to begin my adventure. I visited over 250 bakeries throughout the country but his remains very special to me.

Majjounet Gardenia
Hazmieh
Fares Issaac: 03-304483

I would like to share with you what I wrote about him in Man'oushé: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery.

"On the same street, three shops down from the first bakery where my training started stands a small bakery owned by a man called Fares. I entered his bakery with the same scenario that I would present to each baker. He was friendly and answered all my questions. I asked him why he became a baker. He smiled. “This answer needs time.” I retorted, “I’ve got all the time you need!” 

It was raining outside and customers were scarce. Fares and I sat down in his bakery for three consecutive hours. As the story of his life unfolded before me, tears ran down my cheeks. 

Fares was born in Bayno ‘Akkar, in the extreme North of Lebanon. He comes from a poor family and is the youngest of eleven children. According to him, his mother had time and affection only for three. Fares’ father was a farmer working odd jobs that could not give his family financial stability. Life was hard. Fares’ early childhood memories are not happy ones. He quit school early. A family dispute at an early age led him to Beirut. At the age of eight, Fares found himself alone and scared at nightfall under a bridge. A woman in a nearby building offered him refuge for the night and helped him find a job in a factory.

This job didn’t last. Fares found work in a bread bakery. The owner asked him “What can you do, son?” Fares replied, “Anything at all!” This is where he learned the ropes to become a baker. 

The young boy became a man. With his savings, he took on the responsibility of opening his own bakery. He worked very hard, yet was fulfilled by his success.

On the same street, three shops down from the first bakery where my training started stands a small bakery owned by a man called Fares. I entered his bakery with the same scenario that I would present to each baker. He was friendly and answered all my questions. I asked him why he became a baker. He smiled. “This answer needs time.” I retorted, “I’ve got all the time you need!” 

It was raining outside and customers were scarce. Fares and I sat down in his bakery for three consecutive hours. As the story of his life unfolded before me, tears ran down my cheeks. 

Fares was born in Bayno ‘Akkar, in the extreme North of Lebanon. He comes from a poor family and is the youngest of eleven children. According to him, his mother had time and affection only for three. Fares’ father was a farmer working odd jobs that could not give his family financial stability. Life was hard. Fares’ early childhood memories are not happy ones. He quit school early. A family dispute at an early age led him to Beirut. At the age of eight, Fares found himself alone and scared at nightfall under a bridge. A woman in a nearby building offered him refuge for the night and helped him find a job in a factory.

This job didn’t last. Fares found work in a bread bakery. The owner asked him “What can you do, son?” Fares replied, “Anything at all!” This is where he learned the ropes to become a baker. 

The young boy became a man. With his savings, he took on the responsibility of opening his own bakery. He worked very hard, yet was fulfilled by his success."

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