Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hospitality News Cover Dec 2012

I love this photo and I am really proud to be amongst these great folks. May God always give me the strength to continue to seek out the best of our culinary heritage. May all these chefs continue their paths in a dignified and honorific manner to make us proud to be Lebanese. My message to them, don't try to imitate the rest of the world, but on the contrary impose your traditions and food culture to the rest of  world. We have so much to be proud of... Merry Christmas to all...

Sara Dickerman's on Mouneh

Sara DickermanSara Dickerman @saradickerman

my@WeekdayKUOW cookbook rec: Mouneh by @BarbaraMassaad. gorgeous food traditions from Lebanon, but useful for NW produce too!

Sara Dickerman is a former restaurant cook and an award-winning food writer based in Seattle. Her work can be found in publications like Slate, Saveur, The New York Times, and this site.

Start at minute 48:00 to listen to Sara Dickerman speak of Mamnoon restaurant in Seattle where I worked as a food consultant this summer and my book Mouneh.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Beirut Manifesto

For those who wrote this (Scene) , I want to say "Thank you!"

Earth Market Opening

Some of the Earth Market producers
Yesterday was the first day of the opening of the market. I arrived in a hurry early morning with all the traffic heading to Beirut listening to "Ya Zamen", Mike Massy. The parking was full of producers all ready for the day. I was really touched and tearful to see them all there smiling. They are like family to me. I have gone through many adventures with each one of them while doing my book Mouneh. The market needs work and we are going to focus on making it better every week. I bought a few items at the market: sage, basil (two types), watercress (rashad) to eat with my goat labneh, organic mix salad, honey (orange blossom), lentil mix for making soup and maklouta ... I wanted to share also my discovery of Oum Ali's Lebanese-style nutella , what a woman! What she did is mix carob molasses (very typical of our mouneh) with cocoa. Amazing! I made sandwiches for my children with this spread for school this morning. I bought a bouquet of wild flowers to decorate my house and heart... Very much in need of beautiful and simple pleasures! Also, found a tiny pumpkin for soup tomorrow. Did I mention the gingerbread men cookies? They always remind me of my childhood in the US. I felt so happy coming back home with all these goods, that's special. Next week, and the every week I will be at the market. Should you need advice or just want to chat - we are setting up a table for Slow Food memberships to start programing our events for 2013. Hope to see you there!

Thank God for Flowers
A special thought goes to Roy Harb, whom unfortunately could not join the market because of a health emergency. Thankfully, he is recovering in the hospital. We put out his mother's products despite all. The market would simply not be the same. Suddenly, a strong wind blew and we knew that you were with us. We are praying for you!

A Sign of Good Luck Roy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Opening of the 2nd Slow Food Earth Market

It's tomorrow already! I'm so excited. It just feels right. I want Slow Food to be an important part of our Lebanese way of life! This week around the world people celebrated Terra Madre Day. We, in Beirut, are also celebrating with this new food / producer venture. Slow Food Beirut, with a team of dedicated members, (including the dekkenet team at Falamanki without whom this could have never been possible) will work on getting people from all regions of Lebanon to join this street market. I will personally work with them on an individual basis to work on creating different food stations based on local goods. This is what I want out of all this, I want us to continue learning about our food culture and make all these people part of our lives— all our lives. Hope to see you there! It will become a weekly outing for me, a destination to meet others who feel the same way we do about food and heritage.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Food Photography

I learned to photograph food by practice, only! It started with my journey while researching for the Man'oushe book about 10 years ago . At first, it was not an easy task. As they say, "practice makes perfect". I became obsessed with photography and because I loved food, the two just came together. I hate to photograph food with artificial lighting because it makes the food look too polished. Food photography entails colors, textures, lighting, and authenticity - yes, authentic feel of food. That's what I look for when I take those photos, not glossy images of fake food that look so perfect that you don't want to eat them. I was hired lately by Chef Joe Barza, Lebanese food activist, to take some photos for his website. The joy of the photo shoot was to eat all these delightful plates after our work. I can vouch that they were quite delicious! If you are interested to learn food photography, just start by snapping away and analyzing each shot. Now with digital technology, it's very simple.

A Mezze Survey

I conducted a survey on Facebook, where did you have the best Lebanese mezze ever? I am interested to hear people's opinions. I am presently writing a book on Mezze. I having so much fun doing it and I think finally that's the most important. I once read a saying: " Success is a journey, not a destination". My journey is full of interesting facts to learn (about food, life, and people). If you want to add anything to this list or have something to say about the subject, please do. Also, looking for friends to come and eat at these lovely places... I'm so getting FAT!

Anne Valluy Berj el hamam faouzi autostrade
November 19 at 7:01pm via mobile · Unlike · 1

Anne Valluy Ou 3abdelwahab... Best fatteh
November 19 at 7:01pm via mobile · Unlike · 1

Nadim Ghantous Fayyat, Sin Elfil.
November 19 at 7:02pm · Unlike · 1

Marwan Hadid Fakhr el din broumana & Al Halabi Antelias
November 19 at 7:03pm · Unlike · 1

Rami Salman 3arabi on the berdawni, zahleh
November 19 at 7:03pm · Unlike · 1

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Nadim Ghantous where in sin el fil? new to me.
November 19 at 7:09pm · Like

Hanine Abdel Rahman Al Shamms restaurant, anjar
November 19 at 7:15pm · Like

Nagi Saikali Greatest fattet hommos at Fadel Naas!
Greatest sea food mezze at maguy in batroun!
Greatest usual mezze at chez Alphonse in Ajaltoun!
November 19 at 7:22pm via mobile · Like

Taylor Cheney Nadia Tommalieh's house!
November 19 at 7:23pm via mobile · Like

Gay Mandour in my office.......just kidding :))) My favorite is Karam DT
November 19 at 7:26pm · Like

Nancy Harmon Jenkins In Saida, years ago, at a restaurant near the causeway.
November 19 at 7:30pm · Like

Nathalie Massad Nassif Apart from mums, I really enjoyed Em sharif in ashrafie !
November 19 at 7:31pm via mobile · Like

Jean Francois Massaad Chez fouad hrajel
November 19 at 7:38pm via mobile · Like

Walid Edmond Irani Amareddine is the best
November 19 at 7:38pm · Like

Tony Najjar Burj al hamam - Broumana & Edde Sands - Byblos (Tried them back in 2010 when I last visited LB)
November 19 at 7:48pm · Like

Nadim Ghantous Fayyat is a small joint right behind the new byblos bank branch across from sea sweet. Its in front of the parc (yes, a green parc exists in beirut!). At night, they have a casual singer with oud and derbakeh (no electric organ!). Excellent food with special home dishes. A essayer!
November 19 at 7:49pm via mobile · Unlike · 1

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Thank you all for your precious ideas, i will note them and try all. Working on a project!...
November 19 at 8:01pm · Like

Nada Farhat Foul de chez Michael Monot
November 19 at 8:03pm via mobile · Like

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Nagi Saikali, where in Ajaltoun? How funny was there all summer????
November 19 at 8:05pm · Like

Pandora Boite @nadim which Byblos bank and which park? Sanayeh??
November 19 at 8:10pm · Like

Barbara Abdeni Massaad sin el fil he said en face de sea sweet.
November 19 at 8:11pm · Like

Pandora Boite Yes i only just read the top part... sounds good though..
November 19 at 8:12pm · Unlike · 1

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Does anybody mind if I post your answers on my blog? If you do answer, if not that will mean it's OK. Thanks folks!
November 19 at 8:15pm · Like · 1

Michel El Khoury Chez mona ma femme!
November 19 at 8:21pm · Unlike · 3

Taline Ichkhanian Fadel in na3as!
November 19 at 8:57pm via mobile · Like

Nancy Harmon Jenkins Oh, and I'm dreaming of the foul in a stand in Aleppo, in the New City--I can't even say it in Arabic anymore and it has probably been bombed to extinction by the forces of misrule.
November 19 at 9:17pm · Like

Barbara Abdeni Massaad So sad, I'm so depressed Nancy with this whole situation. When will all this stop!
November 19 at 9:19pm · Like

Fadi Zaidan I think Fadel Na3s, and Halabi Antelias are a tie.
November 19 at 9:29pm · Unlike · 1

Elie Mattar I like Chez Zakhia, best Fattoush
November 19 at 9:34pm · Unlike · 1

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Elie Mattar, where is Chez Zakhia?
November 19 at 9:35pm · Like

Elie Mattar Amchit Barbara, nice authentic sea food restaurant at the beach
November 19 at 9:38pm · Like

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Yes yes I remember, I'm going senile.
November 19 at 9:41pm · Like · 1

Lolita Massaad Samaha Anaya, Fouad Hrajel and El Shaykha Douwar
November 19 at 11:07pm · Like

Sevine Fakhoury Zahran Mehanna!
November 19 at 11:21pm · Like

Veronica Pecorella mmmhhh...thinking thinking...
November 19 at 11:22pm · Like

Impulso Byps Pascale at home:)
November 20 at 8:37am · Like

Kuki Waterstone At a Turkish restaurant in London!
November 20 at 11:35am · Like

Patrick Rahal Chez Fouad THE BEST
November 20 at 2:01pm · Like · 1

Tania Saba Mazraani Le phenicien! Also Sultan Ibrahim and Mounir at times, though quality can be uneven, depending on the season and the rush.
November 20 at 8:49pm via mobile · Like

Kuki Waterstone What are you going to do with all these answers Toutoune?
November 21 at 9:29am · Like

Barbara Abdeni Massaad I am doing a new book on the subject and I hope to go eat at everyone of them, research... hard work you know.
November 21 at 10:45am · Like

Tania Hadjithomas Mehanna if you want somebody to taste....... hihihi
November 21 at 10:49am · Unlike · 1

Rita Ray Akl great news, Barbara I'm sending you the new application form for the ISBN via hotmail ... bisou
November 21 at 10:53am · Unlike · 1

Barbara Abdeni Massaad Thank you Rita, my mail is barbaram@cyberia.net.lb
November 21 at 10:56am · Like · 1

Rita Ray Akl demain matin sans faute
November 21 at 2:06pm · Like

June Nader-Kettaneh Chez Fouad !!!!!!! pour le mezze et pour lui .
November 21 at 4:40pm · Like

Gigi Haimari Massaad Chez fouad sans aucun doute :)))))
November 22 at 3:38pm via mobile · Like · 1