Lebanese Food and Culinary Traditions & Thoughts

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

2nd day Horeca 2012

Very talented chefs visited Atelier Gourmand today. I was really impressed by their recipes and talent, yet I was disappointed too because visitors did not pay enough attention to what they were preparing and saying. A lot of people come to the fair to eat free food, although this fair is solely for professionals ONLY!  We have so much to learn from each other. People are in pursuit of money and glory and forget the essential. For me, it was exceptional.

My first guest was Chef Mohamed Ourad from Momo.Not only is this chef talented but a true gentleman with years of experience. I am so glad that we hired a cameraman to document his teachings. The aim was to have renown international chefs revisit a Lebanese recipe. Chef Mohamed cooked for us moghrabieh and tajin. I will be posting the video very soon. I loved both dishes but preferred the tajin. According to Chef Mohamed our tajin is too heavy. He lightened the traditional tajin sauce with some fish broth and added a dollop of fresh cream. It was exceptional. His moghrabieh was innovative as he made it with fresh seafood. I loved the taste but cried out for a bit of spice (you all know how I am!). I think we can learn a lot from Chef Mohamed because he has so much experience and regional culture. I am definitely going to visit his kitchen sometime soon.

My second guest was Chef Remy Lefebvre from La Maison du Caviar. Chef Remy is a self taught chef who has traveled extensively to fulfill his passion in cooking. He is a redhead like me so we hit it off immediately! His dish was special too because he interpreted our traditional Lebanese Sayadieh his way. He reduced the fish stock a lot to become very concentrated. He made a risotto using tarrator. I really loved that! His assistant Chef Ali attended to the risotto while he grilled the fish with caramelized onions. We spoke about La Maison du Caviar in Lebanon and the perception of Lebanese towards this establishment. Some are scared to visit the restaurant because they feel it might be too expensive. Chef Remy mentioned that some of the dishes served in the restaurant are cheaper than others who pretend to be very casual and affordable. One can spend thousands of dollars at the restaurant eating very fine caviar and others can simply eat at an affordable price other menu items. Makes sense... Thanks Remy, I'll be back.

And finally, a soul mate found called Suzanne Husseini. Host of the popular cooking program "Sohbe Taibe/صحبة طيبة " and author of the bestselling cookbook "When Suzanne Cooks," highlighting the wonders of Arabian cuisine. According to Suzanne, "Love begins in the kitchen" .  She is really amazing! She reminds me of sexy Nigella Lawson but the Arabic version (so cute and more authentic!). She cooks and talks about food with a passion. She cooked her lamb and freekeh in front of audiences who couldn't wait to taste the food. You can find the recipe in her book. It is still available at the fair. It was great to see how a person with lots perseverance was able to accomplish her dreams. She is a tough cookie who loves to share her passion with her readers and TV audiences alike. "Suzanne Husseini’s love of food began at home. She cites the meals her mother made during her childhood in Canada as the source of her everyday inspiration". We understood each other because we are going through a lot of similar circumstances in our common journey. I hope to see more of her and her cooking in the future. Habibti intee!!!

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