Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Eat Local / Buy Local

I think this makes a lot of sense and yet so many people still buy "gadget" foods from across the world. Wake up folks, look around you. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Buy local foods from people you know who worked hard to make it happen. Shake hands with a producer, your food will taste so much better. Lebanon holds a very rich array of all kinds of goods. You can make simple to very intricate recipes using local production. The world talks about our food, our resources, our ingredients, our culinary heritage. Let's be proud, let's become part of a chain, a local chain!

Declaration on Seed Freedom

Found this photo on Pinterest, I like!
Dr.Vandana Shiva, Slow Food activist and board member of the International Slow Food, has written this important document. It is very inspiring and important,  yet we are moving slowly away from the natural cycle of life into seed capitalism (nothing is spared, not even a little seed). We should reflect on these notions because our future and the one of our children and their children is greatly affected by it.

Declaration on Seed Freedom:
  1. Seed is the source of life, it is the self urge of life to express itself, to renew itself, to multiply, to evolve in perpetuity in freedom.
  2. Seed is the embodiment of bio cultural diversity. It contains millions of years of biological and cultural evolution of the past, and the potential of millennia of a future unfolding.
  3. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every form of life and is the basis for the protection of biodiversity.
  4. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every farmer and food producer. Farmers rights to save, exchange, evolve, breed, sell seed is at the heart of Seed Freedom. When this freedom is taken away farmers get trapped in debt and in extreme cases commit suicide.
  5. Seed Freedom is the basis of Food Freedom, since seed is the first link in the food chain.
  6. Seed Freedom is threatened by patents on seed, which create seed monopolies and make it illegal for farmers to save and exchange seed. Patents on seed are ethically and ecologically unjustified because patents are exclusive rights granted for an invention. Seed is not an invention. Life is not an invention.
  7. Seed Freedom of diverse cultures is threatened by Biopiracy and the patenting of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. Biopiracy is not innovation – it is theft.
  8. Seed Freedom is threatened by genetically engineered seeds, which are contaminating our farms, thus closing the option for GMO-free food for all. Seed Freedom of farmers is threatened when after contaminating our crops, corporations sue farmer for “stealing their property”.
  9. Seed Freedom is threatened by the deliberate transformation of the seed from a renewable self generative resource to a non renewable patented commodity. The most extreme case of non renewable seed is the “Terminator Technology” developed with aim to create sterile seed.
  10. We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve; as the freedom of human communities to reclaim open source seed as a commons.
To this end, we will save seed, we will create community seed banks and seed libraries, we will not recognize any law that illegitimately makes seed the private property of corporations. We will stop the patents on seed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mamnoon Website

This summer I was hired as a food consultant to work on a menu for a Middle Eastern restaurant in Seattle, WA. With a lot of work and determination of many brilliant people, the restaurant is finally open and I am proud to present their new website.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mouneh Book in Arabic

We are finished! Now all we have is the printing ...

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Book on Lentils

I love books which deal with one subject! Two lovely women, one from Beirut, living in England and one from Italy, also living in England joined forces to collaborate on this magnificent read. The book is written professionally, it shows immediately. You are tempted to try the recipes as you go through the pages. In fact, today I will try one with lentils and farro. Luckily, I have some farro that I purchased in Italy during Terra Madre.

Press Release info: What can happen when Lebanon and Italy are cooking dishes of lentils? From the unavoidable moujaddarah to original recipes such as lentil salad, octopus and celery, an explosion of flavours is guaranteed! With dishes from Lebanon, Italy and elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the Book “Lentils” is a travel album in which Claude Chahine Shehadi and Maria Rosario Lazzati share recipes, memories and cultural characteristics.
From traveling the world from the Mediterranean cuisine and the history of lentil, the authors give us fifty delicious recipes of lentils, between tradition and modern cuisine.

Release: October 2012
Texts: English (a French version is also available)
Format: 23x21cm
ISBN: 9782360860333

Friday, November 9, 2012

Chefs of Lebanon Unite!

Proud to be among these great chefs, God bless each and everyone of you! May you always have energy to cook food from the heart!!!