Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Plant seeds folks, that's all we have left!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sheep in Zahleh

Photo copyright Tony Batty

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mashrou' Leila - Lebanese Band and Controversy

Bravo, keep going... continue. We need more like you! The music rocks and the lyrics are authentic, true to the actual culture and ideologies the young are living through. Sometimes that bothers some people, who cares!

IMC at Biofach 2013

I wish I was going...

IMC at Biofach 2013

The annual appointment at Biofach gets renewed, the international exposition of organic products that is going to be held from 13th February to 16th February in Nuremberg, Germany.
IMC will participate in the fair with an info stand in which IMC will present its certification services for agriculture, aquaculture, agro food and restaurants.
At the IMC stand it will be also possible to meet certified companies and find the best products of the Italian and Mediterranean culinary tradition.

IMC will also present to the press and visitors Conosci il tuo pasto Restaurants & Food 2013, the first circuit of certified restaurants in Italy and Lebanon that promotes organic, bio-dynamic, and local products, fair trade commerce and quality Mediterranean agriculture. The Guide is available online in an English and Italian version on the blog
www.conosciiltuopasto.it. On the guide are also indicated the certified organic shops and the ice cream parlors where to find an organic ice cream.


Visit us at the Hall 4 Stand 316!!

The illustrated catalogue of the companies that participate at the Biofach 2013 (here)

read all at ww.imcert.it 

Veronica and I (she's going!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vintage Gas Station

Thanks Cherine! Love this place, my blog... my world.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mike Massy - مايك ماسي "Ghayyer Lawn Ouyounak" - غير لون عيونك

I love Mike Massy's voice and his songs are really lovely. I listen to them all the time. Once I saw him at Virgin Megastore, I practically jumped on him to kiss him. I think I scared the heck out of him. Of course, he didn't know who I was, I simply took it for granted that he knew I was listening to him. Crazy! Anyway, listen to his songs - they will bring you back to a time, somewhere nice. Keep going Mike!

Mamnoon's Heavenly Hospitality

Mamnoon's sweeping, clean-lined room minimally furnished with track lighting, black tables, black chairs and a freestanding black wall between the dining area and kitchen has a jangly disco energy. But if you're going out with a group or craving more vivid flavors, Mamnoon's the better restaurant. Hannah Raskin.
Read the review of Mamnoon in the Seattle Weekly by Hannah Raskin. You can watch the slide show of the food and location too. It's amazing really how a dream became a reality. So proud to have been part of the building block. The Harouns and Chef Garrett really worked hard to make the food taste great and look authentic. The design of the place is modern with a sense of Middle Eastern roots. Very classy! Now there is a whole team working hard to make the food scene happen every night. If only Seattle was not so far away! I'm dying to go and see it live. Yalla soon...

Ma'noushe isn't as familiar to American eaters as hummus or falafel, so Mamnoon's trying to stoke the preparation's local reputation by serving it at dinnertime, neatly rolled and quartered. (Other concessions to western expectations include ma'amoul, customarily a filled blimp of a cookie, remade as a tart.) Ma'noushe is very much a street snack, so the tactic is tantamount to putting croque monsieurs on a menu dominated by duck a l'orange and sole meuniere. But the restaurant is hereby permitted to do whatever it takes to sell more of its wonderfully satisfying man'oushe at its glassed-in takeout counter, which occupies the front half of the restaurant. Hannah Raskin
Exectuive chef Garrett Melkonian platting up the Kebab. Hannah Raskin

Monday, February 4, 2013

Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Listen to this radio interview with Christopher Lydon on Radio Open Source with Mark Rendeiro.

Here is an introduction he wrote .... "So, what if man’oushé, lentil soup and good music are the basic program?" I love that Christopher... You read my mind.

BEIRUT — Barbara Massaad, writer and chef, in her kitchen, is telling us a terrific story about the all-conquering cult of food in Lebanon. And I am asking her: no kidding, what if we demanded that cooks and musicians run this ugly world, starting here in Beirut and, by all means, next door in Syria.

When you talk about food to a Lebanese, you bring them back to their childhood with a big smile. Once I was in Nabatiyeh, deep in the south of Lebanon, and I was taking pictures of a sign that said “Garlic” or something. And this guy from Hezbollah comes up to me and starts screaming! Like, ‘Yaaaah! You’re not allowed to photograph that! What do you think you’re doing?’ And I said: Look, food! This is what I am doing. And I started showing him my book on Man’oushé — about local varieties of ‘thyme pie’ in Lebanon. And suddenly this ferocious guy became like a little boy. ‘Aaah,’ he said, ‘you’ve got to come and visit my mom. She makes the best food in the world.’ And then it was like: ‘I promise I will come back and visit your mom.’ And he said: ‘take as many pictures as you want. I’m really sorry.’ This is the effect that food has on Lebanese people. It’s a maternal thing. It’s childhood. It’s the root of everything.
Barbara Abdeni Massaad in conversation with Chris Lydon and Mark Rendeiro in Beirut, December 2012.
At the ragged edge of the Arab upheaval, Beirut is enjoying yet another construction boom. Gracious old Ottoman-era houses are disappearing fast near the ever-bustling Hamra Street. New luxury apartments are sprouting up next to shot-up shells of 1960s hotels, described as too big to tear down, too damaged to repair…

Talking about food is, of course, a way of not talking about everything else on Lebanon’s mind. Thousands of refugees are turning up from Syria. There’s a palpable dread that Syria’s civil war could run as long as Lebanon’s (1975 to 1990). And there’s a real danger that Lebanon’s politics — aligned for and against the Assad regime in Damascus — could go haywire again. Then again, food talk reflects and connects with everything else — village cheeses match local and tribal loyalties in this dense mosaic of minorities.

Barbara Massaad has published two handsome books of slow-food lore, both rich with social implications. Mouneh is the old Lebanese folk science of preserving food — drying and pickling, for example — to survive war and other disasters. Man’oushé used to be every Lebanese person’s daily bread, in infinite local varieties, dressed with onions, olives, tomatoes, spiced with zaatar, or not. Man’oushé is her dream remedy for almost everything that ails the Arab world. “It’s a poor man’s food, but you see the richest people eating it,” she is telling us. Man’oushé is the work of magnetic, gossipy local bakeries where, as in England’s “local” pubs, “you find out who’s going out with whom, what the president said, and what Hassan Nasrallah spoke about last night.” If she could summon the energy, Barbara Massaad says, she’d open a place with food for everyone. “It wouldn’t be that expensive — food for all walks of life. Something with lentils — but this divine lentil soup!”