Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Le mezzé à la manière de Barbara Abdeni Massaad

 Article of L'Orient le jour, Carla Henoud has captured the essence of my work and of my being. I am very grateful!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mezze: A Labor of Love

The cover of Mezze: A Labor of Love
The new baby is finally out! Delivery was not painful... It has been smooth sailing all along thanks to the team I work with. I'm very grateful for the dedication and hard work. Pascale Hares you did a fine job illustrating my book, you were able to capture what is inside my BRAIN. Scary! Dots, my printing partner makes the dream a reality always... Jill Boutros watches over my writing like a hawk. The list is long, I have written all in the book.

Why a book about Mezze?

Mezze is an obvious choice. It often defines our Lebanese cuisine all over the world and is definitely something to boast about. Julie Andrieu, a French TV host who has traveled all over the world in her famous show "Fourchette et sac a dos" claims that the Lebanese mezze was one of the most interesting food experience she encountered while traveling over 80 countries. It's impressing! But we knew that!

On the 28th of November, at Falamanki in Beirut, we are launching Mezze: A Labor of Love. I want to thank Al Wadi al Akhdar for their support and encouragement to make this project possible. Falamanki has always showed support in my work and my soul lies in their cute "Dekeneh" with all those wonderful village products and artifacts.

There's over +70 recipes with beautiful illustrations. The book will be sold for 35 USD.

I hope that the launching will be success, in spite of the political instability and economical crisis and everything else going on.... God help Lebanon and neighboring countries, spare us from more bloodshed and suffering.

Peace. Let's create beautiful and positive things while we live on this earth.

Here are some exerts:
The Vegetable Basket
Kebbeh Nayeh
Beef Tongue

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chefs of Lebanon, Slow Food Beirut NEEDS YOU!!!

Come join us at the Cooking Festival

I'll let you in on a little secret, I've always wanted to meet all the chefs of Lebanon. Why? because I cherish these men and women who dedicate their lives to feeding others (make sense?)...

I am now heading the Slow Food Beirut Convivia, slowly but surely with the help of a few volunteers. Hopefully this year, if the political situation remains more or less stable (meaning bombs don't fall on our heads), then Slow Food Beirut will host each month an event dealing with food and the people who make it happen...

Our first initiation is at the 2013 Cooking Fair! The good people who also organize Horeca have made this festival a yearly event. It is growing from year to year and people seem to get interested. Last  year I made bread for good folks to show them that it's really not such a big deal. This year because of my new status, I want to focus on spreading the good word of Slow Food.

The talk I am preparing for the festival will introduce chefs and others to the philosophy of Slow Food. That said, we will get memberships and discuss new year strategies. I would like to get each chef involved in an event and try to bring them closer to a farmer, a small scale producer, an artisan. Is it so hard? It might be because knowing the restaurant business (I've had my share), consistency is important. We, as Slow Food Beirut, have to build this trust and create a strong link and relationship.

Tony Ramy, who is quite famous in the Syndicate of Restaurants in Lebanon pointed out to me an example which I will use during my talk. Once he was on an outing in a restaurant with his family in a local village restaurant near St. Charbel... He discovered that all the food he was eating was imported including the potatoes, the meat, even some of the pickles, ... He felt cheated and very frustrated. What has become of our heritage, of our pride goods, of our culinary past???

I suggest we all get our acts together and work on safeguarding our culinary traditions, here and now. (Before IT IS TOO LATE!!!!)...

Hope to see many of you there!