Made with Love Recipes
CAPTURED BY THE RECIPE HUNTERS
“I was born in a small village in Akkar, Lebanon. I was two years old when the civil war in Lebanon broke out and my family moved us to my grandmother's home in Kfardlekous, Zgharta. I have been in Zgharta ever since, where I now live with my husband and children on an orange grove. I learned to cook from my mother, grandmother and my mother-in-law, Salam, who still helps me in the kitchen today! I have three boys Anthony, Samir, and Jod who love their mom's cooking! My children are my inspiration to work over 12 hours each and everyday!"
How did you become involved with the Souk el Tayeb?
"I started as a cook at the restaurant Tawlet, but after hearing about the Souk el Tayeb Farmers' market, I told Jihane, the coordinator, that I would love to participate. Since Suzanne already made kibbeh at the farmers' market, I told them I would try to bring other products by using my mom’s famous recipes of Kibbeh La’teen and Kibbeh Errass. I immediately fell in love with the people, the clients, and the ambiance of Souk el Tayeb Market. Both the Souk and Tawlet have given me an opportunity to shine and be the best cook I can possibly be."
*To learn about Souk el Tayeb and Tawlet click here.
How has Souk el Tayeb changed your life?
"When I first began working with the Souk El Tayeb organization, I was introduced to a lot of international people. Many of these people were interested in learning about Lebanese recipes and our methods of cooking. Whenever someone contacted me that was interested in learning more about our cuisine, I would invite them to my home to document my cooking and to learn from me. I quickly became known for my cooking and my willingness to share my passion of cooking with others. I even did a commercial for a butter once, it was so much fun! Souk el Tayeb gave me the exposure, trust, and income to accomplish my dream of developing my kitchen into a commercialized one. With a commercialized kitchen, I would be able to cook for more people and cook different things at the same time. When I opened my new kitchen, I invited the Souk and Tawlet staff to Zgharta for a celebration, it was the only way I knew how to give back. I am now able to cook more food with the same quality while delivering happiness! When people call me and thank me for my food I feel so special and forget how tired I am from hours in the kitchen. Souk el Tayeb gave me the opportunity to continue to do what I love: To provide people with organic, homemade, top quality, and tasty food. Because of the Souk, my catering business has recieved much attention and I am ”
What is your most memorable cooking experience?
“In August of 2013 I was invited amongst 17 women from Tawlet to go to the MAD Symposium in Denmark with Fadi, Jihane, and Kamal. We went there to cook for 600 of the top chefs and foodies from around the world but most importantly to show what Lebanese Cuisine and Tawlet was all about. It was 17 women from the various cultural and religious backgrounds of Lebanon but we had so much fun, laughter, and joy as we traveled out of the country. We proved that food can break down cultural barriers and when we were done cooking, they applauded us for 7 minutes! It still brings tears to my eyes to think about.
If you were living on a deserted island and could only bring one kitchen appliance, one meal, and one spice what would they be?
“I would bring a knife, tabbouleh, and black pepper”