Captured By The Recipe Hunters in Lebanon
"My mother and grandmother mostly cook Armenian food but I cook a fusion of the two, bringing the best of both flavors into my homemade food."
Ossan is a fourth generation Armenian living in Anjar, an Armenian village in Lebanon. In the early 1900s, many Armenians fled to Lebanon during the Armenian genocide. Today as many as 4% of Lebanese citizens are Armenian.
How did you begin cooking?
I began cooking on my own at 23 when I married my husband, but I would always have my mom on the phone with me asking her for advice and help. Now I have three girls who are all grown up working and at university and they still come home to eat their mom’s cooking.
How did you find out about Tawlet, the restaurant?
"I have always loved cooking and because of that I became well known in my community for cooking. One of our family friends mentioned Tawlet to me and I was really intrigued by the concept. When Tawlet reached out to me to see if I was interested in sharing my food with the Beirut community, I was very excited for the opportunity. This year marks my fourth year at Tawlet!"
What is your best memory of food?
"I always have a nostalgic feeling when making kibbeh sajiyeh, because my grandmother used to mince the meat herself, using a wooden hammer over a thick, flat stone. I still have the stone as a remembrance of my grandmother and her cooking. My grandmother was a very good cook."
What is one spice she cannot cook without?
7 spices...Armenians are known for spicing up their food.