The Journey to Lebanon

On Friday, I leave for Lebanon. I will be there for three months visiting family and researching Lebanese food (if you know a book publisher, now’s the time to send them my way ). I’ve had a huge week preparing for this journey – let us not forget the chickpea degustation that took place on Thursday at Efendy. There will be more on that night coming later, but let me say that it was by far the most brilliant event I’ve organised (followed closely by my first event, theΒ secret dinner at Element Bistro). The night was a huge success and I’m still buzzing. The extra adrenalin has allowed me to undertake a frenzied, mindless attempt at packing my luggage for the big trip – still not sure what I have put in that bag. One thing is for sure – I’m taking the following books which I feel I can no longer part with – ones I think would be great for a relaxed afternoon cooking session:

  • Mouneh by Barbara Abdeni Masaad
  • MoVida Rustica by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish
  • Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf
  • Bourke Street Bakery by Paul Allam and David McGuinness
  • The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans

My first meal in Lebanon? Most probably a cheese knefe, or perhaps a man’ousheh b’ zaatar (see picture).


  • Have a great trip Fouad we look forward to the updates on the emerging food scene over in Lebanon.

    One thing that has always interested me is lebanese olive oil. Maybe you can find out what makes it so different than the Australian Olive oil ?. They say that in general Australian Olive oil is of higher quality but for me i cant get over that pungent sometimes astringment peppery taste. Lebanese olive oil taste of actual olive fruit, you can almost taste the lebanese soil in it. I wonder if their production methods are actually different or is it just the 100 year old olive trees πŸ™‚

  • Bon voyage! What an amazing three months you have ahead of you-such rich ground for both writing and living the experience!

  • Trek Salama Fouad! I can see an amazing book coming out of this. You are going to have a wonderful experience. Can’t wait for your first post from Lebanon.
    all best wishes!

  • Enjoy the trip!

    Be sure to check out the old souk in Byblos (especially at night). It has undergone a nice transformation with heaps of new restaurants little bars/pubs.

    Other than that, try SAQI Books if you are looking for a publisher. I think they specialise in what you are after.

  • Hi Fouad, I hope you made it safely and comfortably to Beirut. I know a publisher in Beirut that specializes in transitioning writers from online to print media (“Blooks”, for Blog + Books). They have already had their share of successes, so it might be of interest to you. Let me know if you are interested, i can forward their contacts.

  • love the photo, very romantic man’oushe! Yalla , call me when you hit Lebanese soil. You want to do a show together? Wouldn’t that be the best souvenir for you to take home? Ha Ha!!!

  • Bon voyage Fouad! May the trip be everything you expect and more.

    You’ve reminded me of Knefeh bjeben (sp?) I had for breakfast in Beirut – best thing ever with a strong coffee!

  • This is such a beautiful photo of a man’oosheh.. Zaatar is such a simple yet creative food invention isn’t it!!

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