The Food Blog is a written collection of complete randomness produced by the scattered brain of Sydney-based food writer Fouad Kassab – me. I grew up in Jbeil (Byblos), Lebanon, the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth; the city in which the ancient Phoenicians invented the alphabet and from which they spread the means to document knowledge to the wide world. Like my seafaring forefathers, I have a genetic predisposition to haggle and barter, and several chromosomes reserved purely for gluttony and epicurism. Like them, too, I am a sucker for the written word and am similarly afflicted with the same love for travel.

And so, in 2001, at the age of 21, I left the glittering, over-fished and increasingly polluted shores of the Mediterranean and arrived to Australia in search of a different life. With more races and nationalities than could logically fit into one city, Sydney showed me the cuisines of the world – food prepared by migrant families as they would cook it back in their country of origin, adapted to our climate and produce. I ate a lot and put on more kilos than I’d like to share. With my growing waistline, my curiosity for food also grew, and in the absence of my amazingly talented mother to cook for me, I also had to learn to fend for my self. I became increasingly interested in food, its history, its migration and its significance in a cultural context. I researched and learnt about the food of my own region, the Levant, and I started The Food Blog partially as a way to document my personal learning experience and to share my heritage and culture. Though The Food Blog heavily features my thoughts on Lebanese food, I try not to be too restrictive. Anything goes.

The Food Blog is one of my greatest sources of joy. It has opened up a world unknown to me, and provided me with many great opportunities. I have had the privilege of writing for and contributing to many major publications. I have contributed to the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Good Pub Food Guide, Everyday Eats (formerly Cheap Eats) and the Good Cafe Guide. I’ve been published in Good Living, one of Australia’s most revered food publications and I also recorded audio segments for SBS radio and SBS online on Middle Eastern food and culture.

If you have enjoyed reading a post or two here at The Food Blog, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email on food[at]


  • hey!

    thank you very much for sharing you wisdom! I also have a passion for foods from all over the world. lately I’m much into korean cuisine. arab food has fascinated me all along yet I never found any “appealing” recipes. you’ve sparked my interest for arab cuisine once again.

    thank you.

  • Hi Alex
    Thanks for taking the time to write and I’m very happy to have been able to get you excited about Middle Eastern food πŸ™‚

  • Hi there!
    I was looking for a manakish recipe to share with my Indian friends & thats when I found ur blog.

    I hvnt read much except that one post.. but will do that for sure.
    i am hoping you make these recipes for ur friends and wife once in a while, in addition to posting them for the world to read n enjoy!


  • Hi tara

    Thanks for reading. All my recipes are done for the purpose of eating and sharing. the blog is incidental to that hehehe.


  • I grew up in Vicksburg, MS, United States, and there are many Lebanese there. Consequently, I was introduced to a substantial amount of Lebanese cuisine, which I love. Thank you for your blog. I am enjoying it, and I certainly will be back.

  • Hi there,

    Love your blog, very clever, fun and informative.

    Just thought I would let you know that I am actually a Lebanese food blogger (half italian too).

    You can check out my blog if you like, the first ever post may interest you as it talks a little of my heritage.

  • Hi Fouad, I just recently found your blog and I really enjoy it. I am also trying to obtain a better understanding of Lebanese foods. As my Fathers family came from Lebanon and Syria I grew up surrounded with many of the wonderful foods from the region. When my Grandparents came to the US, many of the traditional foods were no longer made/or changed because they could not get the proper ingredients. One of the wonderful things that came out of the past problems in Lebanon is that we had a new wave of immigration from Lebanon.We can now find almost everything in a store and if I cannot find it, there are always people from my Church returning for a visit. They will always bring me back what I need.
    I now have friends that came here 15/20 years ago. We get together and cook often and if we do not have a recipe. It is a quick call to Lebanon to someones Mother or Sister to get directions.
    Keep up the good work and God be with you.

  • I am making Ablama for lunch today, and it’s my first time. So i googled recipes for ablama just to make sure i was doing it right and then i ended up here… To be honest, I am in love with your blog, love the pictures and really like the way you write about food. I am inspired πŸ™‚
    I’ll be posting about the Ablama on my blog, so will let you know if it turned out good…( I added few ingredients though…)
    Anyway, I am glad i googled Ablama! lool
    Best of luck πŸ™‚

  • I have been looking for a a website/blog, with proper lebanese food, not lebanese ‘style.’ This is wonderful and very informative, and just down to earth! I have always loved lebanese food, but on seeing Anissa Helou, on tv have since become obsessed! And now I have come across your website to help feed my addiction! Thank you so much. I love it!

  • Fouad…
    thanks for sharing….
    really crazy about this garlic sauce..once i tasted it once upon a time with chicken shwarma…..superb..yummy..
    thanks again

  • Well, it took my a while to get to reply to everyone here for some reason. Apologies.

    Hi Judy. Thanks for visiting and hope to hear from you again πŸ™‚

    Hi Bianca. Thanks for your comment. I love your post about yourself. My God, an Italian Lebanese! You’re probably more obsessed than I am hehehe. It looks like you are well on your way on your food blogging journey. I wish you all the best and make sure you keep having fun.

    Hello Emille. Thank you. I myself am awesome too, not just my blog hehehe. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. It really means a lot and keeps me motivated to write.

    Hi Ed. It is the same for Lebanese people in Australia, and just like it where you are at, things were hard to get at first, but now it’s all here. We even have a Sea Sweet patisserie! I’ve got many Lebanese cook books but a call to mom is always due to double check! Thank you for your kind wishes and I’d love to hear from you again!

    Hello HWinDubai. Thanks for your lovely comment. Congratulations on getting married recently and hoping Dubai is treating you well. I saw your Ablama and it looks delicious. I hope it turned out well πŸ™‚ I’m glad you googled Ablama too.

    Hi Leah. How awesome is Anissa Helou? Have you seen her blog? It’s great! Thank you for visiting and commenting. You’re welcome back any time πŸ˜›

    Marhaba Mira – Ahla w sahla πŸ™‚ Tfaddali, baddek gΓ’teau?

    Hello Fina. You are welcome! And thanks for commenting. Garlic sauce rules. I think it’s the best sauce in the world!

  • hi Fouad..
    finally i made the ‘toum” and i thinked it was exactly like wht u tought us from the recipe of yours except for…
    -it tasted spicy…..mayb the garlic taste and the taste will linger in the mouth for 24 hours …
    -was it because no sugar it tasted spicy..can i add sugar the next time around?

  • Hey Fouad,
    Remember me? I just read your blogs…. WOW! You are a great writer, and sounds like you are a great cook too! It is funny that I knew you all those years ago but never knew you were such a foodie!
    Keep up the great blog. It takes energy and committment to do what you do but you are inspiring people all around the world!
    When I get back to Australia I am going to try out one of your recipes…. Hmmmm which one should I try…

    P.s. congratulations on your little girl!!!!

  • Hi fina. Sugar is no good (under no circumstance is it to be used). Just add more oil if necessary, it will make it more mellow.

    Hey Olivia! Of course I remember you! How can I forget? Thanks for the comment. It’s wonderful to have you as a reader, and I hope what you are saying about me inspiring people around the world is true πŸ™‚ All is well with you? Let me know if when you are in the CBD we can catch up for coffee, or even drop by to see little Sara Isabelle

  • I’d like to know if you have any experience with other kinds of blending devices besides a standard blender or a food processor. To date I have a food processor and am trying to decide what else to get… My life mate and I are crazy about garlic dip you called it toum. We have a local place that makes it for us when we go for dinner but I’d like to start making it at home. Also when asked one of the ladies mentioned it may have potatoe in it. Ever heard of it made that way? I am a diabetic and have learned that food from the middle east is some of the best foods I can eat. So I am here to learn all I can!
    Thanks a bunch!


  • Hi Kelly

    There are no other blending methods I know of for toum. Yes, some people add potato and that is perfectly valid, though frowned upon by traditionalists. thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

  • What a great idea this is and more importantly it’s dedicated to my all time favourite dishes! I
    ll be sure to log in for all those times I am running out if ideas . Thank you so much:)

  • Greetings,

    I’m a truck driver from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and like most truck drivers I am so into cuisine. Actually, I enjoy cooking and not long ago I found myself in a grocery store here in Albuquerque that has exclusively “Middle Eastern” foods — I couldn’t read any of the labels but I picked up some things anyway, and one was moghrabieh. I went looking for how to prepare it and found you, and have been following you awhile now and enjoying it.

    I have not attempted moghrabieh as you prepare it, but as you say in your accompanying essay, it having been introduced to Lebanon by North Africans traveling to Mecca who carried it because it kept better than the grain itself, I am hoping mine keeps until I can get my degree in chefery, and thereby decipher your recipe.

    Frank Conway

    PS: You may have heard the old adage; If you are on the road and looking for a place to eat, stop at a place where you see trucks parked. I have to say that no, if you see trucks parked someplace, it’s because they have truck parking there.

  • hi
    how are you
    my name is fouad kassab
    and im work as a chef to
    in paul resturant in jordan
    nice 2 find another chef fouad kassab
    have a nice day
    and best regards

  • Hi Fatimah – Thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment. It’s wonderful to hear from you and hope you continue enjoying!

    Hello Frank. Wow! I’m amazed. Albuquerque, New Mexico then! Thanks for your wonderful and very entertaining comment.Here’s an easy recipe for moghrabieh for you. Make some chicken soup, boil the moghrabieh until done and stick it in the soup. Flavour the soup with caraway. I wish you many safe truck journeys.

    Hi Fouad Kassab. Hehehe. Keefak? Lovely to hear from you. You’re the real chef, I’m just an IT guy who loves to cook and write πŸ™‚ I feel I no longer need to become a chef, because you’re doing it for me LOL.

  • Hi Fouad,
    Your blog is wonderful!
    I found it when I was looking for hindbeh! In Lebanon they told me it was dandelions, as your blog and my mother in law picked baskets of it from our backyard and cooked it like hindbeh with onion etc.
    But I just read a recipe where it is called chicory which my husbands aunt also insists is hindbeh and she is a forager…any idea?
    3an ad ta3oh shraboh ahweh 3ennah! We are in Sydney too!

  • Hi Fouad

    What a great idea to blog about Lebanese food! I’ve just spent a few hours reading various blogs. For someone who is “time poor” I feel it was a good time investment!

    My parents migrated from Tripoli (just up the road from your home town) in 1964 and whilst I was born in Sydney I have never stepped foot on Lebanese soil (to my great shame). Each time I plan to go, political instability sets in making me think twice about taking my family. Though many Lebanese that I speak with tell me to just do it, it will be fine….!

    I would love to take my family to the land of my heritage rich in history and it looks like 2011 may the year!

    Lebanese food is our passion, I cook at home when time allows. We have exposed our 2 Aussie girls (9 and 11) to a wide range of culinary experiences but Lebanese food is the dominant preference. One of my daughter’s constantly harasses me to make stuffed grapevine leaves which I love making but this dish takes time as you would know.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say g’day and I’ll frequently tune in to your blog.

    Best wishes

  • Marhaba Fouad,

    Nice blog on Lebanese Cuisine πŸ™‚ You get hungry by looking at the pics!

    I’m also a Lebanese expat since many years. Have a tourist guide to our dear country, it’s ( and I just launched an iPhone/iPod Touch app with Lebanese recipes, it’s called “100 Lebanese Recipes”. Will be happy to have your feedback!

    You can check it out @ or directly download it from iTunes:

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  • Hi there Fouad & Co,

    It has been a real pleasure to scan your blog and pick up some traditional recipes that have had thousands of years of foodie passion behind them! I write for so tend to go for organic/natural approaches to food – it just happens that that the best sources are often traditional ones. Keep up the good work, and thanks for all the garlic!

  • hi, i would like to know how the westerners see our lebanese food. do they like it, what do they say about it. i need this info for a uni project , so please be helpful and honest. thanx . . .

  • Hi

    I have done some research on the new book everyday eats 2011. I think it is a great idea as not everyone wants to eat at hatted restaurant nor can they afford to !! So congratualations on your cotribution!

    I Would like to introduce my self. My husband and own a catering business. One of the main aspect of our business is that we also have a catering contract at ANSTO AT lUCAS Heights which is a Nucleur Reactor of all places!! We get all the jokes about Homer Simpson anything to do with radiation and 3 eye fish and so on.!

    The Cafe is open to the public and outside the secure area. Once inside they are so surprised on how good the food is. All out hot meals are $8.00 yes thats right $8.00. We have a salad bar, sandwich bar and an awsome cake selection. Peter makes the best chocolate cake.. all our mufins and cakes are made onthe premises and they are only $3.00 each Everything is made on the premises by my wonderful husband who is a chef and we have a great team of staff as well as .

    I guess what im trying to do is hoping that when the 2012 edition is on the way to get on board that we get reviewed as well!!! We are a hidden gem in the Sutherland Shire and not your average canteen!!!

    I look forward to hearing from you soon!!

  • Hey Fouad,

    How are you cousin! I was looking for a maamoul receipt and i came across you blog and the recipe. I will follow the steps and make it tomorrow and will let you know how it goes. Hope all is well with your family!

    Much Love

  • Hey Sandra

    Nice to hear from you. Hope the maamoul recipe doesn’t disappoint πŸ™‚
    Everything is great here. Hope your family is well. Happy Easter!


  • hi fouad:

    welcome to LEBANON ,see you soon man.I’M ready for any assistance.
    (chef Fady nassif).

  • Hey there….going to Beirut 25 September for a week. Where should i eat some wonderful food? What can you suggest?
    Cannot wait to this the city and country and go to Jbeil for a day trip.
    Many thanks for any recommendation you can pass on.
    Also, what bars are good to hang out in?

  • Hello,
    I’m french libanese and I’ve been in Melbourne for 2 years. I have to share some cookies with friends and I decided to do for the first time the maamoul. I really love them but I never tried before! Yours looks delicious. Even if it’s some easter sweets, I will do it for Christmas. After all we are in down under!! Merci beaucoup.

  • Hello,
    I love your blog, Fouad. It’s informative, full of joy:)and full of recepies I like. I came cross your blog on Mama’s blog. I like their kitchen and taste and also taste of Beirut, one of my favourites. Until then your’s will be.Why, because I like middle east cuisine.
    I’m Sare, from TΓΌrkiye. I’ve been living in Adana since 2010.
    Merry Christmas to you.

  • Hi Fouad,

    What a great find your blog is! So glad you got in touch and gave me an opportunity to discover it. It’s so good to hear a food lover like yourself get frustrated with the conventional nutrition advice and achieve so much success in the process. Although it’s probably an explanation in itself. Anyone who truly loves food would find it hard to believe the wisdom that prefers margarine over butter.
    Looking forward to more from you. And I might have to try some of those amazing-looking recipes.

  • Hi Fouad,

    I hope you don’t mind but I have a question for you…
    I am from Perth, coming over to Sydney for a week next month to check out some of Sydney’s cookware shops. I love cooking Middle Eastern food and was wondering whether you could recommend any shops where I could buy Middle Eastern utensils. I particularly want a ma’mool tamar. Regards Glenda

  • Hey Glenda. Maamoul moulds are usually in any Lebanese shop.
    You can head to Abu Salim in Greenacre or Abu Hachem in Dulwich Hill (right across from Dulwich Hill train station). Shops in Granville will have them too, as would Bankstown. They should be very easy to find.

    Good luck!

  • Hi Fouad

    I just got back from Sydney and want to thankyou for the advice on where to get a maamoul mould. We got one from Abu Hachem in Dulwich Hill – it was his last one so I was very lucky.

    Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *