What Is Brown Cheese?
“I just thought the Norwegians packaged peanut butter in a different way, you know, instead of spooning it out of a jar they served it in a block that you slice with a cheese cutter. It still tasted like peanut butter and I ate it on bread with jelly but I didn’t find out it wasn’t even peanut butter until much later.”
Babs, an American expat in Norway chuckled as she told me about her first encounters with Norwegian brunost (brown cheese). She and her Norwegian husband met in Lebanon decades ago where, at the time, he would ship in a huge box of brown cheese to satisfy his homestyle hunger.
Americans compare it to peanut butter; Brits compare it to Marmite; Many others compare it to dulce de leche. But it is none of them.
Norwegian brown cheese is not essentially cheese — it’s made with goat milk, whey, and cream — and boiled for so long that the sugar in the mixture cara... [more]
SCIB’s 3rd episode with Chef Salve Astano showcases fusion cuisine at its finest. Here, the head sushi chef of Le Sushi Bar prepares a foie gras tempura maki roll combining a luxurious French delicacy with traditional Japanese maki-making.
Filipina chef Salve Astano is an inspiring person whose story and rise to fame in Lebanon are as rare as they come. Born and raised in the Phillipines, Astano studied Literature and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree before making the big move to Lebanon to pursue career opportunities. Like most migrant workers in the country, she landed a low-level job working as a waitress in a restaurant alongside her sister.
Episode 2 of the 4-part sushi series at Le Sushi Bar revolves around Chef Salve’s skills with a flame thrower!
To make the salmon and shrimp tempura maki, Chef Salve flame fires strips of salmon with a blow torch to release a light charred flavor. Then she spreads rice on the nori and lays the salmon atop it.
When asked about the difficulties of being a woman in a male-dominated field, Chef Salve acknowledges that the professional kitchen is mostly full of men which has forced her to have to work like a man to fit in. Heavy labor, among other things, involves cutting up fish bigger than her petite frame.
In addition to working like a man, she also admits she has to ‘act like a man’ as well. Fortunately for her, ... [more]
4-part video series on how to make LSB’s most delicious sushi rolls!
In my search for the best chefs in Lebanon, I rarely came across women — not to say there aren’t many great female chefs, but rather, they are scarce in professional kitchens. It was a breath of fresh air to discover Salve Astano, the Head Sushi Chef at Le Sushi Bar in Achrafieh.
Previously on SCIB, we ventured to the back of LSB’s kitchen with Chef Tom who showed us the newest menu celebrating the restaurant’s 15th Anniversary.
In this 4-part series, we remain up front in the sunshine with Chef Salve as she makes LSB’s most delicious sushi rolls. The first episode is of Chef Salve preparing a simple and fresh Amberjack Foldover.
Salve Astano was born and raised in the Philippines where she studied and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. In 2001 s... [more]
-Before the end of season!
Basil grows really well on Beirut rooftops. Last week our friend Michel Nabti had us over for dinner cooking nothing short of Korean pancakes, BBQ’ed chicken, and Thai cucumber salad.I could go on for days about the meal, but I’d like to focus on the fact that before we left, Nabti ran out to his garden and filled up a gallon bag of all kinds of basil for us to take home before he raided the plants to make pesto. Black Thai basil, small Thai basil, Italian basil — everything!
Throughout the entire week I’ve been devising all kinds of ways to use the fresh basil, especially since its season is ending. Now is the time to pick it and eat it.
1. Basil peanut butter apple.
Oh my god, you could say I was enlightened in the moment, but it’s... [more]
Named the #5 Most Dangerous Food Destination in the World by USA Today!
Whether you’re swirling around the fashion world or the food world, you’re bound to run into Johnny Farah.
He’s legendarily known as a luxury handbag designer from Lebanon who started the first boutique shop in Soho decades ago. He ‘discovered’ Donna Karen, and was interviewed twice by Andy Warhol. And right now he’s exhibiting his latest collection at Paris Fashion week.
But in the video I ask Farah why he started cooking. When he was 17 years old he hitchhiked from Beirut to Denmark, lived and worked there, and missed his mother’s cooking so much it gave him nightmares. So he started learning the kitchen arts. And today he owns two widely popular restaurants in Beirut, Casablanca and Lux by the Beirut Port — where we met him.
It’s an auditory culinary adventure as Johnny prepares some of the best food at what USA Today names the [more]
Authentic delicious Italian food from a master chef
You know I studied in Italy once so I know my way around an Italian kitchen and I’m not kidding when I say Chef Max’s food is as authentic and delicious as his style is badass. For the past 26 years Max has been cooking around the world sharing his gift of Italian cuisine — starting in his hometown of Florence.
The custom shark-Harley is easy on the eyes, sure, but damn his food is unique and tasty. In his kitchen at Canaletto, a restaurant owned by Italian-Lebanese maestro, Mr. Giorgio, Max makes his own creation: Ravioli Nudi or naked ravioli or just ravioli without pasta. Yes, a pasta without a pasta. Only a true blue Italian master chef could come up with that!
Ricotta Cheese Spinach Egg Parmesan Cheese Salt Pepper
Mix up and scoop into little balls, place on pan and bake with butter on top.
Equal parts: Creme Fresh and Milk Some Parmesan
Sprinkle with cinnamon!
An amazing summer salmon dinner!!
Here’s what’s cooking in Beirut this week!
Jad El Hage is the founder and sole chef of L’Humeur du Chef, a single table restaurant in Beirut that showcases a unique and delicious dish everyday for dinner. I’d walked past this curious place in my neighborhood often and heard that it’s quite a hit among locals so I had to find out for myself.
After he studied in Switzerland, he opened up the restaurant with the sole purpose of bringing people together to share a meal designed on his whim. I can’t say the concept isn’t amazing and the food is even more tantalizing.
Honey Baked Salmon
220g Salmon Honey Rock Salt Worcestershire Sauce
Sautee it skin side down for a couple minutes. Throw it into the oven for just a couple more minutes till the top is a bit pink.
Blanche in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Throw into pan with melted butter and sautee with slices... [more]
-3 Fancy breakfast recipes you can make at home!
Welcome back to SCIB! This episode highlights the unsung hero of the cooking world, Breakfast, as we tinker in the rooftop kitchen of my friend and incredible chef Michel Nabti.
I first tasted Michel’s masterpieces when I ate at the Fern event at Tawlet and knew Nabti had no choice but to be a star on my show. Here, we climb to the top of Beirut and pick herbs and veggies from his garden, have a blast in the kitchen, and finish off with a glorious meal under the sun.
You’ll most likely be seeing Michel again, as he’s got some crazy tricks up his sleeve that I just can’t wait to learn!
Enjoy the show. Below are the recipes as per this episode.
Grated potatoes 3 Types of Chopped Basil: Italian, Thai, Black Caramelized Onions Sauteed Sausage Egg Red and Green C... [more]
They are so delicious!
Before we release our next epic episode of SCIB, here are two delicious and easy salads using one of the summer’s best vegetables: Cabbage.
Nepali Ginger Cabbage Salad
The first salad I made up was completely inspired by my trip to Nepal. You see, in Nepal they don’t really DO salads and if there is some sort of semblance of salad it’s smothered in mayonnaise and that shit makes me want to commit seppuku. So using the ingredients I had on hand I made a badass creation you will love:
1. Cabbage (depends how much salad you want, really) 2. Freshly chopped/grated ginger 3. Chopped cilantro 4. Chopped green onion 5. Tiny limes (perhaps only found in Nepal) or limes to squeeze. 6. Salt 7. Chili 8. Olive oil 9. (Optional if you are feeling fancay) Grated carrots and cucumbers.
As you can see there are n... [more]