Chef Joumana Accad Publishes Her First Cookbook: A Taste of Beirut
New Cookbook Brings Traditional and Modern Lebanese Dishes to Dining Room Tables Everywhere. Chef Joumana Accad creates a Mediterranean feast of fresh, seasonal Ingredients that everyone will love.
The countries around the Mediterranean have long produced an abundance of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that has been the basis for healthy eating for centuries. This is particularly true of Lebanon. The rhythms of life there are unhurried, meaningful and steeped in tradition. Food – both the preparation and the consumption – is a celebration of life; something to be savored and enjoyed. The ingredients are always fresh, vegetables seasonal, and meat eaten only once or twice a week or on special occasions.
Chef Joumana Accad specializes in bringing the flavors and tastes of this delicious region to American tables. Through her popular food blog, www.TasteofBeirut.com, she has shown thousands of home cooks how healthy and delicious the cuisine of her native Lebanon is. In her debut cookbook, TASTE OF BEIRUT (HCI Books/September 2014; Softcover/$18.95), Joumana brings to life the rich, complex, and delicious flavors of the Middle East, sharing her heritage through exquisite recipes and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her Teta (grandmother) in their family's kitchen, Joumana captures the fabulous flavors of her homeland and makes them completely accessible to home cooks.
“Lebanon is a beautiful Mediterranean country with very few natural resources. As a child, learning to cook from my grandmother, I grew to appreciate and take full advantage of what nature provided,” Joumana explains. “I have modernized some traditional Lebanese recipes that take advantage of seasonal ingredients.”
TASTE OF BEIRUT is the culmination of years of travel and research by Joumana in Lebanon and really brings the tastes and flavors of that rich, cultural region to her readers. “I moved back to Lebanon three years ago in order to soak-up the culinary scene and gather all the information I needed for my cookbook. While there I cooked weekly in Beirut with established master cooks, learning tips and techniques to successfully prepare traditional dishes.”
Joumana’s travels in Lebanon brought her to local villages and towns learning the traditions of the harvest and cooking up meals made from the fresh ingredients grown there. Her friendships with the locals introduced her to a number of the wild herbs and spices grown in the hills and mountains of Lebanon. As a result, TASTE OF BEIRUT incorporates these local elements along with practical tips on how to use Middle Eastern cuisine staples such as semolina, tahini, grape molasses, and rose water, and features some of Joumana’s favorite recipes from her homeland. Each recipe features step-by-step instructions in Joumana’s warm teaching style, and breathtaking color photographs that will make mouths water. Recipes include:
- Kibbeh in a Tahini Citrus Sauce (Kibbeh Amabiyeh)
- Ground Meat and Potato Hash (Mfaraket al Batata)
- Spiced Fish, Beirut-Style (Samkeh Harra Beirutiyeh)
- Lebanese Couscous (Moghrabieh)
- Chicken Bites with Dukkah
- Beet Hummus (Mama dallou’a)
- Eggs Poached in Tomato Stew (Beyd Bel-Banadoura)
- Kafta Sandwich
- Chicken Bites with Dukkah
- Kibbeh Balls in Citrus-Tahini Sauce (Kibbeh Arnabiyeh)
- Classic Tabbouleh Salad
- Stuffed Pumpkin (Titoumi Dolma)
- Baklava (a speedy ten-minute version!)
- Pomegranate and Milk Pudding
- Anise Rings (Kaak Bel-Yansoon)
Joumana’s passionate, conversational style makes home cooks feel like she is right there in the kitchen with them, teaching everything from cooking techniques to how to stock a kitchen with the best ingredients. With chapters covering everything from The Lebanese Larder and Pastes, Pastries, Seasonings, Spice Mixes, and Sweetners, to Lebanese Kitchen Basics; Breads, Breakfasts, and Brunch; Mezzes; Main Courses and Desserts, TASTE OF BEIRUT is more than a cookbook, it is a celebration of a people, culture and cuisine.
Take a culinary journey to the Middle East with Taste of Beirut without leaving the kitchen!
About Joumana Accad
Joumana Accad was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She left the Middle East in 1975 and began an international journey. She moved to Paris in the mid-‘70s where she finished her formal education. She returned briefly to Beirut before moving to the United States in 1979. Widowed at a young age, Joumana moved to Dallas, Texas in 1987, remarried and raised two children. She couldn’t resist the call of cooking as she entered the Pastry Arts program at El Centro College in Dallas. Upon graduation, Joumana became a pastry chef for a German restaurant, worked as a caterer, and sold her decorated cookies and cakes. Whole Foods Markets asked her to teach classes on Lebanese cuisine at several of their local markets. Joumana realized that in addition to cooking traditional dishes she had a lot to say about her culture and started her own food blog in 2009 devoted to her beloved Lebanese cuisine. TasteOfBeirut.com explores the cuisine of the Levant for everyone interested in these traditional healthy, delicious, and somewhat exotic Lebanese dishes. Her site now garners over 430,000 visits per month and more than 300,000 page views per month. She is also active on social media channels, especially on Facebook and she has created several videos on youtube, of which her Baklava in Ten Minutes attracted over 400,000 views. Her recipes have been featured in numerous newspapers, international magazines and blog sites and has demoed recipes on regional and national television. She has been named a “culinary ambassador” by Sabra Foods to represent the cuisine of Lebanon and is frequently asked to provide food styling and recipe development by international food companies. Joumana lives in Dallas, Texas and Beirut, Lebanon. To learn more and see some of Joumana’s recipes, visit www.TasteofBeirut.com.
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