Thursday, May 1, 2014
Breakfast and food talk with Suzanne Husseini
Opening my very culinary weekend, BookMunch partnered with TV chef and cookbook author Suzanne Husseini for a cozy breakfast event, as part of its "Cook the Book" series. A long table was spread with a wide assortment of Levantine breakfast nosh, straight out of Ms Husseini's books on the region's characteristic cooking traditions. We eagerly tucked in as Fairuz played in the background.
I am not a huge fan of the bread-ish Lebanese foods, so I passed on that tray (left); I did make an exception for the star-shaped biscuit thingy with fresh zaatar, though. Other interesting items in the first wave included labneh balls rolled in nuts and spices (right top), and the dips (right bottom), including a delicious hummus made with yoghurt, and three labneh dips that were each shot through with a different added ingredient.
I was a little skeptical about how well a slimy-textured vegetable would do in an omelette, but the aubergine omelette was really good. The climax of the breakfast was the fatteh hummus, which Ms Husseini provided as a DIY kit to assemble the most fresh and customized FH I have ever had. The yoghurt topping for this had the perfect consistency and taste, and the pomegranate seeds made a huge (and positive) difference.
I saved her spiced and sugar-sprinkled take on scones for last, and they were absolutely scrumptious with soft butter and BookMunch's in-house berry jam. Perhaps I should try this for my next scone tea.
Apart from describing what we ate, Ms Husseini also shared her food philosophy, especially her advocacy of home cooking, eating with family and keeping food traditions alive, as well as her stance against processed and fast food. I chimed in with opinions in favor of instilling cooking skills in the male lineage (with which I think she agreed), and against restaurants having those god-awful "children's menus" (with which she very much agreed). A great morning of food, fun and Fairuz, surrounded by books.
UPDATE: The event was also covered by Kayf TV. Highlights here.