July at The Pantry Beirut
The View from The Pantry Beirut
Hello again friends!
I don’t know where June went! It has to have been one of my busiest months in a very long time filled with events and lots of hard work in the kitchen, but I loved it.
At the beginning of June I managed a quick four days back in London…and I couldn’t wait to get back to Beirut. Yes, I had a couple of fabulous meals and visited with old friends, but I found myself missing the Mediterranean light (aka sun), and the fresh tasting fruit and veggies, and yes, even the chaos!
While The Pantry is feeling a little neglected with all the time I’m spending at running hither and yon, I did mange to host a cooking class/birthday party for the nicest group of young ladies, and my cooking classes were full of budding, curious cooks. I also was invited to demonstrate some of my favorite salad techniques at ABC Achrafieh in a live-cooking event for their first annual Wellness Week. And I would be remiss if I didn’t express my pride in the Green Junkie team for how they showcased the new Summer menu to the crowds up at Little Reed.
Now that we’re well into Summer I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit and not spending too much time over a hot stove. This is the time of year when my love of salads couldn’t be greater and I throw them together with all of the amazing produce I find at Souk el Tayeb. No cooking necessary! And while many of you are traveling or spending weekends at the beaches and up in the mountains, I’m scaling back my class schedule over the next couple of months. In the meantime, Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow Americans and bon voyage to all of you getting away for a little fun in the sun.
Stay cool this week!
Laura wanted to celebrate her 21st birthday with a cooking class and party at The Pantry with her girlfriends. Since they’re super health conscience we focused on gluten-free, dairy-free food. Our menu included Green Summer Rolls with Almond Satay Sauce, Corn & Quinoa Risotto, Saffron Chicken Skewers, and a Chocolate Celebration Cake (which we decided was better than the one they brought from the local patissiere). We played music, ate on the terrace, and all had a great time. Book your private event with me now!
Super Vega, next to Kissproof in Badaro, is officially in its soft opening phase. We’ve got one week of service under our belts and the team in the kitchen is working so hard to make it a unique Beirut experience. So far the flatbreads have been a huge hit as have my Kale Meshmosh Salad with its grilled apricots and crunchy fennel seed granola. I’m so pleased that the guests have embraced my Breakfast sandwich with chicken apple sausage and scrambled eggs with goat cheese on an everything buttermilk biscuit. We’re working out the kinks, but this is often where you’ll find me in the coming month, behind the glass window next to the dining room. Come say hi - we’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cherries, cherries, and more cherries! Yes please to this and all of the other juicy stone fruit that is seemingly uniquely delicious here in Lebanon. While I’m pickling cherries for one of our seasonal flatbreads at Super Vega (see above photo), a more traditional recipe is a French clafoutis. David Lebovitz has a wonderful recipe for when you’ve picked more than you know what to do with! If you find yourself in London this summer, definitely book yourself a spot at Scully just off Picadilly Circus. I knew I’d found a kindred spirit when we walked in and were met by floor-to-ceiling shelves laden with all matter of jar filled with pickled, fermented, preserved food. Scully is my kind of chef and I couldn’t recommend his set menu at the bar overlooking his kitchen enough. Ruth Reichl’s latest book, Save Me The Plums, about her time as the Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet kept me up at night flipping pages, relishing its juicy gossip about the food magazine industry in NYC and just a bit homesick for that crazy city. And Little Reed is my latest Lebanese mountain discovery! The house is beautiful, the rescued donkeys with their noisy braying adorable, and the baby goat has just about put me off meat all together (no, seriously, it did). If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway from the humidity of Beirut, go!
July Events & Classes
Pimp Up Your Salads
The best part of a salad is all of the extra bits (I call them “the goodies”) that help make the vegetables shine! I’ll teach you how to make quick pickles, seed mixes, and ferments that will not only add flavor to your dishes, but pump up the nutritional value as well.
Price is $45 per person and class is limited to 8. Contact me for more details.
Summer Smoothie Bowls
They’re all the rage and with good reason! Filled with all sorts of nutritional benefits, smoothie bowls are the perfect way to start your day during the summer months. We’ll explore different kinds of smoothie bowls and how to find the perfect cocktail of ingredients to keep you cool this summer.
Cost is $55 per person and class is limited to 8. Contact me for more details!