Chef Feature: Chef in Disguise

Your Lebanon Chef Feature:

Chef in Diguise

Sawsan Abu Farha of Chef in Disguise is a recipe developer who explores new ingredients, new recipes and cuisines, and shares her creations with her followers. Her pages feature traditional Middle Eastern dishes,  a fresh new take on these dishes, a reminder of nostalgic dishes that we’ve forgotten about, and more! We love that she shares her work in English & Arabic and always look forward to what she has in store!

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Q & A with Sawsan

Please tell us about yourself:

Hi, my name is Sawsan. By day I am an orthodontist, by night I am a passionate food explorer

I am  Palestinian, I was born in Jenin, but I was raised in Amman (Jordan). I lived, studied and worked in Amman up until June 2014  when my husband got a job offer in  Ras Al Khaima (United Arab Emirates). We packed everything and decided to take on this new journey.A new chapter called our adventure in the United Arab Emirates 

Where are you from:

 I am from Jenine / Palestine

Where are you currently residing:

Ras Al Khaimah / UAE

What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:

My grandmother’s date cookies. I can never make, smell, eat or even see these cookies without smiling at the memory of my late grandmother. If you were to cross paths with 7 year old me, you would know that I refused to call these cookies anything but  “kaak tita” which means grandma’s cookies. I would refuse to try them if anyone else made them (and after all these years and after trying at least a dozen recipes in an attempt to recreate her cookies, no one else’s cookies come close to hers)!

Do you prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes or Modern/fusion Middle Eastern dishes:

Traditional. I do love trying recipes from other cuisines but I like to try the authentic version of them, not the fusion. Sure I do try fusion options at restaurants for fun, I am a food explorer after all but if I am making Middle Eastern food, I do prefer to make the traditional version of it

Sawsan’s Halloumi Salad
What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:

Most recipes in this cuisine are hundreds of years old,  handed down from generation to generation and to this day, they are made with love, dedication, and passion. I really love the fact that when you cook from the Middle Eastern cuisine you don’t only get a recipe, sure it is one of the healthiest and most diverse cuisines in the world but what fascinates me is you the rich history, culture,  and millions of stories that are interwoven into the recipes. 

What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:

There are actually 3 here in the UAE!

For the best authentic food there is a small restaurant in Sharja called zahrat al Qods, their food makes me feel like I’m home in my mum’s kitchen! There is also Zaroob, I like their comical take on presenting Middle eastern street food with Grindizer and other figures from my childhood but if you want a more refined higher end restaurant then it would have to be Awani.

What is your favorite food blog:

https://bewitchingkitchen.com/

What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:

My nutribullet to make hummus 🙂

What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:

Be adventurous, try something new every day and don’t worry about failures, practice makes perfect

What nostalgic candy bar would you grab on walks to the local deken when you were a kid:

Probably a crunchy bar (white chocolate with rice crispies in it)

 

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