Chef Feature: Tamara.Kerry

Your Lebanon Chef Feature:

Tamara.Kerry

Iman of Tamara.Kerry is an Arab American chef whose food is influenced by her Lebanese & Turkish background, as well as living in America & Kuwait. She provides her followers with very thorough step by step videos of all her recipes from beginning to end. Her work includes traditional but also modern and fusion Arabic cuisine!

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Q & A with Iman of Tamara.Kerry

Please tell us about yourself:
I am an Arab American who live in California.
My father was Turkish who was born in Palestine and raised in boarding schools in Lebanon.  My mother is Lebanese.  I was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Kuwait.  I was so lucky to have a teta living with us, my mom’s side.  I grew up on Lebanese cuisine.  My teta was from Kiserwan.  A lot of my recipes are hers and my mom’s.
I studied interior design and I love art and colors so much and I apply it to my recipes.  I love twisting recipes or even creating some and I love to play with colors.
Because I lived most of my life in Kuwait, I’m so influenced by their cooking techniques and spices which I love.  I think spices add personality to any dish and I love food with strong personality :). My favorite cuisine is Indian then Middle Eastern cuisine.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:

My favorite Middle Eastern dish is a Kuwaiti dish called “machboos dejaj.”  It’s chicken cooked with rice and on the side there’s a tomato sauce called “Dakkoos” or “ “Mutabbag Simach” which  is spiced fish pan fried then cooked, dipped in sauce in a pan, then topped with Basmati rice and cooked with it.  Of course I never follow recipes.  I love to experiment every time with different spices or different techniques.

 Iman’s “Knafe Kezzabe”

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

I prefer modern/fusion middle eastern dishes.

What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:

The thing I love most about cooking ME Cuisine is the amount of love being put in that dish being cooked.  Also the generosity.  Like we always have more food that enough for ten more people 😀 “better more than less.” As all Arabs would say so you’re cooking and suddenly you have friends come by, no problem, grab a chair and dig in :).

What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:

My favorite ME restaurant in the world is Sufra restaurant and Fakhreddin restaurant in Amman, Jordan.  I usually don’t like to go to ME restaurants when I’m traveling because I love to try new cuisines.

What is your favorite food blog:

My favorite food account on Instagram is thkitchen_  her name is em Talal. She’s a very kind and generous lady from southern Lebanon.  Her account is very rich.  It’s like an encyclopedia for Lebanese food.

Iman’s Fish & Rice

What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:
A must have tool for ME cooking is a food a processor and a koosa and vegetable corer :D.
What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:

An advice I can give to new cooks is to be brave and try new things and always think out of the box. And ask ask ask and create.

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

A nostalgic candy bar I would grab on walks to the local deken would be “Tannocks Caramel Log” it’s layers of caramel sandwiched between fine wafers covered in toasted coconut.  Or French Pierrot Gourmand Caramel Lollipop that my dad used to get us.

 

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