Your Lebanon Chef Feature:
Wadad Zarzour is the Lebanese chef behind Chef Woodz and a TV show chef. She is based in Dubai and shares video tutorials and recipes for gourmet food with a homemade touch. She is passionate about cooking oriental fusion food, and is inspired by her Zahle roots!
Guest Recipe Features:
Q & A with Wadad
Please tell us about yourself:
I am Lebanese and I am very much influenced by the food of my beloved city Zahle and the rich region of the Bekaa valley. I went to Business school and graduated as Marketing specialist but I have always loved the kitchen. I learned so many recipes from my Mom and used to spend hours with her in preparing lunches and dinners for friends and family. 5 years ago, my husband surprised me with a unique birthday gift. He enrolled me in Scafa culinary arts school for a full year program where I sharpened my skills and learned the techniques. I am a mother of 2 boys (20 & 17) and a girl (6). My family is my best support team.
Where are you from:
Ksara, Zahle, Lebanon
Where are you currently residing:
I am living in Dubai with my family.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:
It is difficult to pick one dish. Our cuisine is rich in flavors, tastes and delicious dishes.
Do you prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes or modern/fusion Middle Eastern dishes:
I like some of the twisted dishes. As an example, I have worked on some Fateh dishes with a twist (fatet mousakhan and fatet eggplant with sweet potatoes) and would stick to some of the traditional dishes like siyadiyeh samak and shawarma
What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:
It’s a good balance of vegetables, proteins and carbs. You can create many dishes out of 2 -3 ingredients. Our mezze is very healthy and rich.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:
The Berdawni restaurants are the best in the world
What is your favorite food blog:
In Pastry I am big fan of Karim Bourgi. I am also a big fan of all ladies who are working hard to present something nice and they are many.
What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:
A sharp knife
What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:
Practice makes perfect
What nostalgic candy bar would you grab on walks to the local deken when you were a kid:
Ingredients I love to have always: pomegranate molaases, sumac, ma zaher, debs hosrom, tahini & zaatar. For me those ingredients are the gold of our Levantine cuisine.- Chef Woodz