Your Lebanon Chef Feature: My Kitchen Vibes
Rasha Hachem is the recipe curator and food blogger behind My Kitchen Vibes. She shares with us her creative recipes (including combinations of different traditional Middle Eastern dishes), and is working on a cookbook. Rasha brings to the kitchen her experiences from living between the States, Lebanon & Dubai. We love how she often uses whatever ingredients she has on hand to make her own versions of our favorite Middle Eastern dishes!
Guest Recipe Features:
Q & A with Rasha
Please tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in New Orleans, USA! I have proud Lebanese parents who indefinitely taught me about Lebanon through food and lifestyle. My childhood memories are filled with amazing summers in Lebanon. I attended university there and spent 4 beautiful years living on AUB’s campus.
Where are you from:
I’m lucky enough to have 2 hometowns. Saida, Lebanon and New Orleans, USA!
Where are you currently residing:
I’ve been living in Dubai for 6 years now.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:
Every time I cook with “za’atar,” I fall in love with it all over again. I’m obsessed with baking “za’atar” treats — like my butterless “za’atar” moons.
Do you prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes or modern/fusion Middle Eastern dishes:
I crave the old-fashioned favorites.
They’re just so nostalgic and comforting. But the world is getting smaller. And borders don’t exist with food. I’m always interested in seeing how creatively cooks merge middle eastern foods with other cuisines. I do without noticing sometimes. Cajun spices naturally find their way on my “kafta b tahini.”
What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:
Middle Eastern cuisine is filled with whole foods. Its all about the ingredients and I think we have an amazing bunch to work with. I’m so happy to see that recent global food trends, like “burgul” and “tahini” have merged out from the Middle Eastern kitchen.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:
I love Fakhreddine in Broumana, Lebanon. Fairouz music playing in the background, the view of the mountains, and the epic Lebanese mezza is way too good.
What is your favorite food blog:
Lina @thelebaneseplate is a natural at what she does. I admire her love for Lebanese food and the subtle way she brings in other cuisines to her kitchen.
What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:
“Mda2 l toom” aka garlic press is a must-have. I love to try new kitchen gadgets but the old-fashioned garlic press is the best garlic solution invented.
What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:
Work backwards. Imagine tasting your final dish, while cooking it. Then, you’ll get the right feel of how much to add and what.
What nostalgic candy bar would you grab on walks to the local deken when you were a kid:
I’m a “raha w biscuit” kinda girl. I can’t get enough of that combo.
I’m ecstatic to be working on my cookbook. I can’t begin to explain how much joy it brings me.- Rasha