Your Lebanon Chef Feature:
Massiel is the food stylist and photographer behind MZcuisine. We were first introduced to Massiel through our friends with The Travel Buds and fell in love with her page immediately. Each dish she shares is more beautiful than the next, and styled & photographed perfectly. On her MZcuisine page and blog,”Falling from Stars,” Massiel shares everything from recipes, to food artistry and decorative styling. Her work is incredibly detailed, vibrant, and moving!
Guest Recipe Features:
Q & A with Massiel
Please tell us about yourself:
Hi, I’m Massiel. Massiel means “she who fell from the stars”, for this reason I named my website “Falling from stars” after my name and my Instagram handle is MZcuisine.
I hold three nationalities. Lebanese from my father, Venezuelan from my mother and French recently since I have been in France for almost 9 years. I’m a wife and a mother of a 2-year-old baby boy and a chemical engineer/doctor in energetics and process engineering. After finishing my post-doctorate research contract in 2017 and as I was taking care of my baby, my passion for food styling photography started to grow day after day. I have launched recently my blog so I could have a bigger space to express myself through my photos, recipes and food styling photography tips.
Where are you from:
Lebanon, the land of warm people, beautiful scenery and rich cuisine.
Where are you currently residing:
France, the country I call home for 9 years now.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:
Kafta & batata bel sayniyi; for me, it’s the easiest & tastiest Middle Eastern dish to make.
Do you prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes or modern/fusion Middle Eastern dishes:
I prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes as they make me remember my grandmother and my mother’s dishes. But I also love the creativity that handles the modern Middle Eastern dishes.
What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:
The memories it brings to me, I feel at home directly even though I’m not surrounded by my family;
What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:
Chez Madeleine – Boulogne Billancourt, near Paris – France: a hidden gem; Madeleine and her family prepare the dishes daily, you can’t but feel the love when you visit this restaurant. The decoration, the special taste of food, the delicious and unforgettable desserts, everything about this restaurant is PERFECT. If you’re visiting Paris soon, note well this address and you’ll thank me later: Chez Madeleine, 39 rue de Paris, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
What is your favorite food blog:
I have discovered recently an amazing and talented lady called Sawsan Abu Farha known on Instagram and her blog as Chefindisguise(.com) [Chef In Disguise Your Lebanon Feature Page] who’s in love with the Middle Eastern culture & cuisine. I’m in love with Sawsan’s food styling photography, her blog’s content, her captions & stories. Sawsan is an inspiration and I’m beyond happy to get the chance knowing her on Instagram.
What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:
Love and patience. Some Middle Eastern food need a lot of time to prepare, for example, tabbouleh, chopping the parsley could take hours (thank God for the food processor). Add as much love as possible while making Middle Eastern food, it’s the secret behind the fact that our cuisine is one of the best.
What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:
The kitchen, is not a simple room in your house; it’s the place, where you have the ability to create amazing dishes and later on amazing memories to your spouse and family. Remember, that it’s all about trials; It’s not a problem if you fail doing some recipes for the first time. Be patient and curious to discover new cuisines; and most of all, try to add your own spices and ideas to the dish you’re preparing. Enjoy the moments you spend in the kitchen as later on, your kids will be remembering you through food.
What nostalgic candy bar would you grab on walks to the local deken when you were a kid:
Unica; and it’s still one of my favorite chocolate bar ever
Thank you so much Tina for these lovely questions and for sharing with us daily amazing photos of our Middle Eastern cuisine on your Instagram page “Your Lebanon” and nowadays on your blog. – Massiel