Your Lebanon Chef Feature:
Safa is an accountant-turned-chef behind Sofie’s World. Her love for Middle Eastern cuisine is shown through the beautiful photography she takes of the even more beautiful dishes she makes. Her recipes are shared in both Arabic & English, and she frequently includes stories and background details with her posts. We enjoy her work, and her insightful interview below!
Guest Recipe Features:
Q & A with Safa
Please tell us about yourself:
I turned to the one place that always makes me feel happy, my kitchen.
I am Safa Sartawi, Palestinian Jordanian. I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and now I have been living in Dubai for the last 12 years. I am a wife to a very supportive and creative man, Ali Al Araj, and a proud mom of three lovely boys Abdulhadi, Rayyan and Zaid.
I got my bachelor degree in accounting at the University of Jordan, but my heart wasn’t into it and I only managed to work one year with my degree. I was always drawn to the kitchen watching my mom host several parties and dinners and loved to join her in the preparations. The very first thing I made was a very basic tea cake which became a staple on our table (I kept on making it for whoever came to visit 😉
As I got older, I started to collect cookbooks and cut the recipes out from magazines and write down recipes from websites which I still have till now. When all my kids went to school I had a lot of free time on my hands and didn’t know what to do other than being a mom! I have minimum hobbies so I turned to the one place that always makes me feel happy, my kitchen.
I started to take awful pictures with my mobile and post them on my private Instagram account for me to document my experiments, but when I came across a food photography course and took the chance, it was a game changer for me. I fell in love with food photography and how to make my food look pretty like in the websites and magazines I love. From here Sofie’s world was created to share my journey with you all.
I worked on my skills, practiced and read a lot, and kept on experimenting in my kitchen and I still have a long way to go in the learning process.
What I love to post along with the recipe is a story to go with it, whether it is where the recipe came from or where it got its name. I feel that this gives a whole new experience to enjoying a new recipe .I love to highlight my Palestinian cuisine every chance I get and I am part of a very supportive group to document Arabic dishes for our next generation.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern dish to make:
My favorite Middle Eastern dish is Kafta, I love how versatile it is and love to serve it differently every time.
Do you prefer traditional Middle Eastern dishes or modern/fusion Middle Eastern dishes:
I like to twist recipes and modernize the classic Arabic dishes and make them shine under a new light but I also love to experiment with all kind of cuisines as well.
What do you love most about cooking Middle Eastern cuisine:
Cooking Middle Eastern food brings back memories from my mom’s kitchen where my relationship with food started.
What is your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant:
My favorite restaurant is Zajal in Amman. I love the atmosphere and the food, and how they present it all in an authentic and casual manner.
What is your favorite food blog:
There are a lot of inspiring blogs I love, including:
chefindisguise [Your Lebanon Chef Feature Page Here]
What is a must have tool in your kitchen for making Middle Eastern food:
My pressure-cooker is my second hand in the kitchen I use it almost daily.
What advice do you have for someone just starting to find their way around the kitchen:
I say to the new kitchen foragers, it’s a playground and you are the boss! Don’t hesitate to get your hands dirty and experiment, that’s how you are going to learn.
What nostalgic candy bar would you grab on walks to the local deken when you were a kid:
The lion candy bar makes me smile 🙂
Thank you so much for featuring me here and I salute you on your hard work and how you are making a place for food lovers to meet each other! – Safa