February 29, 2016

Abundance ~ A Cookbook by AUB Alumni & Friends

Letter from 
Wafa Saab - President, WAAAUB
"For over a year now 45 alumni of the American University of Beirut residing in different countries across the world have been working together to assemble a cookbook on Mediterranean cuisine. What makes this cookbook special is that, in addition to the health and dietary benefits, it includes snippets of memories associated with the tastes and smells of the foods.
Who among us does not remember the aroma of a favorite dish their mother prepared? Or the warm fragrance of grandmother’s soup in winter?
The Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Alumni Chapter has deemed these tastes, smells and memories too precious. They have mobilized the culinary talents of 45 alumni world-wide and put together this sumptuous collection of recipes.
And what better occasion to launch such a creative endeavour than the 150th Anniversary of the university we are all celebrating. This is yet another activity that links our history to the future generations that will experience the abundance of being a part of AUB’s life-changing experience.
A case in point is that the cookbook contributors were not previously acquainted. Their main common denominator was their history at the American University of Beirut. It was that connection that they employed when reaching out to over 150 others who submitted more than 200 recipes.
AUB was the connection that bound them together as they cooked, tested, tasted, sampled, wrote, rewrote, edited, styled, arranged and photographed the various dishes. In the midst of all of this, they shared treasured memories of their years at AUB, discovered lost friendships and updated one another on life events.
The volunteers who produced this collection of recipes used their educational and professional backgrounds, their qualifications and their know-how to contribute to the sections on health, lifestyle, and benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine—including substitutions for dietary limitations, and a glossary of terms, techniques, herbs and spices.
I would like to take this opportunity to, not only thank the volunteers who made this work possible, but to point out the enduring connection to our Alma Mater, which continues to bring us together on projects and endeavours of such a diverse and intrepid nature.
Please take time to click on this link and see a preview of this beautiful publication:http://www.alumniconnections.com/olc/filelib/AVB/cpages/44/Library/WAAAUB%20cookbook%20FINAL%20PREVIEW-DEC15.pdf
You may also pre-order your copy of Abundance by going to this link:http://www.alumniconnections.com/olc/pub/AVB/cpages/news.jsp?chapter=44
It is truly inspirational to see our worldwide alumni engaging with each other, with their chapters and with AUB. Our strength continues to lie in your sustained engagement and your contributions to our beloved Alma Mater. "

January 5, 2015

AUB Alumni Launching Mediterranean Cuisine Cookbook

A cookbook that can be treasured and enjoyed for years....

To join in the commemoration of American University of Beirut’s 150th anniversary in 2016, the WAAAUB (World Alumni Association of AUB) Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter is sponsoring the compilation of a WAAAUB Mediterranean Cuisine Cookbook. "cookbook that can be treasured and enjoyed for years."
This project will showcase the leadership, expertise, energy and commitment of AUB Alumni globally!

I am really excited for this cookbook as I am an AUB Alumni and I will be on the committee for content editing!

All AUB Alumni and friends may contribute recipes; colored photos are highly encouraged.
Recipe contributors have to include their name, city and state/country for publication. Along with a short introduction, age-old wisdom, or personal story behind the recipe.

Recipe submission begins ~ mid-January 2015.

For more info: http://www.alumniconnections.com/olc/pub/AVB/cpages/news.jsp?chapter=44

November 17, 2014

The Book of Tea (Book Review)

"The kettle sings well, for pieces of iron are so arranged in the bottom as to produce a peculiar melody in which one may hear the echoes of a cataract muffled by clouds, of a distant sea breaking among the rocks , a rainstorm sweeping through a bamboo forest, or of the soughing of pines on some farway hill " -The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura.

It is hard to write a review for a book that took more than 6 months to read. Take note it is not a long book but rather each word is almost a page on its own. This explains the length of time it took me to read.
Maybe I am a slow reader, but the book holds sophistication within its simplicity.
Some parts, I had to research them and check about a historical, or cultural story so I can feel more connected with the writer. I think the writer has such a strength in his words and stories that you can feel the flow of knowledge transferring to you without him using the technique of reprimanding. Without the Dos and Don'ts....
Philosophical book in all of the word's terms, away from the religious part.
The book dates back to 1906. Even though it was written in a old time, the writer criticises his time of being disregarding some ancient rituals.
It talks about the culture of tea, "The Teasim".

November 13, 2014

A Restaurant of Naturality

 NATURALITÉ : When a  haute cuisine restaurant, ethically resources the ingredients of each plate delicately and naturally.

NATURALITÉ from Simon Pénochet on Vimeo.

Alain Ducasse's restaurant at the Plaza Athénée has just re-opened. The Chef tells a more personal and radical story, following a path he initiated twenty-five years ago. He introduces a cuisine of naturality, that revolves around three key elements: fish, vegetables and cereals. A healthier,  organic, more sustainable and environmentally-conscious approach.

Watch this soothing video of how the plates were created and the people behind them!
While in Lebanon, people are arguing which restaurant is safe or not.
In the other part of the world, some great minds are going back to the basics of cooking, the natural, the organic, and the fair trade...
Natural is what we need these days. Not the extreme of cleanliness, and not the extreme of contamination.
Hoping we can learn and get inspired from Chef Alain Ducasse and people like him.