Over the past 3 days,
I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Lafayette Gourmet Food Festival, which took place at their outlet in the Dubai Mall. The food festival is an annual affair that the team at Lafayette Gourmet design and host. It is a come together of chefs, foodies, food fans, food brands and products; where everyone is sharing their story and slice in the food world. You will find different foods to sample, many products to sample and purchase and you will even watch experts and chefs demonstrating and sharing their experience and methods with you, showing you how to use their products or replicate their techniques at home. For three days you are taught, fed and entertained: simply treated and showered with all things food.
This year the theme was celebrating urban lifestyle with a focus on street food. There were street food offerings from many areas across the globe, there was live graffiti artists, a live DJ & break dance artist and many many competitions and attractions. The attention to details that the team had shown in their decoration and creation of the whole vibe makes you forget that you are in the middle of a mall in a city still enduring the summer heat, and for an instant your mind believes itself to be at some street food event outdoor in some cosmopolitan city! It was truly fabulous!
I for one had a stand there selling Palestinian street food, from the very famous and classic options such as hummus and even fattet hummus to the less globally known options such as Kofta in Tahini subs and Musakhan Rolls… all of which were garnished and complemented with items from my line of Organic Mooneh Essentials. So everyone got to try at least two types of pickles from this range. I used my Organic Shatta (red chili sauce) to add a kick to the sandwiches and have also offered tastings from my very famous dried zaatar, preserved tomatoes and lemon and chili preserve… most importantly everything was dressed and finished with my amazing Premium and award winning Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Of course I did not forget about dessert! What is any market visit in Falasteen if not including the munching on this country’s fabulous desserts?! But even here I wanted to introduce a dessert less known than say Knafeh, because my mission is to introduce as many of the fabulous foods of the amazing Palestinian cuisine as I am able to, instead of sticking to the same old classics, which most people already know. For dessert I have gone for an option from the northern part of Falasteen, one that belongs to the kitchens of Galilee: Usmaliyeh bil Mistka (Kadaifi pastry filled with mastic cream and topped with caramelised pistachios).
Besides the stand, I also did two demonstrations, the first discussing the art of food preservation with special focus on pickling, where I also demonstrated how you can preserve tomatoes in Olive oil (confit style). You know, we are about to start the new farmers’ market season, so I thought this will be most beneficial as it explores ways to preserve the new season’s fabulous produce. And the second demonstration was to show how to prepare the best loved Musakhan Rolls as everyone raved about these throughout the 3 days.
And if all the tasting made people eager to learn how to make these fabulous foods and preserves, and if the demonstration did not cover enough (as demos can never be thorough enough), I had my book Plated Heirlooms on hand available for purchase, as it is really one complete resource to all things Palestinian cuisine with in depth explanations of methods, techniques and full information on any topics such as pickling, preserving, jamming …etc.
One thing I must say: Leave it to Lafayette Gourmet to design an event, because then you know it is kick ***! Not to be missed! What a great event! Really, if you missed it you have missed on a great deal. It was fantastic and felt like a 3-day party with all the music, dancing, art, food art, shows, competitions …. Thank you to Chef Russell Impiazzi and the team at Lafayette Gourmet for this marvellous event. Thank you to all of you who have joined us, and especially those of you who came especially for me, and made me know it because I love your support and it always means the world to me.
This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.
All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.