Tag Archives: Cooking

Cooking with Annette’s

I was invited with a bunch of fellow bloggers to discover the world of Annette’s through a cooking session that took place at the KitchenLab in Gemmayze.


We waited until we were all gathered, we all wore the chef’s hat and apron and we were ready to start the cooking experience.


With the help of the chef, we used Annette’s flour to create a dough for our zaatar mankouche. while waiting for it be baked, the chef prepared pasta with tomato sauce and an exquisite strawberry tart.

When all the dishes were ready, we all sat and enjoyed a healthy dinner together!

Annette’s high-quality, low carbohydrate flour and products are the fine result of two years working alongside an international team of doctors and food technologists, to provide the best in quality.

The refined taste and premium healthy ingredients, especially developed for those with type 2 diabetes, are what makes them unique.

Thank you Annette’s and KitchenLab for this unique and wonderful experience! It was great to know that I can still enjoy my favorite meals with less carbs to stay fit!



Meet The Author Behind “Un Mois A La Cantine”

“Un mois à la cantine” is the first book by Ms. Mima Skaff Harrouk, it is a guide for every woman wishing the best for her children. It contains recipes attracting children by their appetizing colors and taste and at the same time containing whole and healthy food for them.

Ms. Harrouk explains that the idea of regulating children eating habits was running through her head since childhood; this idea has developed rapidly after becoming a mother and grandmother, especially that moms often wonder about the quality of food served to children at home or daycare, and if their diet is complete and healthy.

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Learn more about her and her book here under

1- When did your passion for cooking begin?

It started when my kids were born and began to eat junk food. As a young mother, I was haunted by the idea that I should give my kids the best food with the best nutrients. So I began to educate myself & learn about nutrients’ compositions and their impact on my kids healthy needs.

2- Can you describe your cookbook to us? What is the inspiration behind it?

My kids and my grand kids were my inspiration.

The book contains a full day balanced lunch; a salad or an entrée, a main course, and a dessert, for a period of four weeks. That way, a working mother, doesn’t have to worry about what to cook for her little ones every day.

I got help from a Pediatrician & a Dietician, in order to balance the meals.

3- Which is your favorite recipe from the book? 

The Riz aux poivrons, Le Gratin de Poisson & Les Purees de Legumes et De Pommes.

4- What was your biggest challenge when writing your cookbook? 

I wanted to inspire & pass on my recipes to the biggest number of young mothers.

5- Do you have any favorite food blogs?

Although Le blog de Chanty is not a blog specific for food but it is my favorite by far.

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I hope this book will be useful to all the mothers wondering how to keep their children healthy.

GodFather event at Cavalli Caffe: Where Crime meets Fashion!

I got really excited after received an intriguing invitation in my inbox about a themed event: “GodFather” event in Cavalli Caffe. Dress code was chic Black & White!

But why was I so so excited? Since ever, Cavalli has always been one of my favorite brands ❤

And the idea of mixing between crime and fashion was enthralling!

I got there, to find surprises waiting for us; black hats, red roses, cigars and toy guns. Just like in the movie!

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Fellows fashion bloggers, as well as food bloggers and a lot from the online community attended the event. The ambiance was really nice, the dress code colors were homogeneous with the interior animal print. Red lipstick and sangrias were adding color and life.

The food was appetizing, perfect temperature and taste!


Thank you Cavalli Caffe for this offbeat event, and until next time :*


Mighty Broccoli!

I have been trying to be as healthy as I can be lately, to reach the fitness level I always dreamt of. But working out seriously at the gym isn’t enough, controlling what I eat was a necessity. By that, I mean eating more nutritious food, that would keep me full for a longer time and with fewer calories.

One of the vegetables I have been advised to add to my meals was the Mighty Broccoli!

Though low in calories, broccoli is among the most nutrient-dense foods. Broccoli is a fantastic source of vitamins C, K and A, as well as fiber and folic acid. It’s a very good source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins E and B6. In addition, it contains glucosinolates, phyto-chemicals with powerful anticancer properties.




But how can Broccoli contribute to weight loss?

As long as you don’t cover it with cheese sauce, the nutritious vegetable broccoli can be part of your weight-loss repertoire. You simply can’t get a bigger dose of more nutrients from any other vegetable, especially for so few calories. That’s key for those who are trying to lose weight. You want to meet nutrient needs while eating within your plan.

Adding more broccoli to your diet will help you with weight loss because it, like most vegetables, is a low-calorie food that can help you fill up quickly, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Broccoli is also high in the vitamin C our bodies need to effectively absorb the calcium we eat. And studies indicate that calcium aids in weight loss. Plus, broccoli also has phytochemicals that boost immunity and protect against disease, all while being very low in calories!


Broccoli‘s high fiber levels and water content add volume to your meal without adding empty calories, so you can eat, not be hungry and still lose weight. It’s also an easy low-calorie snack. The key, however, is that you substitute broccoli for foods you usually eat, not simply add broccoli to your diet.


Ideas for adding broccoli to your meals

Broccoli maintains its nutrients best when it’s steamed or raw, but it also maintains a good portion of those nutrients if you stir-fry it over low heat.

You can have it with your protein chicken or with your pasta to give energy to your body before going to training.



Are you fan of broccoli?

How many times per week do you add it to your meals?

Would love to hear your stories 🙂


Interview: Chef Prabakaran Manickam


Chef Prabakaran Manickam is the Taste New Zealand 2014 winner, if you haven’t read my previous post about the competition, you can check it here.

Prabakaran Manickam - Taste New Zealand 2014 Winner

Get to know him more through the questions I asked him

1- When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

I knew that I wanted to be a chef once I graduated from University with a degree in

Hotel Management. I started my career as a trainee at Centre Point; the four star hotel in

Nagpur, where my culinary talents were first recognized. Food and organization are in

my DNA, when I chose to study Hotel Management and become a chef, my family urged

me to get as much hands-on experience as I could. I realized in college that cooking was

the career I was searching for; a reliable job that was creative and let me do something

that I love.

2- Where were you trained and how difficult was your training?

In the fourth year of my BSc qualification, I was still peeling onions and garlic at 5am

in a hotel kitchen in India. I worked between 16 and 18 hours per day to prep for

banqueting functions and I think it was a test of my patience and attitude. I just put my

head down and did the work required. It is never difficult if you love what you do.

3- How do you get your inspiration?

It is difficult to identify one thing as my inspiration. I feel like I am always surrounded

by inspiration, like my Executive Chef, Roy; he is a great chef, leader, teacher and

disciplinarian. He is very focused on flavour and creativity and his results are always

exceptional. I also get inspired when I read famous chefs’ cook books and when I see the

incredible products we get to work with.


4- What is your favorite kitchen equipment?

Rational CombiMaster and Hamilton Beach Blender

5- What are your favorite foods to cook with?

Fresh vegetables and herbs, especially basil & rosemary.

6- What is the funniest kitchen incident you’ve had?

Too many to recollect!

One of our customers ordered a medium rare strip loin so we cooked the steak medium

rare as requested. When the waiter presented the steak to the customer, he was told by

the customer that he wanted a medium rare steak and not what he had received.

So we made another one, rare to medium rare but once again the waiter brought it back

to the kitchen.

I then went to the customer to find out what he actually wanted and he told me that

“you people don’t know how to cook medium rare, I need a piece of meat with no red

color and no blood”

Some people don’t know a well done steak!!


7- Do you do the cooking at home?

Honestly, I don’t eat much at home due to the long hours in the restaurant, but when I

do cook at home, I like to do a big family style meal for friends. I usually do baked fish,

something big with a bone in it, and serve it with a bunch of easy side dishes of green

leafy veggies.

8- Do you have a cooking tip for those who like to cook at home?

• Organize your work space and get the right equipment.

• Find a good recipe and follow it – the next time you make it, tweak it and make it

your own. Recipe is a guideline. Experiment!!!

• Nothing slows you down more in the kitchen than blunt knives. Invest in good

chef knives.

• Herbs and spices are essential for making great-tasting food that’s healthy too.


I hope that you are getting inspired by my Chef Series, and until the next one 🙂

Chef Prabakaran Manickam wins Taste New Zealand 2014 culinary cook-off


Taste New Zealand 2014 was an adrenaline fuelled and glamorous affair, with Prabakaran Manickam, Area Head Chef for Food Fund International announced as the winner of this year’s culinary competition at a New Zealand themed awards evening at the Park Hyatt, Dubai on Saturday 26 April 2014.

Prabakaran Manickam - Taste New Zealand 2014 Winner

Chef Prabakaran won the competition following a cook-off earlier in the day where 10 finalist chefs prepared one dish in one hour, using a range of mystery New Zealand ingredients, which were revealed on the day.

Trade Commisioner Steve Jones, Prabakaran Manickam, Minister Tim Groser

New Zealand Trade Commissioner and competition judge Steve Jones, said that all 10 chefs impressed on the day:

“This is a demanding competition that culminated in a high-stress cook-off, where all chefs took some risks, with many using new and unfamiliar products. I congratulate all of them for being open to the challenge, and for helping to make this competition such as success.


“Chef Prabakaran’s dish, featuring Firstlight Venison French Rack encrusted with pistachio, impressed the judges in a number of ways, but particularly its texture and flavour.


“I congratulate Chef Prabakaran on winning this competition, and we look forward to hosting him in New Zealand later this year. I have no doubt that this trip will benefit his career as well as offering him an experience to remember.”


The Taste New Zealand chef competition awards evening was attended by over 350 guests, who enjoyed New Zealand food, beverage and traditional haka performances throughout the evening. The winner was announced by New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser.


As the winner of the now annual event, Chef Prabakaran will travel on a business and leisure trip to New Zealand later this year along with a guest, courtesy of Emirates Airline, where he will visit a range of New Zealand food and beverage producers.


The competition was judged by some of the UAE’s best known food professionals: Reif Othman, Executive Chef at ZUMA; Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President Aircraft Catering at Emirates Airline; celebrity chef Andy Campbell; Samantha Wood, founder of the ‘FooDiva’ blog; Jessie Kirkness Parker, food writer and consultant; and Steve Jones, New Zealand Trade Commissioner.


Organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand Government’s international business development agency, the Taste New Zealand chef competition aims to raise awareness of the diversity and quality of New Zealand food and drink products available in the UAE among participating chefs as well as buyers, food service and retail industry leaders. The competition is open to all professional chefs in the UAE.

The competition and awards evening was supported by MMI and Emirates and featured a wide range of New Zealand food and beverage products from Alliance, Angel Bay, Anchor, ANZCO Foods, Barker’s, Blue River, Firstlight, Greenmount Foods, Killinchy Gold, Lee Fish, Manuka Health, Omega Seafood,  Phoenix Organics, Piper, Silver Fern Farms, Tegel, Ti Tonics, Whittaker’s, and Wild Honey.

Taste New Zealand finalists

For more information about the competition please visit Taste New Zealand’s website.

Interview: Chef Palash Gomez


In the series of introducing new chefs, today I’m gonna introduce you the chef who renovated the menu of Olivo‘s restaurant at Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel Beirut.

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1- How did you decide to be a chef?

A: I was not planning to become a chef, it just happened, it was by accident.

2- Who are your teachers? Who inspired you?

A: I am a self motivated chef, my teenage experience inspired me to become the chef I am today.

When I was a teenager I was living in India and one day I visited a hotel restaurant, got inspired and fascinated with the food and the delicious presentation then decided I want to become an international chef.

3- Were you always cooking the same type of culinary? Or it changed from one country to another?

A: No, I am a multi skilled chef and I like to always explore different types of culinary. And yes, my cooking style definitely changes whenever I change a country. I get inspired by the country traditional food and techniques as well as the special ingredients and secret recipes that each and every region has.

4- What is the kitchen tool that you can’t live without?

A: knife, peeler and hand blender are definitely essential to me.

5- What characterizes your cuisine?

A: It’s a Mediterranean Cuisine with specialty in some dishes and appetizers like the Char grilled

Asparagus and Aubergine rolls that have a unique taste.

6- What’s your favorite dessert?

A: Rasgulla; it’s a cheese-based, syrupy dessert popular in India, the dish is made from ball-shaped dumplings cooked in light syrup made of sugar.

7- What advice can you give for the housewives who are inspired by your style of cookery?

A: Just follow the recipes and cook your dishes with all your heart, by putting a little of your own taste in it.


Did you try Olivo’s new menu?

What is your favorite dish?



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