Tag Archives: Lebanon

Interview: Chef Fernando Canales Etxanobe


I had to pleasure to meet a while ago at Phoenicia Hotel Beirut the Michelin star chef “Fernando Canales Etxanobe” who was in Lebanon end of January 2015 to add a Spanish touch with refreshing and delicious dishes at Sydney’s Club Bar and Restaurant and Eau De Vie.

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Since 1998, he runs his restaurant Etxanobe, which bears his mother’s maiden name. In addition to its activity in the restaurant, which boasts a Michelin star and two suns in the Repsol guide, he works with various media. For seven years he held the cooking show on Localia, currently airs in the US on the VME chain and in Moscow in the food service channel. He is also a regular contributor to radio. In summer 2009 live from Bilbao, he developed a cooking show for La 1 TVE.

Get to know him more here

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1- When did you know you wanted to be a chef? And Where were you trained?

I was very bad at school, hyperactive child. I come from a family of engineers, and I used to see my father very happy while cooking, so when I was 19 years old I decided to go this way. I went to a cooking school and I loved it. I used to cook for my friends and family and read a lot about cooking. I was very curious and got details from people who are really dedicated to cooking. I studied at the School of Hospitality Leioa, then moved to France and from the hand of Francis Ducasse (Alain Ducasse’s first teacher) I started in the professional kitchen. I learned a lot in France because of the rich culture, and became very discipline in the kitchen “Il faut faire les choses comme il faut” There was a lot of competition too, but it was motivating me to do more and excel. I used to find a way to make things more interesting and keep motivating myself. Then I went back to Spain, worked for two years in Bodegon, then in Bilbao for 10 years. I worked with several chefs for around 20 years and it’s when I decided to have something for my own.

2- How do you get your inspiration?

I get inspired from anything around me, from experiencing new places and cultures. for example I tried the summak in Lebanon and I will implement it in my new cuisine. I am very spiritual, I can detect positive vibes in things, which helps me with my inspiration. I also love to relax by the beach, it calms me, gives me tranquility, spirituality and peace, which helps me clear my mind and find new inspirations.

3- What is your favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?

My Apron.

It gives me a sense of organisation.

4- What characterizes your cuisine?

My cuisine is about sea food. I live between the sea and the mountains and we have a very rich sea in Spain, where you can find different kinds of fish not existing elsewhere. My cuisine is also different from others, because I love attention to details, i’m very picky and I have no fixed rules, I can mix flavors as much as I want.

5- Is there a food that you hate?

I love food, there’s nothing that I hate. In Spain, we eat a lot of pasta and vegetables, similar to the food in Lebanon. But when I was a kid, few things I didn’t like chick peas.

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

My advice for housewives, is to try the same recipe with different ingredients, to know how to choose the best ingredient.

 

Bon Appétit!

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl


I started a new workout plan a month and a half ago at Healthy Lifestyle, and from the exercises I have in my plan is the Swiss ball hamstring curl.

To begin, I was scared of the ball because of a previous funny incident that I had when I went to the gym with my sister in Germany, I got a big ball to train with and I got stuck on it! Yup, I did!

So it took me a while to get friendly with the ball again, not to mention that this move needs a lot of focus to keep your balance. It was really hard for me at the beginning, but with time I can do 20 of it 🙂

 

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with a Swiss ball by your feet.
  • Place your heels on the ball and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
  • Brace your core and roll the ball towards you.
  • Squeeze your hams at the top and lower under control

 

Benefits:

This move specifically isolates your hamstrings to maximize muscle exhaustion at the end of the set and improve strength gains. Because the Swiss ball is an unstable surface, your core will also have to work hard to control the movement.

STRONGER STRIDES

Your hamstrings pull your heels back toward your butt, while your glutes extend your legs back. Training both can lengthen your stride and offer more power to every push-off.

BETTER BALANCE

Many hamstring exercises also challenge your stability. The result is a body that can recover quickly when knocked off-balance.

HEALTHIER KNEES

Your anterior-cruciate ligaments (ACLs) rely on your hamstrings to help them stabilize your knees whenever the knees bend while decelerating. Having a strong set of hamstrings can help your ACLs do their job and lower your risk of injury.

 

Are you familiar with this exercise?  

Batroun… On a Sunny Day!


I don’t work on Saturdays and when the weather is good, I like to spend the day the right way!

Road-trips are my thing and if I have a good companion, I enjoy them more…

When I woke up this Saturday, the sun was shining so bright, as if it was calling me to go after it and what is the sun without the beach? ==> My destination was to one of the oldest cities in the world: Batroun!

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The name Batroun derives from the Greek, Botrys. Historians believe that the Greek name of the town originates from the Phoenician word, bater, which means to cut and it refers to the maritime wall that the Phoenicians built in the sea to protect them from tidal waves.

I parked my car and took a walk in the old souk, I never knew that the town boasts so many historic churches, both Catholic and Greek Orthodox. I visited two of the most attractive churches, St. Stephan Cathedral and Lady of the Sea Church. I wanted to see the St. Georges Cathedral from the inside, but it was closed.

As we walked further, we passed by the fishing port

As we were walking towards the Lady of the Sea Church, we passed by a calm and friendly street

A breathtaking view captured us when we reached the Lady of the Sea Church

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We were captivated by the beautiful sight of the blue waters and the ancient Phoenician wall that was built for protection from tidal waves

Batroun is one of the cities that I always admire no matter how many times I visit.

Have you been to Batroun Lately?

Ferdinand, A place for Good Food and Music!


A while ago I got the chance to visit the newly renovated Ferdinand Gastro-pub located in Mahatma Ghandi street right in the heart of Hamra.

The same spirit as before is still dominating the interior of the place, but with simple adjustments making even more enjoyable. The place is marked with leather couches, wooden tables and bar, candles and low lights.

We were greeted warmly, as we started discovering the diversified drinks menu and choosing what to eat. The menu is full of tasty items, from starters, mains, salads and dessert!

We tried the Devils on Horseback, cheese blossoms, and the burgers!

 

I enjoyed the place a lot, the music was amazing for a Saturday night and the food was so indulging. So if you’re passing by Hamra, you should definitely visit Ferdinand!

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Cheers!

 

Let The Bidding Begin!


Have you set your mind on that Valentino heels, Chanel Bag or the iPhone 6?

With BIDAFFAIRS you can now place your bids in an online auction, and who knows you might win your dream item!

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“BID AFFAIRS” is an exclusive auction experience that offers its members a variety of the latest items in women and men fashion, electronics, travel, leisure, and entertainment. Members will be able to get their hands on brand new, exclusive, limited edition, designer brands and state of the art electronics for prices up to 95% less than their retail value.

All items on the site are new current season items from the world’s leading fashion brands for both women and men. “BID AFFAIRS” is different from your traditional auction routine as bids are purchased beforehand and up front while bidding occurs in fixed increments.

“BID AFFAIRS” takes members on a fun and memorable experience based on lifestyle and fashion trends that members will enjoy indulging in.

Every week, new items will be up for auction. And to catch up this week’s items, I’m offering 10 of my lucky readers 20 free bids to experience the site and enjoy bidding!

All you have to do is include the following code: LeBlogDeChanty and 10 of my readers will be granted 20 free bids upon subscribing on bidaffairs.com/account.php

First Come, First Served! So Hurry Up!

Tis’ The Season To Be Jolly!


Christmas is just around the corner and all the country is already wearing its marvelous decoration. Christmas exhibitions, recitals, book fairs, jingles are everywhere…

On Saturday I got the chance to be present at the grand opening of the festive market at Le Vendome Beirut.

You can choose your perfect Christmas gifts from the amazing collection of silver and crystal ornaments, decorative items, and a delectable selection of Chocodome chocolate!

The Festive Market opens daily till January 6th, 2014 from 10h00 a.m. till 10h00 p.m. at the main lobby.

Then I went for a road trip with my friend and got to admire the enchanting Christmas decoration in Byblos ❤

 

And on Sunday, I went with my family to the Christmas festival in Dhour El Choueir.

We were seduced by the Christmas grotto, wine festival, and chants…

 

Where did you find your favorite Christmas decoration this year? 

VESTITI


Christmas is just around the corner, and I’m sure you’re all wondering where to get gifts for everyone on your list.

To help you out, I’m going to introduce you to a clothing shop in Jdeideh: “Vestiti”.
Vestiti started as an idea of two sisters who are in love with fashion and beauty. They always loved the french charm and simplicity, and that’s how they decided from where to bring their products.
In their store, they have French and Italian brands, suitable for every trendy, chic lady who likes comfort in her everyday outfits.
They have a lovely collection of bags
A wide collection of winter tops
Chic dresses
And winter jackets and faux-fur
They have a lovely collection with very affordable prices!
For more information you can contact them on the following number: 01-878258
Enjoy your Christmas shopping! 
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