Eating Lebanon: The Adventures of Chef Chad Houser, Randy Potts, and Chef Kamal Mouzawak

Chad sees squash blossoms and gets excited, wanting to use them at his dinner he will cook at Tawlet. Rabih is concerned, wrinkling his brow, and keeps pointing to the trash, "no good! no good! no good!" so Chad picks one and eats it raw as the farm manager Rabih's eyes almost pop out. We had the manager of Tawlet call Rabih and ask him in Arabic to bring a bushel to the Souk al Tayeb market on Saturday so Chad can buy them from him. Photos by Randy Potts.

This morning comes a photo dispatch from Randy Potts and Parigi Chef Chad Houser who are in Lebanon. You can read their previous reports here, here, and here. Jump for more.

The Al Rabih farm, the oldest and largest organic farm in Lebanon. Straight ahead is the Mediterranean Sea, and to the left are snow-capped mountains. Photo by Chad Houser.
Rabih shows off, pulling fresh radishes out of his greenhouse soil and eating them . . . 'fresh! fresh!' he says, one of the few English words at his command." Photo by Chad Houser.
Georgina al Bayeh is the most famous pastry maker in Lebanon. Her maamoul, used by people of all faiths in Lebanon, are featured on billboards all over Beirut and even the countryside. She is standing proudly in front of the new kitchen she is building. Because of her work with Kamal Mouzawak, she has been transformed from a housewife to a pastry chef who gets so many calls for her maamoul that she needs more room for cooking. She is one of many success stories in Kamal's food projects around Lebanon. Chad spent an afternoon learning to make maamoul from her, and she also hosted us for a wonderful lunch with her mother and three boys. Photo by Chad Houser.
Georgina's mother setting the table for our lunch. Georgina and her mother did not stop smiling for our entire visit. Once again, we ate an amazing lunch, including a style of kibbeh formed around two bowls -- they are pictured in the foreground, along with the traditional hummus and fattoush salad. Photo by Chad Houser.
Georgina's home is in the mountains of Zgharta, a town in Northern Lebanon several miles east of the sea. She has her own olive orchard and an olive press built by her father -- here she shows Chad and our Dutch companion Loutte Wouters how the press works. Photo by Randy Potts.