I'm sorry I have to disappoint by not publishing a recipe-related post today but I think this article is long overdue. The 'about' section on my blog page doesn't reveal much so I thought it was about time you got to know a little more about the motivation for this blog and a bit more about me! I asked a friend to figure out some good questions and I've answered them below. Use the comments section if you want to know more!
Why did you choose the name Olive Fig Grape?
The name simply refers to three foods with agricultural origins in Lebanon. They are quintessential Lebanese ingredients and some of my favourite foods. I wanted this blog to be about Lebanese cuisine without being atypical of how Lebanese cuisine is perceived in the West. I wanted to give a nod to something quintessentially Lebanese that would also allow me a blank canvas to expand into the territory of New Lebanese cuisine...whatever that might be. I value tradition but the authenticity of ingredients and techniques is also important.
You say that, but a lot of your recipes don't seem very Lebanese...
That's fair. I like to think that Lebanese cuisine encompasses the majority of the things I cook and write about, but I have left myself room to broaden my culinary repertoire. Sometimes I'll even be showcasing a whole set on a whole different cuisine (like I did with the Pizza Special). A lot of my food is inspired by growing up in London, being obsessed with Italian food as a teenager and my passion for Japanese, French and Turkish cuisine.
Olives, figs, grapes....choose one and only one.
Automatically it's down to either olives or figs. However much I love olives I think I'll have to go with figs. They have a season and elicit so many memories of childhood.
So what possessed you to start a food blog?
I wanted to measure my own ability in the kitchen by testing myself. By publishing posts I have to make sure I cook something a bit different each week and make it look beautiful. Also this has been in the works for quite a while but I'd never had the ability to see the idea through. I wrote this down on my 2009 to-do list and made myself stick to it. That makes it sound forced but I truly enjoy writing this blog.
What's your death row meal?
Awesome pizza and awesome gelato (hazlenut or pistachio)...by the bucket. Maybe some chips. Some Kibbeh. Steak. Otoro. Food. Give me food!
Favourite TV Chef?
Bourdain but not for the cooking. Blumenthal for the obsessiveness.
As in my profile: I've used the Silver Spoon the most and I'm drawn to it time and time again. I also like Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection.
What one ingredient couldn't you live without?
Onions or garlic. Lemon if you believe the Lebanese culinary stereotype.
What is your current culinary obsession?
Mexican food. Definitely. I also love the New Spanish/Basque food thing. What's better than eating Pintxos with a Cerveza 100yards away from the beach?
Are we running out of questions?
I think so. Maybe it's time for you lovely people to ask anything you want and I'll try to answer them below. It was quite weird interviewing myself but there you have it!