I joined Eatwith because my life revolves around food and socializing, that is, socializing over food. For me, meal time is one of the most critical moments of the day; it is when you touch base with family, make new friends, nurture old friendships, encourage work relationships, experiment with exotic ingredients, ruin dishes and laugh over a different bottle of wine each time. One of my earliest memories is of my father feeding me smoked salmon and marinated herring. Steak tartar was my reward for getting good grades. Then there's my mother, the ultimate matriarch, who nurtured and protected the family by cooking three meals a day. My favorite of these will always be sticky rice with sweet meats and manoushi - a pita-like bread covered in oil and za'atar, grilled, rolled and served in a crumple of wax paper. I began as my mother’s second hand in the kitchen. I chopped, diced, peeled, scrubbed and even set the table (with help from my sisters, of course). Since those days, I have gone through several phases. My first phase was dessert, beginning with butter cookies and culminating in an affection for confections such as sea salted caramel and Cointreau banana chocolate truffles. Then my attention turned to Afternoon Tea. It is in this endeavor that I was selected to participate in a cookbook (Beirut Cooks) and to consult for a startup tea business called The Blue House (www.bluehousetea.com). Tea time, which consists of both sweet and savory, is where my current phase begins…. Today, I am focused on the savory courses. When I cook, I strive to fuse the original four culinary pillars (Chinese, Indian, Ottoman and Italian) into an alluring, delightful meal. These four cuisines, along with their many modern offshoots, are usually served distinctly separately. I also strive to create simple, clean recipes, using no more than five to seven ingredients, unless absolutely necessary. It is in simplicity that the other details of a meal can be admired, such as texture and technique.
I'm in my thirties
I paint portraiture and feed my friends
What to expect at Catherine's place