Hosted by Mona

Verified host
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. I come from the centre of town overlooking the Mediterranean squeezed between the haunted husk of the Holiday Inn on one side and the abundant palms and cedars of the American University of Beirut on the other. The war started when I was still a small child and followed me up to the day I left. My father was a printer and his works are in the basement of our apartment block so when the bombs started falling around us and the lights went out, that’s where we and all our neighbours would gather until the danger was past.I left Beirut just as the war ended and came to England. That’s a long story and quite an adventure, involving an elopement to Cyprus with the young English writer and journalist who became my husband. In London, I found that one of the most immediate ways I could communicate with the new people I met and leave a good impression was through the Lebanese food I cooked. I had always had a natural talent for this and learnt many recipes from my family, especially my grandmother in the Bekaa valley. As time went by, I became known for my cooking. Food is still a passion for me first and foremost.