In this day and age, with the superpower of Google, you can locate any recipe, and find infinite recipe ideas, online. So what’s the point of owning a cookbook? Aren’t cookbooks a little outdated?
The answer, in my opinion, is no. An analogy could be made comparing “real books” to “E-books,” such as those purchased for Kindle. With a three-dimensional, weighted book, you can enjoy the feeling of flipping through the pages, keep it in a specially designated spot, and appreciate what it’s given you as you see the subtle wear and tear over the years.
And what makes a cookbook even more desirable is if it’s a work of art. Beirut Cooks is the first book by Pascale Habis, a Beirut-based design expert. It is what The Daily Star called Habis’ “love letter to the city [of Beirut] and its people.”
On its beautifully designed pages are recipes contributed by 37 individuals, all Beirut locals, professional chefs and amateur cooks alike. A few names stand out from other circles – for example, Rabih Keyrouz is a well-known fashion designer, Bernard Khoury a prominent architect – but the aim of the cookbook is to highlight the home cooking of everyday people.
Home cooking is easily cheaper, fresher, and more honest than cooking you’d get when dining out. Recipe ingredients are likely to be bought and used more promptly, not frozen or allowed to turn bad, and many items like fresh produce can be homegrown.
While local and organic ingredients are not often used in the restaurant industry, they should be readily available and highly considered by those shopping for home.
Due to the mixed pool of recipe-donators and the aesthetic mind of its creator, Beirut Cooks boasts a special look at the diversity of Lebanese cuisine on tastefully formatted pages.
Beirut Cooks was published by Rawiya Editions and can be purchased online or found at all major bookstores in London, Paris, Lebanon, and throughout the Middle East.
Images of Pascale Habis and fresh ingredients found on the Beirut Cooks website.