Steeped in history yet fit for the modern times, exquisite Lebanese delights mesmerize one and all at JW Marriott Chandigarh

The Lebanese Food Festival by Expat Chefs Jameela Zakey and Hystam Zakey at The Cafe@JW lays out an epic celebration of the historic & healthy Lebanese food dating back to thousands of years


Assimilating many an influence into itself over thousands of years, the Lebanese cuisine has matured beautifully over centuries to reach its current form. A part of the ancient Levantine cuisine, the Lebanese cuisine has delicacies which find their origin in the era of Roman and Phoenician rule over the region.

Historically rich, exquisite and heavenly to taste, what makes exotic Lebanese food relevant in today’s time is how it remains utterly delicious yet very healthy at the same time. Criss-crossing the lanes of modern-day Lebanon to traversing the lands of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, JW Marriott Chandigarh is inviting its patrons on a unique culinary sojourn to explore Lebanon through its Lebanese Food Festival. Curated by Expat Chefs Jameela Zakey and Hystam Zakey, this epic celebration of the historic & healthy Lebanese food dating back to thousands of years is being held at The Cafe@JW, the hotel’s all day dining restaurant for dinner from 12th July 2019  to 21st July, 2019. 

Chef Jameela Zakey, of Syrian and Lebanese descent is an expat Chef settled in India for the past 20 years. She is someone who knows a lot about this popular cuisine which has captured the collective conscious of the world. “Prepared using an abundance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, fresh fish and seafood with animal fats consumed sparingly, the Lebanese cuisine includes abundant use of garlic and olive oil. Chickpeas and parsley are also staples of the Lebanese diet. Prepared using fresh ingredients, herbs and spice and offering earthy flavours, the composition is very healthy and delicious at the same time,” shares Chef Jameela Zakey.

The cuisine of the ancient land of Lebanon is diverse. With both the eastern and western influences evident in its cuisine, the food combines the suaveness, sophistication and intricacy of European haute cuisines with the exotic ingredients & classic techniques of the orient.

 A striking aspect of Lebanese food is that it is, in principle, the same today as it was hundreds of years ago. It embraces the same techniques, tastes and traditions. Dominant spices such as za’atar date back to the time of the Pharaohs while the use of ingredients such as olive oil and chick peas are as ancient as the land itself.

Beyond the rich history & flavours of the Lebanese cuisine, another important element which makes it a hit with people of all ages and across the globe is its health quotient. “Heavily dependent on fresh, local ingredients and appropriately balanced use of herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients, the Lebanese cuisine is a store house of health and warmth as it imbibes age-old tradition of homely hospitality. The health benefits of staple Lebanese ingredients such as chick peas have been well known since ancient times,” shares Chef Naveen Handa, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Chandigarh.

Traditionally, a Lebanese meal starts with small portions known as mezze, which centres on dips and salads, some of which like Hummus, Babaganush, Fatoosh and Tabbouleh have deliciously made way into Indian households. The meal, then moves on to entrees and main course dishes before finishing off with sumptuous desserts and soothing drinks. The Special Buffet Menu of the Lebanese food festival at JW Marriott Chandigarh is featuring signature recipes by Chef Jameela which are served in a traditional multi-course Lebanese meal.

Serving a host of flavours in the Lebanese food festival, Chef Jameela has introduced delicacies like the Salona Bazaliya, a traditional stew of the country made with the choicest of meats and fresh vegetables. The Kusa Bil Mehshi, a star main course dish for vegetarians is yet another star preparation by Chef Jameela who gives a delicious twist to the Lebanese Zucchini. Another must try in the festival is the Mashawi, a classic Arab food staple that consists of barbecued meat and shish taouk served with pita bread, rice and  Lebanese salad. As far as traditional recipes from Lebanon go, a must-try is the Kibbeh, a Lebanese favourite savoury dish which, when baked, leaves behind an unforgettably delicious aroma of roasted meats and delicate spices.

No Lebanese meal, however, ends without a generous helping of its famous dessert, Baklava. A traditional sweet filled with walnuts and pistachios and doused in orange blossom sugar syrup, Baklava will be the perfect finish to your tryst with the Lebanese Food Festival at JW Marriott Chandigarh.

You can enjoy delectable delicacies of Lebanese cuisine at the ongoing ‘Lebanese Food Festival’ at JW Marriott Chandigarh. Being held from 12th July to 21st,July, 2019, it  is available for the patrons of JW Marriott at The Cafe@JW  as special dinner buffet from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm, priced at INR 1900+taxes per person. You can also call at 0172-455 5555 to reserve your table at The Cafe@JW at JW Marriott Chandigarh.

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