Karim Haidar's journey in France started in 1985. A law graduate, he spent 10 years of his life working as a lawyer and a teacher.

It was in France that he made his biggest discovery: Gastronomy. He began cooking at home every night, until one day, his passion for cooking took over, causing him to take a sabbatical from his job, foresaking clients and students, to open a restaurant, "Au 29". The restaurant served alternative Lebanese cuisine, centered around taste, quality products and ingredients, extensive wines and side dishes, an unusual generosity in serving size, and just pure pleasure.

Success however, took a long while to manifest itself. After all, the restaurant claimed to be Lebanese cuisine, without mezzes, or tabbouleh, or hummus. Karim's aim was to recreate traditional Lebanese dishes, with a more modern and refined twist, making them universal.

Until one day, Lonely Planet discovered Karim's treasure, describing his restaurant as a "rarity among restaurants". Naturally, customers ran his way, followed by media outlets, and other travel guides. Success came Karim's way after all, two years later.

A year later, the owners of the oldest Lebanese restaurant in London, Fakhreldine, offered Karim a chance to helm what was meant to be the first modern Lebanese cuisine restaurant, giving Karim the chance to realize his ambitions: Creating a truly modern Lebanese Cuisine.


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