Bethany Kehdy is a Lebanese-American food author whose popular blog “Dirty Kitchen Secrets” has established her as one of the most engaging Middle Eastern cooks online. Born in Texas to an American mother and a Lebanese father, Kehdy was raised in Lebanon on her family’s ancestral farm. She learned to harvest produce, churn cheese, and appreciate fresh, seasonal cuisine as she intently observed her grandmother and three aunts in the kitchen.

Today, Kehdy lives in the West Country of England with her British husband. Her debut cookbook on Middle Eastern cuisine, The Jewelled Kitchen, was published last summer and spotlights her modern approach to Lebanese cooking (you’ll love her recipe on venison kebabs!). Kehdy also leads culinary tours across Lebanon through Taste Lebanon and is founder of Food Blogger Connect, the world’s leading international food blogging conference held annually in London.



In an interview with Beirut.com, Kehdy tells us more about what she likes to whip up when she's at home.

Beirut.com: How often do you cook and eat at home?
Kehdy: I work from home, so every day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then some.

Beirut.com: What are your fridge essentials?
Kehdy: Dad’s tomato paste, Dad’s awarma, my homemade sun-dried tomato pesto (for in-a-hurry pasta lunches), preserved lemons, a tub of homemade hummus, a tub of Total’s Greek Yogurt, mixed greens in the vegetable drawer—there’s always lettuce, rocket, and watercress, as I like to start a meal with a salad. I then pair what I have in the fridge with ingredients in my pantry: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, lemons and other seasonal vegetables, as well as eggs, pulses and grains galore. I also tend to buy meat in bulk or freeze freshly-caught fish. I have a chest freezer in my garage and will then defrost as needed.

Beirut.com: As a chef, do you ever find yourself torn as to whether you should make something from scratch or buy it ready-made at the store?
Kehdy: I have certainly purchased 'ready-made,’ as there are many days where I’m up against a deadline. I’ll usually ask my husband, on his way home, to grab a roast chicken from Tesco (they’re actually quite tasty) with a three-bean salad. There are times when we’ll run out of homemade hummus, and - I will be honest - I will resort to buying a tub from the supermarket.

Beirut.com: Could you potentially whip up a meal from your fridge’s contents for 8-10 unexpected guests?
Kehdy: Yes, I do it often, and you don’t need an invite for dinner. I have a well-stocked pantry, which is indispensable, and a well-stocked chest freezer.

Beirut.com: What’s your policy regarding expiry dates?
Kehdy: I didn’t grow up on expiry dates (in fact, my dad’s idea of expiry dates is a tad extreme), so I let my eyes and nose be the judge. Obviously, we all know that supermarkets have to be extra cautious with expiry dates.

Beirut.com: Is there anything that’s never allowed in your fridge?
Kehdy: A "ready-to-eat meal," you know, the plastic-wrapped, soulless food that comes ready for zapping in the microwave. That’s where I draw the line. Oh, and those “corn” meat products - I'm convinced that’s got to be cancer in a box. And frankly, if you’re vegetarian and eating that, then you’re missing out on all the goodness Mother Earth has to offer.

Beirut.com: What do you think your fridge says about your character?
Kehdy: I suppose my fridge and pantry would reflect that I’m open, welcoming, flexible, spontaneous, creative and somewhat traditional.







Articles & Media

5 photos
Bethany Kehdy Gives Readers a... Interview on Oct 30, 2014
Beirut Fridge Raiders Vol. 4:... Crave on Jun 24, 2014
 

Past Events

Bethany Kehdy at Tawlet Gathering (Dinner)
 

Comments

Avatar 1
Post to facebook