Keeping authentic Lebanese cuisine in the spotlight

Keeping authentic Lebanese cuisine in the spotlight

Regarded as one of the world’s richest cuisines, Lebanese food is steeped in history and tradition. We take a look at how leading restaurateurs in Lebanon are keeping Lebanese cuisine in the spotlight and ensuring their traditional Lebanese restaurants remain relevant.

Restaurant market and trends

Traditions, authenticity, quality, consistency and passion are the main pillars for a Lebanese restaurant to succeed, according to Christian Ghosn, CEO and managing partner of Abd El Wahab, Ahwak and Denye Hek. Indeed, Lebanese customers are sophisticated and have high standards, hence the need to be bold.

While the Lebanese market is witnessing many new openings, there have been some gaps, such as Lebanese home-made dishes as a main choice in restaurants. According to Tony Ramy, co-owner of Al Sultan Brahim & Al Falamanki group of restaurants and president of the Syndicate of Restaurants, Cafes, Night Clubs and Pastry Shops in Lebanon, out of 50,000 daily delivery orders, 15,000 are for Lebanese food, with half being ordered during the day. This proves that Lebanese cuisine has a big delivery market.

Indeed, Lebanese cuisine has proven its steadfastness despite trends in Asian, fusion and other cuisines. Michel Naccache, owner and managing partner of Al Halabi Restaurant, said that in an age of social media and fads, Lebanese cuisine remains popular and trendy.

Cuisine with great impact

Bursting in flavor and fresh ingredients, the health benefits of Lebanese cuisine have been long documented. Founder and owner of Le Phénicien Habib Hadid said that it is very important to recognize the impact Lebanese cuisine has internationally in terms of variety of dishes and the respect it has gained from a worldwide audience.

According to Lebanon’s director general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Louis Lahoud, Lebanese cuisine has always had great appeal and its popularity has spread worldwide.

What the future holds

Ramy announced that the syndicate is working on a project to standardize Lebanese food recipes in a booklet and the booklet will be distributed to international markets as a reference so that chefs can add their unique touch while respecting the culinary traditions.

Insights from HORECA Talks 2024 at HORECA Lebanon, co-organized by Hospitality News Middle East and Hodema Consulting Services. Session moderated by Nada Alameddine, managing partner at Hodema Consulting Services, and Nagi Morkos, founder and manager partner at Hodema Consulting Services.

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