What prompted the launch of Tawlet Paris?
There’s a large Lebanese community in Paris, and I have managed to establish connections with fellow Lebanese while visiting the city. It felt like a natural step to launch my first branch abroad in France.
How does the Paris branch differ from Tawlet in Beirut?
We remained true to the spirit of Tawlet Beirut, which is to offer home-cooked cuisine by Lebanese women. In Lebanon, we have fixed cooks and a guest cook who highlights the cuisine of a different region every week, but in France we were unable to do that, so we decided to adapt our offering to highlight the cuisine of different regions in Lebanon. On Tuesdays, our menu focuses on the South, while on Wednesdays we prepare dishes from the mountains of Lebanon. On Fridays, guests can enjoy cuisine from the North, and on Saturdays and Sundays we offer our special Beirut brunch. We close on Mondays and on Sunday night.
What can you tell us about the location you choose in Paris?
None of our locations are in main or expensive streets. In Paris, we remained true to our concept, so we choose 2 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi. We are very happy with our choice as it has a village ambience, and we collaborate a lot with our friendly neighbors. For example, we work with Slice Pizza, our neighbor, who provides us with the dough for our manousheh.
How did the designer Jules Mesny Deschamps bring your vision to life?
Jules Mesny Deschamp and I collaborated on this project. Jules is a dear friend of mine who already designed my Beirut branches, which meant it was really very easy for us work together and bring the spirit of the Beirut branch to Paris. We didn’t buy any new furniture; everything is old and mostly brought from Le Bon Coin, an online reseller of used furniture.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The main challenge is learning and understanding the new environment.
ABOUT KAMAL MOUZAWAK
Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Beirut’s first farmers’ market and regarded as Lebanon’s most prominent food activist, has been named the winner of the Foodics Icon Award as part of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Mouzawak will be presented with the award at the inaugural edition of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants, taking place in Abu Dhabi on February 7, 2022. In presenting this accolade, the 50 Best organization honors outstanding figures in the food sector in the MENA regio
Over the past 18 years, Souk El Tayeb has evolved from a weekly farmers’ market into a food movement, promoting educational programs at local schools and food festivals.
Matbakh El Kell, an initiative that began as an emergency kitchen in response to the catastrophic explosion in Beirut to serve meals to families across the city, is Mouzawak’s most recent venture.
The success of one of Souk El Tayeb’s concepts, the farmers’ exchange program, which connects Lebanon’s farmers with international investor networks, is now enabling Mouzawak to expand the project.