Hi, and welcome to our blog!
I am Hadia, the face behind Hadia’s Lebanese Cuisine. I grew up in Beirut Lebanon and I currently reside in Kinshasa, Congo with my husband and my three adorable sons, this was a couple of years ago; now, I am an empty-nester!The kids have grown up, and they moved on to their lives!
I grew up in a family that adores food, I love cooking old favorites as well as creating new dishes.
After a long journey of writing recipes, and photographing (all in preparation for my cookbook, ‘Hadia – Lebanese Style Recipes’ , I thought it is time to devote my attention to food blogging. With time, I have turned my passion for cooking into a career, I now enjoy taking pictures of the food as much as I enjoy cooking.
I believe that food can be soothing to the heart body and soul. I value the ritual of gathering with my family, friends and loved ones at the dinner table. I have entertained dinner guests with delightful food for the past twenty two years and I always derived an intense satisfaction from it.Here we feature on our blog scrumptious Lebanese, Middle Eastern and international recipes.
Though I don’t declare that I am a professional food photographer, but still my photography has ameliorated significantly over years.
In my first two years of blogging, I used to use a point and shoot camera, though it was a good camera with bright colors, but then I got to a point where I felt I need to enhance my photography skills and there I upgraded directly to a Nikon D800. I didn’t know how to use it at the beginning and I had so much to read to understand the basic mechanism of a D-SLR – Pinch of Yum’s e-book was a good start! I recommend it for beginners! I would recommend the blog of Christina Peters – Food photography blog – her blog was and still a true help!
Photography is like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you become. All my photos are taken under natural light. I don’t use reflectors or artificial lighting setups. My favorite time to shoot is during the late afternoon when the light is soft and the sun is not too harsh– I love the slightly warmer light at this time of the day
Here are the lenses I use:
Nikon’s 50 mm f1.4
Nikon’s 35mm f1.8
Sigma 24-105 mm f/4 for Nikon
Tamron 24/70 mm f/2.8 Nikon
And when I want to zoom a very detailed close to food shot, I use AF-S Nikkor 80-400 MM, though most of my friends told me that it is unnecessary to invest such a very expensive lens for food photography – I simply love it!!
Most of the time, I shoot with my camera in hands, but sometimes I use my tripod to control over my settings!
THE BOOK, A DREAM COME TRUE!
When I was nine, I used to arrange my dolls around the room, pretending they are my students and I their teacher. I always wanted to be a teacher. Before marriage, I never cared for the kitchen. Though I loved watching my mother cook – she was incredible in the kitchen – I never felt a connection to the image of myself in the kitchen. But having a family certainly altered my perspective and reshuffled my priorities. I never cooked in my youth. Cooking was never my hobby or something I enjoyed. I couldn’t even fry an egg. I studied at THE Lebanese American university (LAU) where I majored in teaching English as a foreign language. I never took a cooking course. After getting married, I became a mother, my primary goal was to watch over and nourish my family. My biggest supporter was my husband Ramzi. From there my passion and desire to become a professional cook emerged.
I am a self-trained cook. Over the past decade or so, I collected hundreds of recipes, invented dishes, and photographed my successes and failures! I released my first cookbook in Arabic (Sofra Amra) in April 2003. The second expanded edition came out in April in the 2007. But the idea of translating my book to English for non-native Arabic speakers was always in the back of my head. The book was launched in 2014.
The book has the Lebanese familiar recipes that readers expect to find in restaurants and markets. But that is merely one aspect of Lebanese Cuisine. Being from southern Lebanon, I had to include the food of my ancestors. South Lebanese cuisine predominantly relies on ingredients that are natural from earth where inhabitants have farmed over years – wheat, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and citrus fruits. In addition to the variety of Lebanese recipes, “Hadia, Lebanese Style Recipes” features too a diverse compilation of recipes from around the world. I was blessed to travel far and wide with my family, those travels has inspired my cooking where I documented my trips in posts.
Cooking has inspired me to venture into food photography. I now enjoy taking picture of food as much as I enjoy cooking, though I don’t claim that I am a photographer.
For over 23 years, I have entertained dinner guests with delightful recipes where with time I acquired a reputation for being a good cook. The recipes in the book are simple and require no fancy or specialty appliances to prepare. These recipes were created at home where I shared every bite of every recipe with my family and friends.
When I rethink of the nine year old girl who dreamt to be a teacher, I realize that perhaps teaching and cooking are not inherently such different missions. Both involve a passion for learning, discovering and expanding horizons. Let my book introduce you to my wonderful heritage and to the variety of other foods that I have stumbled upon on this journey. I believe that cooking is an act of love that unites people no matter their cultures or beliefs. Food prepared with love has the ability to pass that love along.
May the kitchen be a place of happiness in your home just like it has been in mine.
WITH MY LOVE AND GRATITUDE. HADIA
I am happy you are here to join my cooking and baking adventure! Please feel free to tag along as we create wonderful dishes.
I look forward to your feedback.