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Order, feast, repeat with celeb chef Bethany Kehdy's Dayma in Dubai

david@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 7, 2020
Bethany, Kehdy, chef, celebrity, lebanese, restaurant, american, cookhouse, delivery, dayma, new, launch, apps, deliveroo, zomato, talabat, uber, eats, food, dining, levantine, kitchen, jewellery, cookbook, uae, abu, dhabi, lebanon, beirut,
Bethany Kehdy

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Lebanese-American launches Levantine cookhouse delivering to your door

WE ALL HAVE our favourite regional dishes, but for one of Lebanon's most celebrated chefs, Bethany Kehdy, a particular salad stands head and shoulders above the rest. According to the 'new champion of Middle Eastern food' and 'modern Claudia Roden', as she has been deemed by her peers, Kehdy believes tabouleh speaks to the soul of her nation's cooking.

"It is something I never tire of craving," the Lebanese-American said about the parsley and tomato mix when we spoke of her latest culinary venture in Dubai: cookhouse, Dayma.

Author of two bestselling Levantine cookbooks, The Jewelled Kitchen (2013) and The Jewelled Table (2018), Kehdy's gastronomic character has been described as original, thoughtful, sexy and whimsical; attributes she hopes to translate into her delivery-only UAE restaurant dropping on apps this Thursday, September 10. Dayma, meaning 'time and again', or 'may it (the meal) be repeated' in Arabic, is a term used to show a host gratitude for the shared feast.

"There are some recipes you can order that can be found in the cookbooks though they're not exactly the same," Kehdy said of the menu. "A lot gets tweaked based on ingredients and locality.

Order, feast, repeat with celeb chef Bethany Kehdy's Dayma in Dubai (https://images.khaleejtimes.com/storyimage/KT/20200907/ARTICLE/200909138/H3/0/H3-200909138.jpg&MaxW=300&NCS_modified=20201027122715

"Some dishes are inspired by the past, like the shatta prawn sambusek, others celebrate the tradition of leaning mostly on vegetables, so we offer a vegetarian sfiha made with aubergines and walnuts. In fact, over 70 per cent of the menu is effortlessly vegetarian because the cuisine lends itself well to this. It's what makes it so balanced and healthy."

Kehdy added sustainability was high on her list of priorities, which dictates overfished hammour, for example, will not adorn the carte.

"If I were trying the food for the first time, I'd go for tabouleh no doubt," Kehdy told us when describing her ideal order. "Then any of the dips are always popular, whether hummus or aubergine mutabal. As a main, everyone loves the lamb freekeh and to finish for dessert, something light like muhalabieh."

Other popular items include chicken musakhan, and the sour cherry kebbeh.

Inspiration for Kehdy's creations, she says, stems from her grandmother's love of food, though her Lebanese father and his sisters are further influences. Friend and fellow renowned restaurateur Greg Malouf has also provided encouragement.

To place Dayma solely on major online delivery services and Facebook (@DaymaDayman) is a result of the pandemic-led increase in drop-off meal demand, but why Dubai as an inaugural location for eatery endeavours?

"I love living in the Middle East," Kehdy said, "and Dubai is still close to home, Beirut. It's a bigger and more dynamic market then Beirut, so a good place to launch."

Who in the celebrity world would you most like to have around a table to cook for?

Mark Sykes and Francois Georges Picot. I'd serve tabouleh, hummus, fatayer, and a whole sheep's head with rice!

david@khaleejtimes.com 

author

David Light

David is originally from the United Kingdom and has been a journalist in the UAE for 12 years. A keen lifestyle writer, his work centres on motoring, dining, travel, film and local and international entertainment. When he is not at his desk, David enjoys taking a motorbike out for an early ride, delving into a historical biography or exploring new languages and countries. Email him about any of his stories or to reach out about one of your own.





 
 
 
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