Food Stories

Documentary shorts — unscripted — featuring farmers, artisans, and others

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Cooking With Love: Alice’s Kitchen (video)

Fresh, home cooked meals prepared with love; a Lebanese tradition transferred from mother to daughter. Linda Sawaya shares her love of food, and the generations of culinary knowledge passed down through oral tradition.

This was a story which found me. Linda is a neighbor of Ed, the The Art of Food Photography story, and introduced herself.

A cookbook author, gardener, and artist? Hmmm, I wanted to know more. We began to talk on the phone and I liked the idea of doing a story on someone with such a rich family history in which food played such a major role. Not just the making of a dish, but also in the growing of the ingredients (when possible), and the presentation of it; based on her Lebanese cooking traditions. It was so much fun to hang out with Linda! I was treated to my first cup of Arabic coffee (which definitely gave me an extra boost of energy!), got a tour of the biggest kitchen garden I’ve ever seen (which included tasting freshly plucked figs!), and I got to watch a new way to prepare Summer Squash Stuffed with Rice.

While the food was cooking, Linda took us into her Studio. She showed us the original cookbook draft, which had led to an article in the Saudi Aramco World magazine. Her illustrations were wonderful and oh-so-colorful.

I came away feeling richer, fuller. Not only did I get to meet Linda, but through her, her mom, Alice. I am so glad Linda endeavored over the years to write down recipes that were typically handed down through only oral traditions. And to also share family stories with these recipes. In a sense, by reading the cookbook, her family becomes a part of your family. That’s a nice gift.

Recipes from this show: My Father’s Tomato Salad; Summer Squash Stuffed with Rice

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Leave a Comment


8 Comments

  1. KD says:

    Linda,
    you should take your show to Krazy Good Food TV.

  2. Had Walmer says:

    Linda!
    Thank you for this video presentation; you are truly a person
    expressing her perfection – let’s eat!

  3. rebecca says:

    That’s one of the wonderful things about doing these videos, you come away with a sense of who the person is, and , in many cases, what influenced them to be creating what they do today.

  4. Bev Thorpe says:

    What a wonderful series!! It makes my mouth water thinking of Alice’s Lebanese food. How do you find such interesting, multi-talented people to interview? Cooking Up a Story is my favorite site about food and cooking. I love the combination of storytelling and video because it gets a personal message across. I came away feeling that I had just met Alice. Thank you!!!

  5. Joyce Adele Aboussie says:

    Your cookbook reads like a novel with so much history and adventure in our beloved native homeland, Lebanon. The delicious recipes excite memories and taste buds for anyone who knows this food and for anyone who does not, the authenticity is beyond compare! Thank you for sharing your endeavor and giving us this fabulous and delicious looking video…I wanted to fill my plate!!

  6. wooden trays says:

    Thanks for your articles; your voice cheers my day and excites my desire to explore the world of foods, techniques and cooking.

  7. rebecca says:

    Thanks David :)

    I loved how Linda grew so much of her own food! I was truly inspired. I put in a garden this past spring (my first in years), and I have new plans for the coming year. I

  8. david says:

    Wow!

    What a fantastic set of videos. I just simply love Lebanese food. So wonderful to watch someone making this!

    Thank you :)