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Specialty travel: Lebanon Gourmet launches luxury culinary tours in the Levant

Ah, the sweet smell of spring herbs, delicate spices and tangy citrus groves. These are just some of the ingredients that go into homemade Lebanese cooking, along with olive oil, the freshest sun-ripened vegetables, and pomegranate molasses to name a few.
Thanks to Lebanon Gourmet, a new family owned business and website, food enthusiasts worldwide can experience the wonders of Lebanese cuisine through the recipes and gourmet tours offered at www.lebanongourmet.com.

“We want fine diners and adventure travellers around the world to discover our cuisine and the cultural side of our country firsthand,” says Iyad Kayali, owner and manager of Lebanon Gourmet. Indeed, the site entices visitors to discover a magical culinary and wine tour with visits to age-old markets, mountain-tucked castles, traditional pastry shops and superb fish restaurants.
“Lebanese cuisine is considered by far one of the finest cuisines in the world and Lebanon remains one of the best-kept travel secrets in the west,” says Kayali. “The bountiful land and its culinary traditions create an adventure that feeds the senses, soul and palate, enriching the lives of travellers who seek a delicious cultural experience,” he explains.
Both vegetarians and meat lovers will undoubtedly enjoy the Lebanese cooking lessons during the tour, as well as the various cultural, shopping and entertainment trips across the diverse Lebanese landscape. Each region of Lebanon boasts its own specialties, although there are nationwide dishes that have become international. “If you haven’t tasted tabbouli and eggplant baba ghannouj prepared with Lebanese-grown ingredients, if you’ve never eaten shish taouk chicken or sampled lentil soup prepared locally by a Lebanese housewife, you’re missing out on a world of delicacies and cooking secrets,” says Kayali.
Lebanon, after all, lies at the crossroads of three continents. It is proud of its Mediterranean heritage, Phoenician history, Roman influence, Arab flavour and French flair. A mosaic of religions and ethnic backgrounds that don’t always agree on everything, the Lebanese are in perfect harmony whenever food is involved. Centuries of competition between grandmothers, housewives, whole villages and regional chefs have given way to a fascinating, mouth-watering cuisine with subtle flavours and well-guarded recipes that the whole nation is proud of.
To learn more about the bounty of the Mediterranean with a Middle Eastern flavour, visit the comprehensive Lebanon Gourmet website at www.lebanongourmet.com. The tour is lead by gourmet cooks and hospitality professionals who love what they’re doing and will transmit that passion to anyone who embarks on this voyage of a lifetime.

ABOUT LEBANON GOURMET

Lebanon Gourmet aims to bridge east and west through cuisine and culture. It is a family-owned business set up by two Lebanese cousins, Iyad Kayali and Stephanie Stephanou, who were inspired by their grandmothers to appreciate the art of Lebanese cooking since childhood.
Realizing that the world can be a better place through responsible tourism, good food and the promotion of culture, they established Lebanon Gourmet in December 2005 to introduce the world to finer Lebanese cuisine, wines and adventures.
Iyad Kayali is a Lebanese-Canadian Swiss hospitality graduate who is keen on preserving Lebanon’s traditions and recipes. Stephanie Stephanou is an avid cook and seasoned traveller of mixed Cypriot-Lebanese descent who enjoys promoting the finer side of Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle. They have teamed up with some of the best hoteliers, restaurateurs and wine connoisseurs in the country to create the ultimate travel experience.

CONTACT DETAILS

For more information or photos, please contact:

Mr. Iyad Kayali
Lebanon Gourmet
P.O.Box 113-6040, Beirut, Lebanon
iyad@lebanongourmet.com
www.lebanongourmet.com
Tel. +961 3 406272, +961 3 414682

Beirut 11-05-2006
Yann Rotil
Lebanon Gourmet



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