Hear award-winning writer and chef Anissa Helou—an expert on the cooking of North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East—share extraordinary recipes and stories from her new cookbook Feast: Food of the Islamic World. Helou has lived and traveled widely, from Egypt to Syria, Iran to Indonesia, gathering some of the finest and most flavorful recipes for bread, rice, meats, fish, spices, and sweets. In the book, she delves into the enormous variety of dishes associated with Arab, Persian, Mughal/South Asian, and North African cooking, collecting favorites like biryani or Turkish kebabs along with lesser-known specialties such as Zanzibari grilled fish in coconut sauce or Tunisian chickpea soup. Manil Suri, novelist and author of The Death of Vishnu and other books on South Asia, will join Helou for a wide-ranging conversation on food, art, and culture, followed by a special tasting.
Anissa Helou is a writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, she moved to the United Kingdom to study art and design. After a career as an art consultant in the Middle East, she returned to London and became a chef and food writer. Lebanese Cuisine, her first book, was nominated for the prestigious Andre Simon Award and was named one of the best cookbooks of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times. Mediterranean Street Food won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2002 as the best Mediterranean cuisine book in English. In 2013, she was named one of the “100 Most Powerful Arab Women” by Arabian Business magazine. Her most recent book, Feast: Food of the Islamic World, was published by HarperCollins in May 2018.