Suzanne Husseini is the author of the best-selling cookbooks When Suzanne Cooks and Modern Flavors of Arabia. She also hosted of one of the most popular Arabic cooking shows in the Middle East which showcased her unique style and earned her a loyal following of culinary fans.
She’s a regular contributor to several publications around the world and frequently travels internationally as a featured food presenter. Suzanne continues to be featured on various local and international television programs, including as a guest judge on Top Chef Middle East.
Suzanne’s journey to write her cookbook has been lifelong. Growing up, Suzanne watched her mother put her soul into cooking and creating the traditional Arabic dishes she knew best. She made everything from scratch, including pitta bread, falafel, hummus, baklawa, biscuits and puddings. This daily feast of flavours warmed Suzanne’s heart and inspired her deep-rooted love of cooking, as well as her belief in the kitchen as the heart of the home.
Suzanne’s refined Arabian cuisine is certain to inspire you. Once your kitchen is filled with the warm, exotic scents of the Middle East, you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to create these mouth-watering delicacies at home.
Suzanne has been a teacher and a restaurant manager, combining her skills and passion for food when conducting her very popular cooking classes to those eager to unlock the mysteries of Arabic Cuisine. She took a break from her busy schedule to sit down with Nasrine Abushakra to discuss her endeavors and favorite slices of Dubai.
Suzanne Husseini On Her Culinary Inspirations & Dubai Delights:
Tell us about your personal experience of networking and reaching out with your projects here in the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates.
I have had the pleasure of living in my second home Dubai for the last 16 years. I have recorded a TV cooking program. I have been welcomed to many television networks as a guest chef to cook as well. I presently co-host on Dubai eye 103.8 FM with Suzanne Radford on the Thursday Brunch show. I am on schedule to host a lunch at the Emirates Festival of Literature in March and will be cooking live on stage at the Love Food Street Festival this year.
What inspired you to publish your book?
I have shared many recipes with friends over the years and taught hundreds of classes. I wanted to document all the wonderful Arabic food I grew up loving. It’s my tribute to my heritage.
For those not familiar with your work, what region is your culinary style modeled after?
I love the exciting flavours of the Arab world. This diverse cuisine inspires me every day.
What has been your impression of the local food scene over the years here in the Middle East?
Dubai and all of the UAE has seen a major change in the food scene. We have a multicultural mix of restaurants. You can eat your way around the world and never leave the UAE. We also have local organic farming which means we have so much great produce to create delicious dishes.
When you manage to find a little time to step away from your work, what are some of your favorite spots to dine or socialize?
One of my favorite spots to eat is La Serre as I find the food is so similar to the flavours of the Mediterranean I grew up eating. And for a change Zuma is lovely. So many more…we’re really spoiled for choice.
If you had not pursued a culinary career, what do you think you would have been?
I am a teacher and always will be…but now I also use that skill to teach cooking to keen students.
What are three ingredients that you MUST have in your kitchen?
Lemons, Olive oil, salt….can’t imagine my kitchen without them.
Are you launching any new projects in the near future that you’d like to share?
I am working on a new book which is now in its final stages. I have yet to photograph all the recipes. I am cooking up a new show for sure and details will be on my Facebook, and many exciting new projects in the horizon in the UAE and Canada.