The story begins thousands of years ago, long before refrigeration.
To ensure the abundant harvests of the Middle East’s fertile land could be eaten in scarcer times like the dormant winter, the art of preservation was mastered and born out of necessity. This seasonality and sustainable way of eating came to influence the way we cook, as you will see and taste in our food.
The region at large is incredibly diverse in history and landscape. This is proudly showcased in the flavours, techniques and dishes which, through migrant populations and diaspora, have found their way around the world and evolved.
Growing up, my home was always perfumed by whatever was in the kitchen. The oils that filled the air were less gardenia and more cumin. It is here that my passion for cooking was born while shadowing my mother. I hold fond memories of watching others cook, smelling with anticipation and savouring what was being prepared lovingly, sitting at tables with family and friends to feast whether it was a weeknight dinner or festive occasion – food is at the heart of these memories.
The earthy and hearty meals occupying the table set off every sense – taste of food, hearing conversation and raptures of laughter, smelling aromas that could transport you to another world. A foreign, far-away land was incredibly familiar, through dishes regarded as being traditionally peasant.
The ritual and experience of sharing a meal in Middle Eastern culture is what Alma’s Kitchen looks forward to offering you. It is a fulfilling tradition (of the heart and stomach) which I hope you will share too.