This Tuesday, October 25, Alan Geaam is releasing Mon Liban. Much more than a cookbook, this book allows the chef to tell his story and pass on his knowledge.
[Updated May 03, 2022 at 09:45 a.m.] Another accomplishment for Alan Geam. After earning a star Guide Michelin for its eponymous restaurant in Paris then opened its Lebanese bistros I'm sorry across the capital but also in Marseille and Switzerland, the chef is coming out this Tuesday, October 25 My Lebanon , a cooking book very personal.
'This book is above all a reflection of my journey. A journey strewn with pitfalls', explains Alan Geaam in introduction. The chef, who grew up in Tripoli, experienced the civil war before going into exile in Paris to realize his 'French dream'. 'I worked hard and I learned to keep only the good things inside me, directly forgetting the bad ones', assures the chef today. In My Lebanon , Alan Geaam reveals its best recipes, from houmous traditional black falafel passing by the crispy parsnip with pistachio, before presenting his relatives, like his sister and his mother, both very good cooks according to him. Want to treat yourself? This book, sold for €45 and published by Hachette, could be part of your selection to slip under the Christmas tree!
Born on 1 is January 1974 in Monrovia (Liberia), Alan Geeam had a troubled childhood. From the age of 4, his Lebanese parents decided to flee Liberia, then hit by a coup. In Lebanon, the civil war is also in full swing. 'We lived half in the house and half buried in the cellar which served as our shelter during the bombardments.' , he confides to The Authentic Luxury website. Fortunately, his mother's cooking cheers him up, ' an excellent cook cooked big delicious meals for the whole family every day' .
Thanks to television, he discovered French gastronomy. And wishes to live 'his' American dream: to come to France. In March 1999, he did it far from the spotlight by doing odd jobs. Like an autodidact, he learns French by devouring the books of the great French chefs, learns to become a fine negotiator and refines his skills in a Lebanese caterer. In 2007, Alan Geaam became the chef owner of Auberge Nicolas Flamel. Eight years later, he met with great success with AG in the heart of Les Halles, in Paris. 'There, I created a little nod to Lebanon, a brioche in zaatar , summac and olive oil to accompany the dishes. ' Hard work pays: the chef makes a name for himself.
In 2017, Alan Geaam took over Akrame Benallal's restaurant, rue Lauriston (16 and borough). He creates a cuisine that speaks of him, of his story so atypical and sometimes painful. By concocting original recipes that combine French heritage with Lebanese flavors, the chef – now the father of three children – has earned a fully deserved star. 'This star gave me wings; since I had it, I have more confidence in myself' , he says in Food & Sens.
Since 2020, Alan Geaam has extended his gourmet universe. In addition to the restaurant that bears his name, the 40-year-old is launching Qasti, a Lebanese cuisine restaurant 'authentic and different' . With the confinement, the restaurant is having a huge success in delivery. In April 2021, make way for Sâj, a counter dedicated to Lebanese pancakes. Crispy and fragrant, these stuffed patties are irresistible. At the end of 2021, he launched Qasti Shawarma & Grill, a brand dedicated to Lebanese street food. In March 2022, Alan Geaam and his friend Anthony Rahayel opened Le Doukane, a delicatessen dedicated to Levantine flavors in the heart of the Marais. A few weeks later, Alan Geaam inaugurated Qasti Marseille in the New Hotel Marseille, a stone's throw from Marseille's Old Port.
At the heart of the four establishments, Alan Geeam has succeeded in honoring the cuisine of his Lebanese roots. ' I feel responsible towards other Lebanese chefs; I want to show them the way; to show them that anything is possible. You know, being the only starred star in the entire Lebanese diaspora is not nothing…' With Qasti, he offers a cuisine full of flavors that highlights parsley, tomatoes, the subtlety of spices and the play of acidity...
His love for French gastronomy is also palpable in his cuisine. Within his starred table, he signs dishes of great finesse. Milk-fed lamb, smoked eel and other exceptional French products are found on the plates.
Alan Geeam has no signature dishes. He enjoys making the great classics of Lebanese cuisine – hummus, keftas, falafels, vine leaves – as much as complex dishes. A dessert he loves to make? Mouhallabieh, a mixture of milk, sugar, orange blossom, pistachio and rose petal jam.
Sa Madeleine by Proust? 'My mother's cabbage confit with chicken! I ask her for it every time I go to see her in Lebanon. I've never managed to do it as well as she does...' , he explains to the Paris Insider site.
On his personal account followed by more than 32 K subscribers, Alan Geeam shares his daily life and his favorites. His last trip to Beirut, his passion for English boxing and his latest creations (splendid Barbue, zucchini checkerboard, zucchini flower, vegetable juice, sojouk): the chef delivers with ease. With generosity.Source journaldesfemmes.fr