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Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East [A Cookbook]

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From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME OUT - "Ori and Genevieve manage to pull off a style of cooking that is both familiar (and therefore comforting From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME OUT - "Ori and Genevieve manage to pull off a style of cooking that is both familiar (and therefore comforting) but also new (and therefore fresh and exciting). This is the sort of food I could live on."--Yotam Ottolenghi When chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis opened their first Los Angeles restaurant, Bestia, the city fell in love. By the time they launched their second restaurant, Bavel, the love affair had expanded to cooks and food lovers nationwide. Bavel, the cookbook, invites home cooks to explore the broad and varied cuisines of the Middle East through fragrant spice blends; sublime zhougs, tahini, labneh, and hummus; rainbows of crisp-pickled vegetables; tender, oven-baked flatbreads; fall-off-the-bone meats and tagines; buttery pastries and tarts; and so much more. Bavel--pronounced bah-VELLE, the Hebrew name for Babel--is a metaphor for the myriad cultural, spiritual, and political differences that divide us. The food of Bavel tells the many stories of the countries defined as "the Middle East." These recipes are influenced by the flavors and techniques from all corners of the region, and many, such as Tomato with Smoked Harissa, Turmeric Chicken with Toum, and Date-Walnut Tart, are inspired by Menashe's Israeli upbringing and Gergis's Egyptian roots. Bavel celebrates the freedom to cook what we love without loyalty to any specific country, and represents a world before the region was divided into separate nations. This is cooking without borders.


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From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME OUT - "Ori and Genevieve manage to pull off a style of cooking that is both familiar (and therefore comforting From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME OUT - "Ori and Genevieve manage to pull off a style of cooking that is both familiar (and therefore comforting) but also new (and therefore fresh and exciting). This is the sort of food I could live on."--Yotam Ottolenghi When chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis opened their first Los Angeles restaurant, Bestia, the city fell in love. By the time they launched their second restaurant, Bavel, the love affair had expanded to cooks and food lovers nationwide. Bavel, the cookbook, invites home cooks to explore the broad and varied cuisines of the Middle East through fragrant spice blends; sublime zhougs, tahini, labneh, and hummus; rainbows of crisp-pickled vegetables; tender, oven-baked flatbreads; fall-off-the-bone meats and tagines; buttery pastries and tarts; and so much more. Bavel--pronounced bah-VELLE, the Hebrew name for Babel--is a metaphor for the myriad cultural, spiritual, and political differences that divide us. The food of Bavel tells the many stories of the countries defined as "the Middle East." These recipes are influenced by the flavors and techniques from all corners of the region, and many, such as Tomato with Smoked Harissa, Turmeric Chicken with Toum, and Date-Walnut Tart, are inspired by Menashe's Israeli upbringing and Gergis's Egyptian roots. Bavel celebrates the freedom to cook what we love without loyalty to any specific country, and represents a world before the region was divided into separate nations. This is cooking without borders.

30 review for Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East [A Cookbook]

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    Considering the menu I remember here, the recipes are pretty accessible to a home cook (if the ingredients are common to what you already use sometimes)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    This is a beautifully photographed and presented cookbook. I loved the variety of recipes, and the efforts made to self-source components (stocks, etc.) rather than just buying from the store. I was a little disappointed in an f-bomb included in one of the stories; felt it unnecessary and tacky, no matter how amazing the hummus was. 😂😬 I was also surprised they didn’t include a recipe for baklava, given its prevalence in Middle Eastern cuisine (and I’m mildly obsessed with it, lol). That aside, a This is a beautifully photographed and presented cookbook. I loved the variety of recipes, and the efforts made to self-source components (stocks, etc.) rather than just buying from the store. I was a little disappointed in an f-bomb included in one of the stories; felt it unnecessary and tacky, no matter how amazing the hummus was. 😂😬 I was also surprised they didn’t include a recipe for baklava, given its prevalence in Middle Eastern cuisine (and I’m mildly obsessed with it, lol). That aside, a very nice cookbook. Glad I just checked it out of the library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Bavel is a popular L.A. restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine. Husband and wife chef-owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have returned to the flavors of their childhoods in Bavel, both the restaurant and the cookbook. As adults they fell in love with Italian cooking, so their first restaurant (and cookbook, also written with co-author Lesley Suter) were Bestia, modern Italian dishes where sophisticated dishes are built from the complex flavors of using simple ingredients well. Bu Bavel is a popular L.A. restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine. Husband and wife chef-owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have returned to the flavors of their childhoods in Bavel, both the restaurant and the cookbook. As adults they fell in love with Italian cooking, so their first restaurant (and cookbook, also written with co-author Lesley Suter) were Bestia, modern Italian dishes where sophisticated dishes are built from the complex flavors of using simple ingredients well. But Menashe couldn’t help but find himself thinking about the dishes he grew up on in Israel. On his days off, he would cook the Middle Eastern dishes he ate after shopping in the markets with his father. The fresh spices and herbs permeated his senses, and he would devour his favorite falafel or shawarma after. Gergis’ father is from Egypt, so she too understood these flavors and also wanted to return to the dishes of her family. It took a few years to find the location and finalize the recipes, but they made it happen. And L.A. diners loved it. I am a fan of cooking competitions, and I have seen chef after chef with Middle Eastern experience get rave reviews of their dishes. They seemed to have some sort of secret to their cooking, and I could never understand it until Menashe explained it to me while talking about his beloved culinary heritage. He talked about Italian food, and how easy it is to add some umami (a savory bonus flavor that can add a big dollop of deliciousness) with some cheese or prosciutto. But the climate of the Middle East doesn’t offer such easy flavor bombs, so cooks have to develop layers of flavor while they’re cooking, starting with dried spices and herbs, and then adding fresh spices, and lastly adding fresh herbs. It’s that kind of mastery of spices that makes Middle Eastern chefs the magicians that they are, and that’s what makes their food so interesting. It’s that sort of spice mastery that these chefs offer up in Bavel, starting with the spices to include in your pantry and moving on to how to roast them, grind them, and mix up your own spice blends. They then move on to the sauces and stocks that will add so much to your dishes and then to pickles and ferments that will add the acid that will make the spices sing. Then there are the dips and spreads, with no less than 4 recipes for Hummus, before moving on to Vegetables, Breakfasts, Seafood, Meats, Family Recipes, and even Drinks and Desserts. These are chefs who believe in making things themselves as much as possible. They have recipes for their own Za’atars and Ras el Hanout, Vegetable Stock or Turmeric-Chicken Stock, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Tahini and Yogurt, and breads like Pitas and Laffa. Because of their dedication to all these hand-crafted components, some of their recipes seem complicated. But knowing that they are just trying to find the most flavorful representation of the food of their heritage makes the Shakshuka or the Lamb Neck Shawarma or the Beef Cheek Tagine worth it. The authors of Bavel are quick to say that they are not interested in the politics of the area. They do not favor the cuisine of any one country. They want to cook with the flavors of the entire Middle East, focusing only on the best ingredients, recipes, and spices that all the countries have to offer. It’s just about the food they grew up on, taking those recipes and making them flavorful, making them modern, and sharing them with others. I was so impressed with Bavel. It’s filled with gorgeous photography, both of the food and of the places it represents. The recipes are sophisticated, and it’s basically a primer on Middle Eastern seasoning. I learned more about Middle Eastern cuisine just by reading it than I have with any other cookbook, so if you know someone wanting to learn how to use spices to maximize flavors, then Bavel is the place to go for that. If you want to learn Middle Eastern cooking or just want to cook like your favorite L.A. restaurant, then this cookbook is a must. A copy of Bavel was provided by Ten Speed Press for an unbiased review, with many thanks.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    I didn't quite read this book the way I would a novel. I did scan the pictures and peruse the recipes. I haven't tried any because I would need to make a trip to a speciality store to get some of the ingredients. Overall, the recipes do not appear too onerous and kudos to the author for putting together this lovely collection. I didn't quite read this book the way I would a novel. I did scan the pictures and peruse the recipes. I haven't tried any because I would need to make a trip to a speciality store to get some of the ingredients. Overall, the recipes do not appear too onerous and kudos to the author for putting together this lovely collection.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Dickson

    Firstly, this a beautiful cookbook! It is all Middle Eastern food and recipes from appetizers to desserts. This is not a cookbook for beginners. Most of the recipes call for many ingredients that are difficult to find. The recipes are also long and involved and will require a lot of time to prepare. Everything looks absolutely delicious. I did not prepare any of the recipes but there are many that I want to try. I am new to Middle Eastern food but this book will assure that that will be a thing o Firstly, this a beautiful cookbook! It is all Middle Eastern food and recipes from appetizers to desserts. This is not a cookbook for beginners. Most of the recipes call for many ingredients that are difficult to find. The recipes are also long and involved and will require a lot of time to prepare. Everything looks absolutely delicious. I did not prepare any of the recipes but there are many that I want to try. I am new to Middle Eastern food but this book will assure that that will be a thing of the past. I've received a free copy from Ten Speed Press in exchange for a free and unbiased review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Al Maki

    I didn’t find it useful, recipes more suitable for a fashionable restaurant than a home kitchen.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen Foster

    This is my kind of food and my kind of cookbook. I want to, and probably will, cook every single recipe. Highly recommended 💕

  8. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Campbell

    "The Middle East" is a geographical region spanning territories from India to the Mediterranean. It includes such countries as Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Palestine, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Kuwait, and Jordan. "Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East" is a taste-filled journey through the many cultures, customs, and cuisines of this exotic region. Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis (also the owners and operator "The Middle East" is a geographical region spanning territories from India to the Mediterranean. It includes such countries as Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Palestine, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Kuwait, and Jordan. "Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East" is a taste-filled journey through the many cultures, customs, and cuisines of this exotic region. Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis (also the owners and operators of Bavel Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA), along with food writer Lesley Suter, offer an amazing arm-chair tour of these richly-diverse lands through fantastic food, history and personal stories, and beautiful photos. As someone who loves to cook, loves to try new recipes, and greatly enjoys the fragrant aroma of my own personal spice cabinet, I was inspired and motivated by this book to see just what spices and ingredients I did have on hand and which ones I might need to acquire. The recipes here range from simple ingredients and preparation to more complex dishes requiring more cooking experience and time to invest in completion. There is a section in the book called "Spices" which gives a listing of the spices used at Bavel Restaurant, and each spice has its own flavor profile. There are also a number of recipes for varying spice blends. Several delicious recipes that I have tried include: "Wedding Rice"--a Persian-style side dish with jasmine rice, cardamom, bay leaves, onions, and golden raisins; "Grandmother's Meatballs"--a family recipe featuring ground beef, cracked bulgur wheat, onion, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and Yukon Gold potatoes; and "Apple-Prune Cake"--with apples, apple cider, prunes, cardamom, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla (How good does that sound?). However, the recipes that have captivated me the most are the bread recipes. I am a bread maker--and eater--of many years, and I am so enjoying learning to make such recipes as "Whole-Wheat Pita", "Buckwheat Sourdough", and "Laffa" (flatbread). Husband-and-wife chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have a young daughter, Saffron, and a lovely sense of family and heritage pervades this beautiful book. Disclosure: "I've received a free copy from Clarkson Potter in exchange for a free and unbiased review."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Reading Fool

    Bavel is a beautifully photographed cookbook with such interesting, different recipes. It opened my eyes and my mind to the food culture of the Middle East. I consider myself to be a slightly-above-average home cook with an openness to tasting and trying to cook different flavors and cuisines. The recipes in this book have some unusual ingredients that may not be that easy to find. But I was game to try some that looked accessible to me: Wedding Rice, Peshalo (Noodle Soup), and Shakshuka. All of Bavel is a beautifully photographed cookbook with such interesting, different recipes. It opened my eyes and my mind to the food culture of the Middle East. I consider myself to be a slightly-above-average home cook with an openness to tasting and trying to cook different flavors and cuisines. The recipes in this book have some unusual ingredients that may not be that easy to find. But I was game to try some that looked accessible to me: Wedding Rice, Peshalo (Noodle Soup), and Shakshuka. All of these were delicious. The recipes were easy to follow, and I enjoyed preparing these dishes. I especially appreciated Chapter 1 ("Pantry"), which taught me a great deal about the spices and herbs of a Middle Eastern pantry. This is an excellent cookbook. I've received a free copy from Ten Speed Press in exchange for a free and unbiased review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Tantalizing recipes and Gorgeous pictures! I am not usually a fan of Middle Eastern food but with the personal stories and mouthwatering pictures, I had to give some of these recipes a try. I was definitely not disappointed. There are many recipes that use on hand ingredients but a few of them I had to search for online. I especially loved the Salad section. I will definitely use many of these recipes over the summer. And I can't wait to try the Rice Cake! I received a free copy from Ten Speed Pre Tantalizing recipes and Gorgeous pictures! I am not usually a fan of Middle Eastern food but with the personal stories and mouthwatering pictures, I had to give some of these recipes a try. I was definitely not disappointed. There are many recipes that use on hand ingredients but a few of them I had to search for online. I especially loved the Salad section. I will definitely use many of these recipes over the summer. And I can't wait to try the Rice Cake! I received a free copy from Ten Speed Press in exchange for a free and unbiased review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pam G

    While I love middle east cuisine, I was not enamored with this book. I bought it sight unseen and wish I had only rented it from the library so I could return it. Maybe I need to give it a second (and third) attempt but it was definitely NOT love at first cook.

  12. 5 out of 5

    El Vatikan

    The foods look amazing

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Being a Wisconsinite, I have no exposure to mideastern food. This was a great read. Will have to sample soon.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Oren Mizrahi

    top notchhh

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Beautiful book, lovely photos, interesting recipes It’s a coffee table book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Good recipes that work

  17. 4 out of 5

    michelle c ogden

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaja Miller

  19. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  22. 5 out of 5

    Moondrop

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monique

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas & Megan Clinch

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marleene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sloane Davidson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ana

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