Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

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Love Palestinian food? Then you'll relish this new podcast

Chef Fadi Kattan's Sabah Al Yasmine has so far featured Massimo Bottura and Mohamed Hadid

Kattan was approached at the start of the lockdown about hosting the podcast. Courtesy Fadi Kattan.
Kattan was approached at the start of the lockdown about hosting the podcast. Courtesy Fadi Kattan.

Podcasts have proliferated as the world self isolates.

New offerings from comedians, lifestyle gurus, authors and celebrities have appeared on the airwaves over the past few months, and now, a Palestinian chef in Bethlehem is on the action.

Hosted by Fadi Kattan, Sabah Al Yasmine is a new podcast from Radio Alhara, an online radio station in Palestine.

Kattan owns and operates the boutique Hosh Al Syrian Guesthouse and its celebrated Fawda Cafe in Bethlehem.

The podcast hosts big names from around the region. Courtesy Fadi Kattan.
The podcast hosts big names from around the region. Courtesy Fadi Kattan.

The podcast talks about Palestinian food and ingredients found in the region. It also features a host of famous faces from across the world: Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Palestinian property developer Mohamed Hadid have both been recent guests. Hadid even starred in an Instagram live to show off his cooking prowess.

More: Chef Fadi Kattan's mujadara recipe

"Radio Alhara approached me at the beginning of lockdown and said, 'What do you think about having a little food show every day?'" Kattan says. "I really liked the idea, it's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, I just did not have the time to do it before."

Other big names Kattan has hosted include: Mohammad Orfali, Syrian chef and co-owner of Dubai's Orfali Bros academy and restaurant, British eco-chef Tom Hunt and Jordanian chef Omar Sartawi to name a few.

Kattan shares Palestinian recipes in the podcast, not ones from his restaurant, but easier versions, and discusses his love for the region's ingredients: akoob, an edible thorn that grows in Palestine, nigella seeds, and leban jameed – a thick yoghurt.

He also shares his grandmother's recipes, as well as those he still consults his mother for almost every day.

Kattan says the numbers of listeners are "growing massively" and his demographic is completely international, "from the US to New Zealand".

"It's very painful for a chef to not be able to light up the gas in your restaurant. I miss hearing the chatter in the restaurant and in the courtyard outside," he says.

"It's very important to go on doing what we do as chefs, which is bringing joy to people. We cannot do it in our restaurants because of the health and safety measures, but it does not mean we stop."

Updated: April 29, 2020 10:29 AM

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