The cuisine in Saha is traditional and inspirational, enticingly spiced and fragrant with flower waters. From hearty peasant dishes to more subtly spiced specialties from ancient palaces, the dishes are complex in flavour, yet not overly complicated to make at home.
Lebanese and Syrian cuisine gets an Australian accent in this half-cookbook, half-travelogue by the formerly married Maloufs. Greg, the chef, infuses the piquant classical flavors and age-old methods with new styling (Parmesan-Crumbed Quail), and sometimes vice-versa (Caesar salad with air-dried beef, Swiss Chard Risotto with Lobster), but he also presents many classics straight up, from Bedouin spinach and Lentil Soup to Lamb Shawarma and Crunchy Sesame Pistachio Cookies. Lucy's narrative of the pair's month-long sojourn in the Middle East provides a skeleton for the book, as her descriptions of their visits to dairies, butchers, bakers and preserve-makers precede recipes that incorporate yogurt and cheese, meats, assorted breads and condiments like the powerful red pepper paste or bitter orange marmalade. Her accounts of restaurants and sightseeing at times sound overly steeped in the tone of breathless articles from high-end travel magazines, but she also includes a good deal of historical information. Harvey's splendid photography of people and landscapes in addition to food give the book an authentic and lively flair. The recipe instructions frequently lack specificity, but experienced cooks intrigued by the rich traditions of cooking and culture (and not dissuaded by the price) will find a solid guide in this book. (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"I'm sold on him. I don't know of any other chef that can match Greg Malouf's versatility and talent who is working in the medium... I like his swing back and forth between old and new and his sensitivity with spices is brilliant... I say this because I cooked through his latest book. He is a brilliant chef. I like the way his food plays with my head."--"Paula Wolfert"