Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tony Kitous spills the beans

Tony Kitous

Owner of the Lebanese restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais, Levant, Shawa and Kenza

Tony Kitous

Owner of the Lebanese restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais, Levant, Shawa and Kenza

What would you like to plug ?
Lebanese food, culture, hospitality and of course my new cookbook “Comptoir Libanais”

Name your three dessert island ingredients
Orange blossom water, pommegrate molasses and halloumi cheese

What would I find in your fridge that I might find odd?
Apple molasses (shisha tobacco)

Food stuffs that you would put in room 101
I am too greedy, I love eating anything that is put in front of me. So nothing for Room 101 from me.

What would you like to have for your last supper?
A mezze feast including fattoush salad, halloumi & Zaatar man’ousha, chicken liver in pommegrate molasses, chicken shawarma and a large fruit platter with orange blossom water.

What cook book do you use the most?
Sadly, I never cook from cookbooks. I usually try a dish and then I cook it myself.

Your favourite spice is …..
Zaatar –a blend of spices, dried ground thyme mixed with sumac (dried ground wild berries), roasted sesame seeds and salt and pepper.

Best dinner party guests and what would you cook them?
Alex Ferguson, The Queen, Zinedine Zidane and Bill Nighty
-a whole slow cooked roast lamb

What was your tea time treat as a child?
Freshly made sfinge (savoury Algerian doughnuts)

What was the first thing you learnt to cook?
Chick pea and spicy lamb kofte balls stew.

And what was the first thing you taught your children to cook?
I need to find a wife first before a I can teach my future kids how to cook.

What was your mother’s signature dish, and do you try to copy it?
Stuffed fried sardines with a sardine galette. And yes.

What dish gets you out of a tricky situation with your partner?
A good chocolate cake always works.

What would you say was your most memorable meal?
It has to be a ramadane dinner at the house of the grand parents of one of my close friends in Damascus.

And what would be your biggest disaster?
Haven’t had one yet.

What do you wish you had never eaten, but had to?
Sallied sundried fish (that had been out in the sun for over 45 days). I had to eat it as it was the signature dish of the mother of a close friend of mine.

What do you consider to be the Best of British?
Sunday roast, English breakfast and cottage pies.

What do you think are the best and worst things about London restaurants?
The best thing is that London restaurants have been increasing the variety of dishes and different cuisines they offer.

The worst thing is that due to high living costs and the increasing costs of quality products, sadly, the prices of great meals are getting higher and higher…

In your opinion what do you think will be the next big thing, food wise?
Definitely Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. It has been way too long treated as a hidden gem.


Favourite tipple
None as I don’t drink.

Favourite restaurant
Al Falamanki (an outdoor restaurant in Beirut reminding me of my childhood)

Nigella or Delia
Love Nigella

Museli or fry up

KFC or Burger King

Gin or Vodka
Shisha is my vice…

Wine or beer
If I would drink, it would definitely be red wine.

Food Hero
Supermarkets – where would we get our ingredients from if they wouldn’t be around?

Favourite pudding
Osmalya cream is so yummy! It’s the Lebanese equivalent of a mille feuille.

Favourite flavour of ice cream
Peanut butter ice cream.

And finally your top tip for cooking.
Keep the food simple and healthy.

For more information about Tony, Lebanese food and the “Comptoir Libanais” cookbook visit: 

No comments:

Post a Comment