“I grew up living in the same house with my parents, grandma and auntie. I would spend hours in the kitchen with them when my mother was working. Trying absolutely everything. The best kibbeh was made by grandma.”
What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
The kitchen is where everything starts. You prepare the food that gathers everyone together. It’s a huge pleasure and also therapeutical when I have the chance to cook and share such space of my life with people. I have very fond memories from my parents’ house kitchen with all those smells when my mother used to bake panettone or auntie mincing meat to prepare kibbeh for me….
What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
I prefere to cook around lunch time. Evenings tend to be quite tiring after a long day.
Are you a creative “chef” or simply love to follow recipes?
I would say nor one or the other. Occasionally I do follow some recipes but mainly I cook what I’ve learnt from my lebanese auntie that used to live with us, from my mom and a very dear family friend that saddly is no longer here with us.
Three ingredients that are never missing in your kitchen cabinet?
Only three?! Well I can try: I consider all kinds of herbs one ingredient like parsley, mint and basil. Then it comes parmesan cheese and wine of course. Red and white!
How did your passion for cooking come about?
From my childhood. I grew up living in the same house with my parents, grandma and auntie. I would spend hours in the kitchen with them when my mother was working. Trying absolutely everything. The best kibbeh was made by grandma. We used to have a roost in the backyard so seeing my auntie killing the chickens, cleaning and cooking them was a very normal thing for me as a child to see. I loved eating the insides auntie would feed me. On top of it, I also had a italian mother-in-law that made the best fresh pasta ever together with some exquisite sauces and roasted meats.
What’s your favourite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?
Arabic dishes are my speciality. Tabouleh, dolma, eggplant couscous and prawns, hummus. Risotto is also something I enjoy cooking. And my kids love them all.
Would you receive an entire tv crew in your kitchen for a day?
Do you follow any tv shows or have a favourite cooking book?
I don’t watch it regularly but I love Nigella Lawson’s programs. I do have her books and many others but frankly I don’t make much use of them. Pure lack of time really. I do have also one book about food in all regions in Lebanon that just the pictures are spectacular!
I will one day visit Lebanon, the country of my origins!
Regina Sader loves to cook for family & friends when work allows. Brazilian born into a typical mixed race immigrant family. Her roots are all in her dishes with a history of food heritage many would die for to have it at home.