Book Size:

Pages: 256

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623718534

Imprint: Interlink Books

Photography by: Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Release date: Summer 2022

Foreword by: Chef José Andrés

Categories: ,

Forever Beirut

Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon

By • Photography by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

$ 35

Library Journal Best Book of 2022

“This book beautifully captures the spirit of Beirut … And it’s not just about Beirut; it is a global book, connecting every city and country that has been touched by immigration of the Lebanese people.” —Chef José Andrés

About this book

A new cookbook from the bestselling author of Soup for Syria to support the Lebanese Food Bank and help families in dire need of food after the devastating blast and ensuing economic collapse

Beirut, nicknamed “Paris of the East,” is the capital of Lebanon. It is the culinary capital of the Arab world, with an unmatched cuisine that has ancient roots and is influenced by a number of civilizations and cooking styles, including Arab, Turkish, and French. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most cosmopolitan and religiously diverse in the region. Situated on the Mediterranean coast and flanked by the majestic Mount Lebanon, it boasts an abundance of flavorful ingredients and spices, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and seafood. 

Written by renowned Lebanese chef and award-winning cookbook writer Barbara Abdeni Massaad, Forever Beirut is a collection of 100 easy-to-prepare recipes that celebrate Beirut’s rich culinary heritage, its resilience, and healing power. It is Barbara’s way of honoring the city of her childhood, her dreams, her Lebanese family kitchen, and the food that roots her. It is filled with stories and anecdotes about the customs, food, people, and traditions, with sections for soups, salads, breads and savory pastries, mezze, kibbeh, grilling, main dishes, pickles and preserves, and sweets.

With beautiful food and location photography, Forever Beirut is a must-have for cooks who love healthful and delicious Middle Eastern food.


About the author

Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a food writer, TV host, cookbook author, and a regular contributor to international cooking magazines. She is the author of Interlink’s bestselling cookbook Man’oushe: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery. She won the the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the International Academy of Gastronomy Award for Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, she moved to Florida at a young age. She gained her real culinary experience while helping her father in their family-owned Lebanese restaurant, Kebabs and Things. After moving back to Lebanon in 1988, and completing university there, she decided to pursue her passion for cooking. Determined to gain proper experience within the culinary world, Barbara trained with several renowned chefs at Lebanese, Italian, and French restaurants.

She is also a founding member of Slow Food Beirut and an active participant in the International Slow Food movement. She lives in Beirut with her husband and three children.


Library Journal Best Book of 2022

“Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photographs Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon is a delight to simply browse through one page at a time. Fun to create menus incorporating authentic Lebanese cuisine, Forever Beirut will have a very special appeal for anyone who enjoys healthful and delicious Middle Eastern dishes. Simply stated, Forever Beirut is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family and community library ethnic cookbook collections.” —Midwest Book Review

“In her fifth cookbook, Forever Beirut, Barbara Abdeni Massaad (Soup for Syria) pays tribute to her roots, showcasing the abundant cultural and culinary heritage of the capital of Lebanon. The 100 easy-to-prepare recipes are introduced with Massaad’s personal reminiscences as well as cultural notes, and almost every one of the 256 pages features vibrant and evocative food and location photos. Focusing on seasonal home cooking, Massaad introduces such familiar favorites as tabbouleh, a vast array of breads and pastries, and dishes inspired by the ethnic diversity of the city. Forever Beirut will delight both new and more experienced lovers of Lebanese cooking.” —Shelf Awareness

“Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is known for its unmatched cuisine that combines Arab, Turkish, and French influences. Forever Beirut, a love letter to the city’s vibrant dishes … written by renowned chef and award-winning cookbook author Barbara Abdeni Massaad.” —Saveur

“In response to economic collapse, the book passionately preserves the treasures of Beirut’s culinary heritage, with recipes for favorites such as kibbeh, a dish of ground lamb, beef or vegetables kneaded together with bulgur; man’oushe, a traditional flatbread; mezze, small dishes served together such as chickpeas and yogurt; and semolina cake. This is the stuff of my culinary dreams: food that is aromatically spiced, uncomplicated and yet bursting with flavor, served within a loving sociocultural context.” —BookPage

“[T]his ode to Lebanon provides a glimpse into the country and its famous cuisine. Lebanese-born photographer and author Massaad’s gorgeous images document daily life, including the people, places, and food that makes Lebanon special … One hundred classic recipes are delivered with history and personal narratives, which are a pleasure to read and work perfectly with the visual story … Recommended for cookbook readers, armchair travelers, and those looking to learn more about Lebanese cuisine.” —Library Journal

Forever Beirut is a warm introduction to Lebanese cuisine and its multicultural heritage … As chef and philanthropist José Andrés notes in his heartfelt introduction: Barbara Abdeni Massad’s cookbook Forever Beirut captures the dynamic, cosmopolitan spirit of the Middle Eastern city … this cookbook serves dual purposes: both raising funds for the Lebanese Food Bank and reminding the world of Beirut’s tremendous culinary heritage. Each recipe is introduced with affectionate memories of cooks, food vendors, and producers, and with absorbing stories about its unique ingredients, corresponding festivals, and cooking techniques. The book’s emphasis is on seasonal and fresh ingredients and scratch cooking …The plentiful color photographs focus on food and its makers, though there are also Beirut streetscapes, both picturesque and not (barbed wire, protest graffiti) …” —Foreword

“A cross-Atlantic experience designed for American cooks … Accomplished Lebanese chef-author Massaad lends her name and talents to this cookbook, the proceeds of which will benefit the Lebanese Food Bank, a critical organization helping rebuild Beirut after the August 2020 explosion that originated in the city’s port … Full-color photographs of life in Beirut are mixed with traditional tabletop pictures, providing a visual glimpse of people and food practices. Adding to that are paragraph-plus descriptions of each dish, along with information about possible U.S. substitutes…” —Booklist

Forever Beirut is a tribute to the culinary capital of the Arab world. Lebanese chef and author of Soup for Syria, Barbara Abdeni Massaad, shares 100 recipes that exemplify the ways in which Lebanese cuisine is multi-layered, influenced by Arab, Turkish, and French cooking styles. It’s filled with Massaad’s personal stories and anecdotes, as well as sections for perfecting Middle Eastern staples, like mezze and kibbeh.” —Thrillist Most Exciting Cookbooks to Look Out for this Summer

“A delicious dive into Lebanese cooking and history, this is sure to be an instant classic … Amid memories of struggle and sacrifice, Massaad (Soup for Syria) celebrates her homeland with family recipes that have ‘survive[d] across generations and help protect… our identity as a people.’ … To round things out, Massaad offers an excellent selection of preserved and fermented staples (pickled turnips, pumpkin in syrup, red pepper paste) for one’s pantry that reduces waste and provides a hedge against times of instability.” —Publishers Weekly

“Chef and cookbook author Barbara Abdeni Massaad writes a love letter to one of the world’s oldest cities, home to myriad culinary traditions, in Forever Beirut. With stories from Beirut’s history and her own childhood, this collection of Lebanese recipes—from meze to pickles to pastries—will likely become a quick favorite.” —Food 52’s Cookbooks We Can’t Wait For in 2022

“I applaud Barbara Massaad’s vital work in preserving Lebanese culture and its unique culinary traditions. Her inspiring new cookbook, Forever Beirut, offers a multilayered vision of a city, its people, and its cuisine with recipes, stories, and photography that truly and effectively honors the spirit of Beirut. I will cherish this book.” —Alice Waters

“A Lebanese love letter … From the sumptuous array of traditional Lebanese recipes to Barbara’s stunning photos and stories that jump off the page and into our hearts, Forever Beirut is an essential cookbook for those many of us across the globe who cherish Lebanon and her culinary traditions. We owe a debt of gratitude for this celebration of a country that has endured and given so much. I hardly know where to begin in my excitement to taste every glory here.” —Maureen Abood

“Food has a way of bringing people together. Cooking and sharing food with people and loved ones is a basic ritual around the world. And what a beautiful way of capturing the life and soul of Beirut through food.” —Sami Tamimi, chef and award-winning author of Falastin: A Cookbook

“Forever Beirut is an aftershock of love to the rich cuisine and kind people of our beloved Beirut. The book warms your heart with beautiful pages that embrace what many Lebanese hold on so dearly to heal and keep going.” —Anas Atassi, author of Sumac: Recipes and Stories from Syria

“I loved Barbara Massaad’s Man’oushe, and I feel the same about her latest book, Mouneh. In both books, she opens up the world of Lebanese gastronomy in a unique way, connecting it to Lebanese culture while providing wonderful mouth-watering recipes. I couldn’t ask for more.” —Paula Wolfert

“Barbara Abdeni Massad has taken ‘the feeling’ that an old Lebanese woman had about a ‘pinch’ of this and ‘a drop’ of that and transformed it into complete, accurate recipes for the supermarket generation.” —The Art of Eating

“Barbara Massaad’s lovely new book, Forever Beirut, brilliantly captures the soul of my favorite city as well as the indomitable spirit of the Lebanese people. The authentic and enticing recipes serve as a great introduction to my beloved country’s cuisine, but they’re also a reminder of the many ways in which food connects and enriches us, even through the dark times.” —Greg Malouf, author of Saha: A Chef’s Journey Through Lebanon and Syria

“This book beautifully captures the spirit of Beirut … And it’s not just about Beirut; it is a global book, connecting every city and country that has been touched by immigration of the Lebanese people.” —Chef José Andrés

“Etal Adnan had It Was Beirut, All Over Again, Fairuz had Li Beirut and now Barbara Abdeni Massad has Forever Beirut, a beautiful tribute to the food and people of her native city … The recipes here stir your cravings and, true to her word, are simple to prepare for the uninitiated cook.”
—The New Arab



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