The Jewelled Kitchen Cookbook-Beirut Launch

When I was planning The Jewelled Kitchen Beirut cookbook launch, I knew it had to be extra special, after all, this book launch was taking place in my home country, in one of my favourite cities and I’d be surrounded by family and friends.

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A few email exchanges with the wonderful folks at the beautiful Le Gray hotel in downtown Beirut and several meetings later, the JK Beirut launch planning was underway and I couldn’t imagine a better venue for it. Unlike my London launch, I had very little to do this time around, given the JK recipe cooking was carefully taken over by Le Gray’s head chef, Abdallah Walid Khodor, and as I’m told from those in attendance that evening- the food was executed wonderfully.

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Beirut BookLaunch 4367 The Jewelled Kitchen Cookbook Beirut Launch

An event for 100 people quickly turned into 150 with last minute RSVP’s flooding through in true Lebanese style. We had to think on our feet on how to source more food within hours and thankfully the generous folks over at Meat the Fish rushed in to save the day by supplying us with plenty of their signature smoked tuna for the night.

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It ain’t no party without wine, and luckily for us, the JK recipes were perfectly matched with a selection of thirst-quenching wines from across Lebanon. A massive thanks to Wines of Lebanon for their continuous support and for making sure we never got thirsty.

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Beirut BookLaunch 4307 The Jewelled Kitchen Cookbook Beirut Launch

I am always grateful to have kind and supportive friends like Iva, who took a basic idea I had of portraying testimonials from industry greats on a “sheet of paper or something” and instead, she gifted me with a wonderful piece of art!

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Not only did Iva prepare a gorgeous testimonial display but she was DJ extraordinaire, dropping a few bombs for our hungry ears that night 😉 As ever, Sarka saved the day literally, by capturing many moments with her camera so that I’m able to share them with you here. And, a big thanks to Joslin and Sayed for continuously restocking as the books flew off the shelfs.

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Unfortunately or fortunately, I spent the entire event signing books and it was gob-smacking to see people lining up for their signed copy. While I did sell out of every book, I truly wish I’d had more time to socialise with everyone that came out.

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And there she is, my beautiful Beirut in the background, consistently fraught with sabotage, persistently rebounding.

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Father and friends, joking around… Notice dad’s tie takes inspiration from the JK cover colours, which he surprised me with that morning before he left for work 🙂

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With my lovely high school friend Hilda….

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And a big thank you to all of you (and Bashar for the wonderful video trailer), for all the support and love- for buying, reading and sharing this book. September 11, 2013 will always be a very memorable night (for more reasons than stated- I may just tell the tale of the second half of the night in another post!)

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And next week will see Pomegranates and Pine Nuts (AKA The Jewelled Kitchen) out in America! I can’t believe my book will hit bookstores in another one of my blood countries. Exciting times indeed. xx

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9 Responses to “The Jewelled Kitchen Cookbook-Beirut Launch”
  1. Regula @ Miss Foodwise 24 September 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    It must have been quite an event! And I can imagine how special it must have been in your beloved Beirut. Many congratulations again! Especially for showing the world a different side to Beirut and Middle Eastern Culture x

  2. Sare 24 September 2013 at 1:13 pm #


  3. Asha@FSK 24 September 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Congratulations!!!!! Such a stunning and elegant launch befitting the book! Am so happy for you darling :)))

  4. Chris Bourne 24 September 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Very very proud.

  5. Sally - My Custard Pie 25 September 2013 at 6:13 am #

    Love that your Dad was colour coordinated! The artwork is fantastic too. Well done – continue to enjoy your book – deservedly successful. And beautiful pics from Sarka.

  6. Adrian 1 October 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I wish you were in Beirut longer! I’d love to make an episode with you on my show “Something’s Cooking in Beirut.’ It’s a personal project with a lot of love. We feature the coolest chefs in the city making whatever they want– whcih is always delicious. My goal is to have more women on the show which, in the beginning, is proving difficult. I’d love and appreciate your feedback! This is the latest episode with Johnny Farah:

  7. Hisham Assaad 5 October 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    It was a great night. The food was great, and can’t wait to make those recipes and share them 🙂
    Hope to see you again Bethany

  8. Reinventing Nadine 25 October 2013 at 5:59 am #

    it looks lovely! I can only imagine how stressful it is to plan a party in Lebanon..the RSVP part is especially traumatic. I vividly remember calling my guest few days before my wedding to know if they are coming. The pictures are amazing and you look equally amazing and radiate. Best of Luck.


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