We are seriously stoked for the series we rolled out recently in collaboration with Farmacie & #thedallahmenu, Talk about a power trio. Since it's still hot off the press, we thought it'd be fun for you all to get to know the man behind the meal- Abdallah from #thedallahmenu. He's more than just tasty looking insta-photos and a cheeky hashtag. Read more on him below:
Describe yourself in three words
Pragmatic. Inquisitive. Bon-vivant.
When did you know it was love (with cooking)?
I was raised in a Lebanese household, so food culture was a very important part of everyday life. Every meal is a gathering of family and sometimes extended family. My love for cooking came about in my mid-teens, after years of being forced to help my mom in the kitchen (to stir pots of stew, watch onions brown or help make simple syrup for desserts) I found myself enjoying it. It was the simple joy of taking raw ingredients and transforming them into a melody of flavour for others to experience.
What is your favourite thing to make?
I'm still trying to find "my dish". I tried all types of cooking since I discovered that I loved cooking, but since then I have leaned more towards Lebanese dishes. Along with the incredible flavours, Lebanese food gives me a feeling of childhood comfort and reminds me of the summers I spent in living in Lebanon.
Favourite thing to eat?
Hands down, no contest, a burger. Not the gourmet burgers, but a real backyard burger. Brioche or Potato bun, green leaf lettuce, a slice of tomato, ketchup, mayo, mustard and absolutely nothing on the meat except salt and pepper. If you want to experience one of these, check out the Local Omnivore food truck in Vancouver.
What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?
This list always changes but there are a few gems in Vancouver that everyone needs to try. I finally tried Bao Bei and it has topped my list.
I'm also really into ramen at the moment and Marutama in the west end is the most consistent. The noodles are fantastic and the egg has a perfectly gelled center every time.
If you like roasted chicken, Homer Street Cafe is the place to go.
For brunch and oysters my new favourite is Merchants Oyster Bar on Commercial, also the staff is incredibly welcoming.
How do you break the ice?
Humour is by far the best ice breaker. Try this joke: What does a nosey pepper do? It get jalapeno business!
What is something you are working on right now?
Professionally I work in the tech startup world, but I am always working on several side projects especially ones that can serve as a creative outlet. Most recently my friend and I have launched a line of greeting cards called LOST BOY. You could describe them as earnest and uplifting.
What is something you are proud of?
If I had to choose one thing I am most proud of, it would be the amazing community I am a part of in Vancouver. There are so many people around me doing great things and to be able to share both my successes and theirs is what really counts at the end of day.
What are you excited about?
Let's be real, I don't think I need to explain this one.
At the moment I'm excited about Star Wars Episode 7.
What are you nervous about?
Not living up to my own expectations, but I think that is something we all work through.
When I say yoga- what do you think of? (you can be totally honest here! haha)
A moment of zen.
If you were a drink, what would you be?
A Tom Collins with Mint.
The best advice you could give anyone is advice on: being independent. Not in the literal sense, but being your own person. Relationships are always a hot topic, but I think the key lies in being complete on your own and then finding someone that compliments what that is instead of completing it.
Can you give us some words of wisdom?
I live by a simple motto: Be good. Do good.
Everything else will figure itself out.