an interview with a young, talented, and innovative chef; Edouard Massih.
Edouard Massih is a private chef and a caterer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. His catering company delivers a modern twist Middle Eastern-influenced meals that are beautifully presented and showcase the array of colors, flavors, textures, and aromas.
Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking, chef Edy’s dream is to share Lebanese cuisine to America with its freshness, vibrant flavor, and authenticity. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, worked in several well-known catering companies and high-end restaurants in New York City before deciding to open his business flag in 2017.
It was an incredible afternoon in chef Edy’s kitchen, as I learned to make three different kinds of vegan dip. His red lentils dip, curry cauliflower dip, and broccoli dip were served on his innovative “brown paper board” as a colorful and delicious feast that we savored together.
How was your childhood meals in Lebanon?
I grew up eating my grandmother’s cooking. She was the core of the kitchen in our family. She prepared food for us every day. On the weekend after church, and especially during summer in the beach house, we’d had a big lunch. We ate lots of grilled fish, kebab skewers, babaganoush (mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt), different kinds of dips, kibbeh, lots of bread, pickled goods, and middle eastern desserts. All of these were made from scratch!
My grandmother lived her life just to feed us, her full-time job was to cook for her family. That’s very interesting because this is now what I do for people.
Where do you get your ingredients?
I get my ingredients from a variety of different places. I buy vegetables in Greenpoint and the green market in Union Square, and my produce locally here in Brooklyn. My seafood is sourced from Out of the blue in the Hamptons, and my Lebanese goods are from Sahadi’s. The spices I use are from Kalustyan’s, and I get my breads from a local Polish bakery.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has to be my grandmother.
Just watching her cooking all her life and how she devoted her time to cook was very inspiring to me. It was cool to watch her and her girlfriends get together once a month and made a bunch of stuff like grape leaves, and sambusak (which is a turnover pastries, similar to hand pies stuffed with a variety of fillings like ground lamb or beef or chickpeas and spinach)
She also taught me to work smart. She was always thinking about the next meal and prepared food ahead of time, she froze them to be enjoyed later with her friends and family. She cooked with love, joy, and passion. That’s what I admire about her.
Now in my catering business, my sous chef and I pick a day to make a bunch of stuff like meatballs, falafels, chicken stocks, sliders, and freeze them to be used when we need it.
Could you share tips on how to cook smart for a busy lifestyle?
You can start by making a big batch of meals in a single day. For instance you can prepare a few different vegetables, cook two kinds of protein, a few different types of sauces or dips, then you can mix match them throughout the week.
One of my favorite thing to teach people is to cook rotisserie chicken. By roasting a whole chicken, it requires less prep time and lets your oven do all the work. Rotisserie chicken is great served with noodles, cauliflower rice, or sauteed vegetables.
For leftovers, try adding mix vegetables to make a stir fry, or add it to pasta, or make a cauliflower dip with shredded chicken on top. You can also make sandwiches, soups, or fried rice with it. You can also save the bones and use them to make a chicken stock.
You can even (this may sound crazy, but I do it all the time!) freeze the rotisserie chicken, and thaw it for… let’s say Taco night!
To learn more about chef Edouard Massih go to: edouardmassih.com
Red Lentil Tomato Dip
- food processor
- 1 cup red lentil, cooked
- 3 cup cool water to cook the lentil
- ½ cup red tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 2 medium lemon
- 1 tbsp salt
How to cook the red lentils
- heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add lentils.
- toast the lentils for one minute, then add 3 cups of cool water. (do not put salt)
- cook the lentils for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
- drain the lentils and set aside.
To make the dip
- put all ingredients in a food processor, including the lentils.
- blend until mixed well.
Curry Cauliflower Dip
- a food processor
- 1 whole cauliflower, roasted
- 1.5 medium limes
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
To roast cauliflower
- pre-heat oven 350 degree F
- cut the cauliflower, and mix it with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon curry powder.
- roast the cauliflower in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- the cauliflower is dfone when they are tender.
To make curry dip
- mix all ingredients in a food processor and mix it well.
Broccoli Tahini Dip
- need a food processor
- 3 florets broccoli, roasted
- ½ cup tahini, (use Seed + Mill)
- ½ teaspoon aleppo pepper (middle eastern dried pepper)
- 3 medium lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tbsp scallion
- ½ teaspoon cilantro
- Pre-heat the oven for 350 degree F
- Cut broccoli, and mix it with 1 tablespoon oil and salt
- Roast the broccoli for about 20 minutes
- In a food processor, mix all ingredients together
- Mix it well