Chef Fadi Kattan
Celebrating Local Products, Honoring Nature’s Abundance
Growing up in Bethlehem, I fell in love with cooking in the kitchen of Julia, my late maternal grandmother, and around the table at the house of Nakhleh, my paternal grandfather. At home, my parents gave me the chance to learn the art of hospitality and the appreciation of good food that I cherish not only at home but also abroad.
I started my restaurant Fawda in the attempt to modernize Palestinian cuisine while celebrating the beauty of our local produce and sharing a very personal take on our dishes. My passion is for local products: the khobeizeh and moloukhiyeh of Jericho, the awassi lamb and the laban jameed of Hebron, the olive oil of Beit Jala, and the freekeh of Jenin! I have heard that a rumor circulates that I always travel with a bit of sumac on me…
I don’t have a particular dish that fills me with pride. I am proud every time customers leave their dining table feeling happy; I am proud every time someone watches my YouTube series Teta’s Kitchen and reaches out with his/her grandmother’s story; I am proud each time I see my mother and father’s eyes shining with happiness over a new dish I’ve created. I take pride in every dish that makes a guest discover our Palestinian cuisine, every episode of Teta’s Kitchen that made a viewer long for Palestine, every recipe in an article published in This Week in Palestine that inspires someone to start cooking Palestinian flavors.
My dream is to find that Palestinian food is celebrated everywhere, in harmony with its roots, its stories, and the fabulous artisans that make it possible every day. My dream is to see Palestinian chefs honor our local terroir here and abroad, simultaneously celebrating the local produce of where they are and Palestinian flavors. My dream is to witness the development of a broad awareness within the Palestinian hospitality industry regarding food waste and to see us craftspeople in the field be the pioneers who tackle this issue together.