Chef Nabil Marcos Aho
Celebrating Food with Family and Friends Is the Greatest Joy of All
Nicknamed CHE, I was born and grew up in Jerusalem. After attending a four-year apprenticeship program at Notre Dame Centre of Jerusalem (NDC) I obtained a certificate as a hospitality educator from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute in Orlando, Florida.
With 39 years of professional experience in the culinary arts and food sciences, and 31 years of teaching, I have been head chef instructor at NDC’s Professional Hospitality Promotion section since 1990. In addition, I taught classes at Bethlehem University’s Institute of Hotel Management, served as executive chef at NDC, provided consultancy in culinary services, helped in the opening of five restaurants, and am a co-founder and active member of Chefs for Peace.
For ten years, I wrote a weekly column about the history of food for Al-Quds Newspaper (in Arabic). Also, I published a glossary of kitchen and food terms in English and Arabic and a booklet in English about local Jerusalemite food.
During the visits to the Holy Land of His Holiness Pope Benedict in 2009 and His Holiness Pope Francis in 2014, I had the great honor be one of the chefs who prepared the gala dinners.
My favorite dish is himseh garoneh, a Syriac dish made of chickpeas, tomato sauce, lamb broth, and cracked wheat that was my grandmother’s favorite recipe, which she passed on to me. My true passion is to cook for family and friends. Seeing everyone gather around the table, enjoying a great meal and having a wonderful time is pure joy and a celebration of companionship, food culture, and life.
I have taught cooks who now have successful careers and am proud to know many former cooks who now are successful chefs, locally and in various countries around the world. Teaching is in my blood and provides a boundless learning experience for both me and my students, as we expand our knowledge of the amazing food Palestine has to offer. I strongly believe that sharing this knowledge and broadening the public’s culinary experiences and knowledge creates some of the most blissful moments in life.