When famous establishments and multinational hotels in Beirut make it a point to have an “international” chef in their kitchen, you don’t understand why not get a Lebanese one. We have some talented cooks spread all around the world waiting for the opportunity to travel back to their homeland. In Paris, chef Fadi Frem among other chefs is cooking amazing creations in one of the capital’s famous restaurants. Meet chef Fadi!
Before arriving in Paris, I contacted Fadi whom I’ve been following on Instagram, for some time, and asked to join him in his kitchen. Down at the Verde by Yeeels, Fadi Frem, a Lebanese chef born in 1981 has been in Paris for 16 years already, continuously learning from the best. With his brigade of five chefs, he works calmly and smoothly with respect and attention, preparing a plate after the other.
Respect to a chef that doesn’t shout, cooks with love and passion, respects his team, knows and understands his ingredients, smiles and welcomes with open hands. Happy of his team and proud of his equipment, he took me on a tour.
I was the first customer to be welcomed in his kitchen, something he would love to repeat with anyone who asks. Our journey started with the pizza, honestly one of the best I’ve ever had, prepared by Ahmad the Moroccan guy. A very thin and crunchy crust, fluffy borders and a juicy filling. Let’s talk about that pizza, a dough left two days to rest, cooked for three minutes only for you to enjoy. Believe me; I’ve had pizzas; this one is definitely in my Paris' top5.
Dinner and tasting continued with a cote de boeuf, a Vitello tonnato, the sea bass fish, two bowls of ceviche, crispy langoustine, baked potato, potato purée, and two sumptuous desserts. Food was really out of this world!
I still can remember the softness of the baked potato filled with creamy mashed potato cooked in the Josper oven roasting its envelope to crunch. A creamy truffle sauce covers it, shaved black truffles on top and enjoy! How incredible the way you can turn a simple potato into a gourmet creation. When I received the ceviche, all I wanted is jump inside the bowl! So fresh, so real, so lemony and so simple!
Some of you travel the world for meat or go to Istanbul for Nusr.et! Believe me, good meat is found in unlikely places. A 1200g côte de bœuf is found at Verde, cooked in the charcoal Josper oven giving it rich aromas and grilling flavors. I had a horrendous experience at the trendy “Beefbar” yesterday when real food is just around the corner.
Juicy inside out, charcoal grilled and infused, red without being bloody; that’s a superb Cote de boeuf! Fish is even better, grilled in the same oven and topped with olive oil, salt and a drizzle of butter. You don’t eat juicy fish every day!
I have to tell you about the best of everything I’ve had tonight; yes, the simple “potato purée.” Oh my God, how great it is. So buttery and so creamy while having a feeling of lightness. I’m a fan of potato purée, and this one is definitely one of the best I’ve had. I liked the Vitello Tonnato, the crispy langoustine drew a smile on my face then came dessert.
Wait! Is this tiramisu real, I said to myself!? Yes, a tiramisu Italian people failed to do! I sat, started laying a bite after the other on my tongue, feeling its ingredients, pushing it up my palate and smiling like a kid. I felt like my parents took me to Disneyland for a day. Mousse Au chocolat... OMG! Served warm and embracing a scoop of ice cream, this mousse is like nothing I’ve had before.
I was impressed; I was mesmerized. I was not expecting to enjoy my time that much with Fadi and his team. I was not planning to enjoy food that much from the second I arrived until the minute I left. Fadi is a talented Lebanese chef you have to meet in Paris hoping he travels back to Beirut one day.
Lebanese talents have to be recognized: Follow Chef Fadi Frem.