“Joudie Kalla also looks homeward for inspiration in Palestine in a Plate: Memories From My Mother’s Kitchen
(Interlink, $35). These easygoing recipes revel in freekeh and fava beans, almonds and orange blossom water, and of course tahini, which Kalla loves so much it turns up in her brownies. She gives monkfish an excellent makeover by roasting it in a thick coat of sumac, za’atar and cilantro, and dresses a lively cauliflower salad with yogurt and, yes, tahini. There’s a showpiece array of stuffed vine leaves and lamb chops, flipped out of the pot and served upside down with yogurt, or you could entertain more simply with her generous platter of well-spiced chicken wings. ‘I want to pay homage,’ she writes, ‘to the Palestine that my family knew and remembers.’ And that’s exactly what this book does so gracefully.”
“The food of Palestine is mouth-watering and colorful. This treasure-trove of a book shows it at its best.”
“This book goes to the heart of the relationship between food and identity, and conveys a sense of belonging through beautiful, compelling and, yes, joyous recipes. I just want to eat everything in it.”
“An important cuisine and culinary tradition that needs to be understood, celebrated, and enjoyed.”
“Joudie Kalla takes the reader on a compelling and delicious culinary journey through Palestine. A much-needed compilation of hitherto undocumented Palestinian family recipes—an ode to Palestine’s rich culinary heritage.”
“Once again Joudie puts Palestine on the map so beautifully by celebrating the breadth and depth of our cuisine—making Palestinians everywhere proud. This important book is a visual and culinary feast that preserves our history and cultural identity.”
“Joudie Kalla is an exceptionally talented chef with a deep understanding of tradition and ingredients that enables her to create exciting and adventurous dishes.”
“Joudie probably makes the best Palestinian food I ever tasted; I'm a huge fan of hers. Joudie will make you discover the best Palestinian food.”
Great chefs create memories for us by drawing on their reminiscences: The texture, the flavors, the fragrances, the color of these beautiful creations do just that and so much more.
— Nick Crean, owner of chocolatiers Prestat
I first met Joudie 10 years ago as frightened young female chef and I watched her grow and develop into the fine outstanding chef she is today. She was definitely a rising star and shining light in my kitchen. She is the foremost expert on Palestinian food and is by far the biggest contributor to making Palestinian cooking the popular cuisine that it is today.
— Ian Pengelley, head chef of Chai Wu, Mango Tree, Gilgamesh, and founder of Eight over Eight and E&O
Palestinian Kalla lives in London, running a catering business far from her ancestral homeland. The paucity of books devoted to Palestinian cuisine and the wealth of recipes here, many emanating from her mother's and grandmothers' kitchens, recommend this book. The recipe choices can get personal. Though she includes a large and varied dessert chapter, she shuns breakfast sweets in favor of such savories as her Auntie Shahla's strudel pastry stuffed with ground lamb (no sugar there) and brown fava beans with lemon, tomato, and olive oil. And the recipes can get political, with Kalla citing the low-cost ingredients in the grain and legume recipes as reflective of the austere economic conditions under which Palestine residents live today. Prep times and difficulty levels are not included, but serving numbers and helpful color photos are, also a list of U.S.-based online suppliers. Especially recommended for libraries."