Chef Roberto: Displaying Magic in Lebanon

After his 3-day stay in Beirut, it was time to say goodbye. Chef Roberto, one of our top rated chefs in Dubai, flew all the way from the UAE to Lebanon to attend an event prepared by Kitchen Lab in collaboration with ChefXchange. This event included 2 cooking classes on Friday night and Saturday morning, and a private dinner on Saturday at night. For the ChefXchange Beirut team, it was a challenge that carried big responsibility, as it was such a different and unique first time event. Our collaboration can be best described in one word: Amazing!

A native of Peru, Chef Roberto has spent most of his life surrounded by the vibrant colors, textures and tastes that inspire Northern Peruvian dishes. From a young age, an almost spiritual flare for food grew within his soul. Chef Roberto landed in Beirut on at midnight on Thursday, then transferred to his hotel to get some rest for the big day awaiting him. Ingredients… ready, equipment… check; all in place for the first cooking session on Friday night.

Chef Roberto

Chef Roberto

16 hungry, passionate foodies arrived right on time for class; we could sense the eagerness in their eyes. Our Peruvian Chef started the live cooking at 7:00 pm with his famous dish “White Fish Ceviche” served with his special “Leche De Tigre”. This first course required fresh sea bass, salt, red onion, Mexican chili, coriander leaf, iceberg lettuce, celery, white onion, white fish, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and ice cubes. Up next was Chef Roberto’s “Quinoa coated prawns with passion fruit sauce”, which seemed to be the favorite dish for the participants! This course’s ingredients included prawns, marinade, passion fruit sauce, and guacamole. Finally, for the last dish of the night, Chef Roberto picked something out of the seafood menu, his mouthwatering “Lamb chops” with panka chili, yogurt, and sweet potato purée.

Chef Roberto: Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

To our surprise, a couple of foodies who attended the first class were also enrolled in the class of the next day. Luckily, Chef Roberto had already prepared a different menu than the one of the night before; it consisted of “Seabass tiradito” with Roberto’s famous Nikkei sauce as the first course, “Grilled octopus” with leek purée and olives textures as the second course, and finally “Wagyu rib-eye” with chimichurri and quinoa risotto for the last course. The level of enjoyment and excitement we sensed out of the two cooking classes was marvelous! Every participant left the class with a gift voucher from ChefXchange, and most importantly, with a big smile on their faces.

Chef Roberto: Octopus

Grilled Octopus

Chef Roberto had very little time to rest after his morning cooking class and he moved directly to the private dinner venue to make sure everything was in place for him to deliver his magic that evening. So what was on the menu for the 17 person dinner party? The first course served was “White Fish Ceviche” made of fresh white fish with coconut milk, mango, and chili. Next, it was time for the “Quinoa Coated Prawns” with passion fruit sauce. The third delicious dish offered by Roberto was his “Miso Glazed Baby Chicken” served with sweet potato purée and white wine. Finally for dessert, the guests fell in love with the “Chocolate Fondant” with rocoto chili, vanilla ice cream, and crumble.

Chef Roberto Prawns

Quinoa Coated Prawns

It’s really hard to describe such an event. To me personally, it was a great experience that started with us greeting Chef Roberto at the airport, and ended in the same place with goodbyes. We met a lot of interesting new people, passionate and excited foodies that adore cooking. The best way to close the first chapter of this story is by quoting one of the foodies from the cooking class, who said:

The cooking class with Roberto was amazing! To me, it was a great experience to try a chef from abroad with a different style of cooking. The food was wonderful. I hope you send us more foreign chefs in the near future to learn more and get deeper into the international culinary world.