Ziad Halwani: inspiration in the kitchen

Fresh from his debut at Motto, experimental chef Ziad Halwani takes on the Makan kitchen for a truly inspired seasonal menu.

Monday to Wednesday, 12-14 October, Ziad will be bringing his innovative style to Makan for this seasonal Mediterranean menu. The dishes make the most of the end-of-summer produce that will soon disappear from the shelves.

Ziad made his Mótto debut last week, but he’s certainly not new to the culinary arts. Passionate about food since his teenage years, Ziad has installed a professional grade kitchen in his home, and despite a busy professional life, uses his French culinary education to cook up inventive and original dishes for his family, friends and his food consultancy service.

Ziad is also the co-author of “My Lebanese Sandwich“, a literary essay on Lebanon’s culinary coexistence, featured in the 2002 book ‘Transit Beirut‘. Here’s a choice excerpt:

Not enough taste not enough garlic is the reason why we boycott, organize sit-ins and throw stones. If the surest way to an Arab’s heart is his stomach then don’t mess with it. War has been declared on the culinary front and the guard at McDonald’s is not searching your bag for dynamite, a gun or a knife. He is looking for the illicit garlic sauce, our own home-made chemical weapon. So, please, for the sake of peace, start making better tasting sandwiches!

In the name, then, of peace based on happy eaters, Ziad this week brings not sandwiches but an exceptional Mediterranean menu to Makan’s garden and vintage indoor setting. “I normally focus on fusion cuisine and experimental flavours,” says Ziad. He is, then, well within his comfort zone – and has adapted this week’s menu to Mótto’s home-style dining concept.
“I think there was a missing piece in Beirut which was this canteen style dining space. And that’s why Mótto has found its place… I love the concept.”

(We agree – and diners often tell us that the friendly, home cooked style of Mótto is what keeps them coming back for more. We wouldn’t have it any other way!)

At Makan this Monday to Wednesday, you can sample Ziad’s basil oil gazpacho, and his roots salad with avocado and almonds. The main dish is sea bass with rosemary, and save room for the dessert: fresh lemon tartelette with minted cream.

Aside from Ziad’s skills in the kitchen, he has many other projects on the boil. As director of the Monot Theatre, he has a demanding role bringing some of Lebanon’s best theatre acts to the Beirut stage. Luckily for us, he’s managed to take time out from the theatre – and despite his busy schedule, he’s keen on coming back to Mótto again in future, adding experimental menus to our repertoire.
How will it all work out? “I’ll do my best,” says Ziad.
We have a feeling his best will be something really unmissable.

To book for Ziad’s Mediterranean End-of-Summer Flavours menu at Makan, SMS us on +96170954057. Let us know any dietary requirements when you book – and visit our Facebook event for updates.


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