Foodie Icon Ramzi Choueiri Passes Away at Age 52.

Ramzi Choueiri, a Lebanese chef who gained fame as a culinary ambassador across the Arab world, has died at the age of 52. Choueiri was known for his top-selling cookbooks and innovative television cooking show, which began in 1994. He was recognised with the Medal of Merit, one of Lebanon’s highest civilian honours, in 2003. Choueiri’s interactive style, which saw him take calls from viewers and engage in repartee, drew audiences of more than 8 million people at its peak across the Middle East and North Africa. The cause of his death has not been confirmed

Lebanese chef Ramzi Choueiri has died at the age of 52. Choueiri was known for his innovative television cooking show and top-selling cookbooks, which made him a culinary ambassador across the Arab world. His interactive style, which saw him take calls from viewers and engage in repartee, drew audiences of more than 8 million people at its peak across the Middle East and North Africa. Choueiri was recognised with the Medal of Merit, one of Lebanon’s highest civilian honours, in 2003. The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

Renowned Middle Eastern Chef Ramzi Dies at 60 :

Chef Ramzi, the beloved and pioneering Middle Eastern television chef, died on Sunday at the age of 60. He was known for his interactive cooking show that reached a daily audience of over 8 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa. Born Ramzi Choueiri in Lebanon in 1960, he studied in Paris and worked in restaurants around the world before returning to Lebanon to open his own restaurant. He gained fame in the 1990s with his cooking show, which featured simple staging and interactive dialogue with viewers. Chef Ramzi was a trailblazer in promoting Middle Eastern cuisine and culture on television. He introduced viewers to traditional dishes and ingredients, and encouraged them to share their own recipes and experiences. His show was a platform for cultural exchange and celebration. “I think I still have to do some progress,” he told an interviewer earlier this month, reflecting on his career. But his impact on Middle Eastern cuisine and television will be felt for generations to come.

One viewer criticized the amount of salt used in the dish, while another suggested chopping the onions smaller. However, many were intrigued by Mr. Choueiri's techniques in creating European dishes such as French sauces and soups.

In a 2002 interview with the New York Times, Mr. Choueiri emphasized that his show was not just about cooking, but also about the cultural significance of food and the history behind each dish. He saw it as an opportunity to showcase old Lebanese recipes and share them with a wider audience.

Given the Pan-Arab reach of his show, Mr. Choueiri was mindful of the regional variations in seasonings and styles for dishes like hummus and kebabs. He avoided definitively attributing any recipe to a specific country, recognizing that cultures and cuisines have mixed in the region for centuries.

Mr. Choueiri encouraged his viewers to think outside of traditional recipes and let their imaginations guide them in the kitchen. He believed that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but also about experimenting and exploring new flavors.

Renowned Lebanese chef and television personality, Antoine Choueiri, passed away on June 20th at the age of 88. Choueiri was known for his popular cooking show, "Antoine's Kitchen," which aired for more than two decades and showcased Lebanese cuisine to audiences around the world.

Choueiri began his career as a chef in the 1950s, working in some of Beirut's most prestigious hotels and restaurants. He later opened his own restaurant, La Cigale, which quickly became a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

In the 1980s, Choueiri began hosting "Antoine's Kitchen" on Future Television, where he shared his passion for cooking and introduced viewers to traditional Lebanese dishes. The show became a huge success and helped to popularize Lebanese cuisine both in Lebanon and abroad.

Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his career, including the destruction of his studio during the Lebanese Civil War, Choueiri remained dedicated to promoting peace through food. In an interview with Reuters in 2008, he said, "Our message is one of is one area where people can get along."

Choueiri's cookbooks, including "Culinary Encyclopedia" and "The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon," have sold more than 1 million copies and are considered some of the most popular Arabic-language food titles. An English-language version of his recipes was published in 2012 as "The Arabian Cookbook."

Choueiri's legacy as a chef and cultural ambassador will continue to inspire generations to come.

Joanne Raad, a popular Lebanese food blogger, recently spoke to NPR’s “The World” about Ramzi Choueiri, a renowned chef who knew how to make Lebanese and Arab cuisine accessible to all. According to Raad, Choueiri had the unique ability to simplify the complexity of Lebanese cuisine and make it appealing to people from all backgrounds.

Born in Beirut on September 23, 1971, Choueiri’s parents were the founders of the Al-Kafaat Foundation, a charitable organization that supports children with financial needs or physical challenges. During Lebanon’s civil war, Choueiri was sent to France to complete his education. While studying economics and law at the University of Lyon, he began working in restaurants and cafes to support himself.

After completing his degree in 1992, Choueiri pursued his passion for food by studying culinary arts at the University of London. He then returned to Lebanon, where he became a renowned chef and restaurateur. However, in 2018, Choueiri decided to put his culinary career on hold to become the CEO of Al-Kafaat Foundation, following in his parents’ footsteps.

Choueiri’s legacy as a chef and humanitarian continues to inspire people around the world. His ability to bridge cultural divides through food is a testament to his talent and dedication. As Joanne Raad said, “he was the full package.”

He was a showman who achieved four Guinness World Records in charity events, including the largest servings of hummus, tabbouleh, falafel and a pita-chickpea-tahini mix called fatteh. The tabbouleh record is currently held by an elementary school in Israel. The fatteh record, which weighed 3,438.2 kilos, was made in 2017 with the help of children and staff members at Mr. Choueiri’s Al-Kafaat Foundation, followed by an all-you-can-eat lunch. Survivors include his wife, three children, his parents, and two sisters and a brother. Mr. Choueiri's favorite tastes were Lebanese mountain tomato, olive oil, basil leaves, Lebanese cheese and fresh pita bread with sesame.

طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.