About

CONTACT: fitmeinfo@protonmail.com

File Apr 23, 10 38 48 AM

Welcome to Feast in the Middle East! Blanche Shaheen is an Arab American and former network television host and reporter in both entertainment and news. She reported live daily on the ABC entertainment program called “View from the Bay,” hosted the independent film show “Video I” for PBS for 10 years, reported live news daily for the Tech TV show called “Tech Live” and hosted numerous news and political programs for Link Media.

In 2010 Blanche made the switch to hosting her own cooking show, sharing 100s of years old recipes preserved by her mother and grandmother.  These were heirloom recipes handed word of mouth from one generation to the next, recipes that even culinary schools lacked–however, there were no written measurements. With her journalism background, she decided to document the recipes in an ongoing cookbook, and Feast in the Middle East was born.

Now you can see this series on YouTube, on Curious.com, and on Virgin America Airlines, where it has an estimated audience of 1 million people per month! She has now gained recognition in the press, featured in KQED’s “Check Please” program, NPR radio, the Palo Alto Weekly, the Los Altos Crier, and the Rumi Awards show that she hosted for an international audience.

For her personal story, click on the video below:

The feedback has been tremendous, with thousands of visitors every day from around the world visiting and commenting on her blog, YouTube page, articles, and Facebook pages. Check this blog regularly for updated recipes, cooking tips, information about exotic ingredients, family stories, and videos of Blanche’s cooking journey.

Here is the original Feast in the Middle East Trailer:

As for educational background, Blanche  got her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy of Industrial Societies at U.C. Berkeley, followed by a Master’s Degree  in broadcast journalism. She speaks Spanish and Arabic, is a certified Zumba Fitness and bootcamp instructor, and a fervent abolitionist, supporting Not for Sale and the International Justice Movements against human trafficking and slavery. She is also a Compassion International sponsor for a second grade girl in Colombia.

You can contact Feast In the Middle East here: fitmeinfo@protonmail.com

Blanche Shaheen

17 thoughts on “About

  1. Just watched your recipe for Fattoush. Like your other recipes here, it’s exactly like my mom’s! Therefore, you’re now my newest best friend. Question: Beside the color, what’s the difference between zatar and sumack? I have always had both, but never taste a huge difference. BTW: My mom’s kibbe (the kind that’s UFO shaped w/ pine nuts) is absolutely amazing!

    1. I bet your momma is an amazing cook Kell–I learned how to do all the old school stuff from my mother as well 🙂 Love that you described kibbeh as ufo shaped, (too cute) we just call them footballs but I would never throw them cause I would never get em back! 🙂 To answer your question, zatar is a spice primarily made of thyme, with hints of sumac in it sometimes. It has an herbal nutty flavor. Sumac is more lemony in flavor from the sumac berry. As a matter of fact, if you want to add a touch of sourness to food you can add sumac. You can use both to season chicken fish and vegetables. Of course with zatar you can eat plain with bread but with sumac that is not the best idea 😉

      1. Thank you for responding!

        I do put zatar on pita, w/ olive oil and tomatoes, but usually use sumac in my summer salads when purslane is growing.

        Re: Kibbe – My mom also makes the football ones (kabboush?). The ufo shaped ones are perfect for grilling. Our all-time favorite is nayyeh with melted butter & onions on top.

        Now I’m hungry.

  2. Do you ever list your recipes on your site? I do love your vids with all the great instruction (keep em coming) but sometimes just want to refer back to the ingredients and directions. Thanks so much.

  3. Please Blanche,

    Could you do a full You-Tube on how to make real Lebanese Rice with meat, the same kind you see in Lebanese Restaurants as their side dish. Thank you for you’re awesome recipes. Love the videos with your mom. I lost my lovely mom in 2012. She was an amazing cook and my best friend. I have so many memories of her and I cooking together. Your You-Tubes with your mom makes me think of my mom and all the fun times we had together. So I thank you for including your mother. Shalom, Lisa

  4. Habibti Blanche, Love your page and channel. Could you please make a video for Maqlooba. Thank You keep up the good work your making us Palestinians proud.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Nidal. I love Maqlooba! The only reason I haven’t done it yet is I am thinking of a less time consuming way to make it for a short video. Once I figure that out I will do a video on it. 🙂 Best regards, Blanche

  5. Hello Blanche, my mother made a stuffed purple carrots stew in pomegranate juice with garlic and lemon sweet and tart; would you happen to have the recipe please?

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