Edit ModuleShow Tags

5 Questions with Chef Sameh Wadi


Published:

photo by matt lien

Chef Sameh Wadi of Saffron and World Street Kitchen brought contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine to Minneapolis. Now, you can recreate dishes from the culinary master at home with his recent cookbook, The New Mediterranean Table, which holds pages of mouthwatering recipes inspired by traditions from Europe, Asia, and Africa. And to see him demo a favorite recipe, check out our June Cook Like feature.

  1. What are some of your favorite recipes in your new cookbook, The New Mediterranean Table?

That’s a very difficult question to answer. It’s like asking your parents, “Who’s your favorite child?” The section of the book that I’m most excited about has to be the larder [a chapter of spice blends and pastes, pickling recipes, and sauces and stocks]. The larder is the heart and soul of the book. They are the building blocks that are essential to my style of cooking.

  1. Does it include any recipes that a beginner can conquer?

Absolutely! All of the recipes are easy to follow with very through instructions to help a beginner feel comfortable with the new exciting flavors of the Mediterranean.

  1. What family ties do you draw into your cooking?

Family is very important to me. My earliest food memories stem from my mother’s kitchen in the Middle East.

  1. How do you meld such contrasting flavors together from different regions?

Although the Mediterranean spans three continents, the strong historical connections and the nomadic nature of its early inhabitants led to common elements and undertones in the cuisine, making it very easy to cook without looking at borders.

  1. When you first opened Saffron and World Street Kitchen, did you find that Minnesotans took to the food easily, or did it take some time to introduce those global flavors?

We’ve been lucky to always have very supportive guests. Never in a million years did I imagine that we would get this much love and support from the community. It’s truly been amazing.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins

My Name Is Jason and I Used to Hate Brunch

Brunch has undergone a renaissance in the Twin Cities. Food critic Jason DeRusha picks his top spots for brunch this year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags