Ep. 4, Loghmeh: Whole Animal Roasts & Middle-Eastern Culinary Traditions | Link TV
Ep. 4, Loghmeh: Whole Animal Roasts & Middle-Eastern Culinary Traditions
At a pop-up dinner in Los Angeles, a skilled chef and butcher introduces a communal experience of whole-animal roasts influenced by her Iranian heritage. Across town, another chef grills fragrant kobee, a traditional Syrian croquette made of spices, ground beef, bulgar and pine nuts. The aroma of smoke coming from these grills is intoxicating, and the scent can trigger all kinds of memories of home and family. For these two women of Middle-Eastern descent, food is a way to link back to their cultures while gifting a piece of their traditions to their communities.
In this episode, we meet Debbie Michail who’s worked alongside some of the best chefs out there, from Mozza’s Nancy Silverton to Angelini Osteria’s Gino Angelini. Her work is influenced by her Iranian grandmother’s cooking and her own experience cooking gourmet Italian. At her Logmeh LA events, she and fellow butcher Alex Jermasek invite guests to experience large-format roasts over a fire, something she believes brings people together. In Farsi, “Loghmeh” means to “savor in one bite,” and Michail sees Middle-Eastern cuisine as a kind of “soul food,” where we honor animals with nose-to-tail cooking and aren’t afraid to eat with our hands.
We’re also introduced to Wafa Ghreir, whose Kobee Factory restaurant in Van Nuys serves as an outlet to showcase her pride in her Syrian culture and food. She’s seen the Syrian community grow in size since immigrating to the United States in 1977 and wants to spread the love that is embedded in Syrian cooking through the universal language of food. As the devastating civil war in her native country rages on, Ghreir sees her dishes as a way to preserve her heritage for her grandchildren and the community. To have the chance to enjoy meals prepared by these two women is to gain an understanding of their legacies.
Inspired by the Mayan traditions of his youth, Jorge Dugal re-interprets his grandmother’s recipe for chirmol, a fire-roasted tomato and chili based salsa, that finds a modern home at one of Los Angeles’s most revered restaurants, Providence.
The rising Filipino food movement in Los Angeles is rooted in a new generation of young and talented chefs, who each share a story about going against the grain, preserving their culture, and honoring Filipino traditions with their food.
In sharing their stories, Celestino Lopez, owner of Chiles Secos, and Enrique Peralta, a L.A. street vendor, reveal a common element of immigrant experiences, the ongoing struggle to make it in the land of opportunity.
For Chefs Debbie Michail and Wafa Ghreir, food is a way to link back to their Middle-Eastern culture. To have the opportunity to enjoy their meals is to gain an understanding of Middle-Eastern traditions.
Season 1 Broadcast Special
Los Angeles’ booming food scene is being shaped by a new generation of chefs. Visit almost any kitchen in Los Angeles and it is likely you will find a migrant chef combining ethnic cuisines with new flavors and techniques. And often within the food, is a story of their migration.
“The politics of migration, the labor economy, all that drama plays out in the restaurants that we go to,” says journalist and author Rubén Martínez