Beirut's Food Influencers. Diversity in Fashion. Millennial Desserts
no.91 October/November '17 LL10,000
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The Taste Issue
FRONT / 46 Who’s Who / 52 Editor’s Letter The inspiration behind this issue / 54
Contributors A brief selection / 58 The Tastemakers Food influencers and their
ingredients/ 78 In Focus What’s on this season / 96 Rethinking Retail ABC Verdun’s
Aïzone / 102 Objects of Desire Gearing up for fall with the hottest picks / 112 In the Studio with Senteurs d’Orient / 118 Rainbow on the Catwalk The diversification of
fashion / 124 Subject In conversation with Rabih Geha and Mouna Harati / 128 The
Night Belongs to B There’s a new rooftop in town / 132 Style and the City Marc Jacobs on NYC and street style / 136 Good Enough to Eat Where accessories and fruit meet /
146 Venice in All its Flavors A look at Italy’s most fantastic city / FASHION / 152 We
Two Are One Photography by Petrovsky & Ramone, styling by Venus Waterman / 174 Constant Cravings Daria shot by Emma Hartvig, styled by Mari David / FEATURES / 194 Savoring Paris The fabulous return of Hotel Bachaumont / 198 Vintage Design
Architects and their wineries / 206 Sweet, Sweet Beirut Reinventing Beirut’s dessert
scene / 212 When the Living is Easy Minotti’s Beirut offerings / 215 Never Ending
Story Nadim Karam unveils works from his sketchbook / PLAYGROUND / 236 Where
We’re Eating / 242 On Food Organic Lebanon with La Vie Claire / 244 On Happiness
Eating according to your humors / 246 Where We’re Detoxing / 250 On Drink Making and drinking beer / 252 Where We’re Drinking / 256 Vienna Foodie City Culinary adventures in the Austrian capital / 260 Where We’re Staying / THE END / 272
Coastal Wonderland Byblos’ perpetual charm / 288 The Last Page “Pamela Anderson with Grapes”
Beirut's Food Influencers. Diversity in Fashion. Millennial Desserts
no.91 October/November '17 LL10,000
On the Cover What does it mean to have good taste? Is it our ability to judge style, art and what is beautiful? We think so. Our cover girl Lisa wears a Chloé jacket and Proenza Schouler earrings. Shot in Amsterdam by Petrovsky & Ramone / Styling by Venus Waterman / Hair by Siko van Berkel and makeup by Kathinka Gernant
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People/Style/Culture/Art Publisher Tony SalamĂŠ Group TSG SAL
Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman
Creative director MĂŠlanie Dagher
Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Junior art director Sarah Ashley Mrad Associate editor Rayane Abou Jaoude Editor-at-large Ramsay Short
Coordinating editor Sophie Nahas
In-house fashion photographer Raya Farhat
Junior digital editor Nour Saliba
Senior photo editor Fadi Maalouf Contributing writers Salma Abdelnour Grace Banks
Karim Hussain Valerie Jones
Mohamad Abdouni Tony Elieh Carl Halal
Marco Pinarelli Aly Saab
Georges Sokhn Stylists
J. Michael Welton Nadim Karam
Fashion photographers Emma Hartvig
Petrovsky & Ramone
Venus Waterman Intern
Advertising director Melhem Moussallem Advertising manager Stephanie Missirian
Chief marketing director Karine Abou Arraj Printing Dots: The Art of Printing
Responsible director Nasser Bitar
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Feast for the Senses Wild flavors, sultry essences and heady aromas pervade this latest issue of A Mag, inspired by the sense of taste. We begin by highlighting some of Lebanonâ€™s most distinctive tastemakers, then offer a panorama of all local institutions redefining Lebanese taste, from dessert parlors and boutique breweries to artisan soap manufacturers and homegrown fashion curators. Then we point our gaze outward, and take another look at the eternally scenic canals of Venice, the flavor-filled alleyways of Vienna and the globeâ€™s most elegantly designed wineries. By celebrating one of our senses, we ended up stimulating all others. Hereâ€™s to an exhilarating experience. Marwan Naaman @marwannaaman
Nadim Karam Nadim Karam is a sculptor, painter, urban artist and architect working from Beirut. His artwork is an optimistic act of rebellion, as well as an affirmation of the power of creativity against the soullessness or terror that sometimes afflicts our lives and cities. His work focuses on re-examining contextual issues and engages in enhancing perceptions of pluralism within a society. With Atelier Hapsitus, the pluri-disciplinary group he founded, he has realized urban interventions internationally, both temporary and permanent, in cities as diverse as Melbourne, Prague, Dubai, Beirut, London and Japan. He created a multipage artistic folio for this issue of A Mag (see page 215).
Venus Waterman Venus Waterman is an Amsterdam-based stylist. Born into a family of artists, she was introduced to show business and traveling at an early age, and developed a love and passion for both. She graduated from the Artez Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands with a degree in fashion design and stumbled upon styling by chance – and she’s never looked back. Waterman has since developed an eclectic signature, and has worked with Elle, Oyster Magazine, L’Officiel, Hypebeast and others. See her work for A Mag on page 152.
Emma Hartvig Emma Hartvig is a Swedish photographer who travels around the globe. Her work is cinematic and graphic, and it shines through both her personal and commercial work. She often orchestrates carefully arranged and staged scenarios, and her photographs mimic a conflicting sequence of film stills. She’s won several awards for her photography and has partnered with clients such as Miu Miu, Chanel, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Kinfolk and AnOther. See her shoots for A Mag on pages 136 and 174.
J. Michael Welton J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Metropolis, New York Magazine and Huffpost. He’s an architecture critic for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and publishes a digital design magazine at www. architectsandartisans.com. He’s contributed two features to this issue of A Mag: a look at how architects have defined the brands of four wineries on as many continents (page 198) and a review of Dream of Venice Architecture, for which he penned a 300word chapter (page 146).
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THE TASTEMAKERS 58
Lebanon is no stranger to good cuisine, and few can argue against that. For its Taste issue, A Mag paired some of the countryâ€™s most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, authors and bloggers with the ingredients and dishes they most adore. Here, those at the forefront of the food industry share their favorite cuisines, the tastes that inspire them and whatâ€™s in store for the future
Words Rayane Abou Jaoude
Photography Aly Saab
WAEL LAZKANI CHEF AND OWNER OF JAÏ
With 21 years of professional cooking experience, Wael Lazkani has been everywhere. Having studied cuisine in Montreal and Geneva, he traveled for many years, working and eating in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Geneva and London. He studied the cuisines and restaurants across Europe and Asia and worked in several Michelinstarred restaurants, before returning to Beirut in 2011 to launch Jaï, a successful Asian food delivery kitchen. Lazkani also consults on many local and international projects and his latest venture, Café Cairo, will focus on local seasonal produce and simple cuisine. Besides his food endeavors, he enjoys a good swim in the sea to brighten the day.
Why is the food item you chose so significant to you? Lemongrass is an incredibly fragrant and very hardy plant, from the grasses family. It’s an elegant survivor If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Fish and rice. You can’t beat it Favorite Lebanese dish It’s a very tough choice, but kebbeh nayeh seems to prevail Something you’re looking forward to this fall Opening Café Cairo, my new tiny restaurant In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Tilda Swinton: talent and grace
COOKBOOK AUTHOR AND ENTREPRENEUR
A graphic designer by trade, Pascale Habis began her professional career by venturing into marketing, which led her to decorating and selling design objects and launching her museum boutique in the process. She later went on to create and write Beirut Cooks, a recipe book containing the culinary journeys of 37 individuals living in the Lebanese capital. And while currently working on the creation of a new luxury brand, there’s a special place in her heart for oysters. “Oysters take me straight to a beautiful clear sea. I love everything about the sea: feeling it, observing it, listening to it and tasting it,” she says. “Another thing that I love about oysters is that the experience is so raw and taste so pure and strong. You don’t need to add a thing to it, you open it up and eat it as is.”
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sea urchins Favorite Lebanese dish Mouloukhiyeh Something that always cheers you up Anyone with a good sense of humor. Nothing beats a good laugh to lighten things up. But then there’s always chocolate if nobody is available Something you’re looking forward to this fall I’m looking forward to launching my new project, I love a good challenge In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? My definition of good taste has nothing to do with physical appearances, so I would say the Queen of England. Never complain, never explain. Be kind, keep a good sense of humor, a stiff upper lip and don’t take yourself too seriously
CHEF AND ENTREPRENEUR Farid Chehab’s path to food is an unorthodox one. After having completed his business studies in Paris, he worked in investment banking across Europe for eight years before taking the leap and fully dedicating his time to cooking. After attending the Alain Ducasse Cooking School to earn his diploma and working in the famed chef’s restaurants for a year, he returned to Beirut and opened his own catering company, Kitchen Central, and is now a regular guest on TV. Chehab specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, which he loves modernizing by elaborating recipes based on foreign cooking techniques. His favorite Lebanese dish? His mom’s mouloukhiyeh, no doubt.
Why is the food item you chose so significant to you? Because my macarons won me numerous prizes… and joy If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? You must be kidding me Something that always cheers you up Sex Something you’re looking forward to this fall My trip to Puerto Rico, where I will be heading seven events In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Charlize Theron
FOOD WRITER AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR Lebanese-American Bethany Kehdy is the author behind awardwinning cookbook The Jewelled Kitchen, which was selected as one of the notable cookbooks of 2013 by the New York Times. She was also highlighted by Monocle magazine as one of four Mediterranean ambassadors representing Lebanon. Kehdy works toward promoting Lebanon’s food tourism internationally via her boutique food tour company, Taste Lebanon, as well as her consultancy work with the Ministry of Tourism, and she hosts regular pop-ups in the United Kingdom. Who does she think embodies good taste? Certainly Fairuz. “She’s elegant, graceful and an icon of genuine talent,” Kehdy says. “And while a true ‘diva,’ she has kept a straight head all along.”
Why is the food item you chose so significant to you? On a personal level, it has a lot to do with growing up on our family farm in Baskinta, where we grew and still grow tomatoes, which have always been essential to our culinary repertoire and of course, the Lebanese culinary repertoire as a whole If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My cravings fluctuate depending on my mood, season and where I am, but the truth is tabbouleh and moujadara have been consistent staples of my daily cravings for longer than I can remember, so it would have to be one or the other. Can I make them a tossed salad, to count for one? Favorite Lebanese dish? Too many to count. I’m also a lover of offal, so naturally sheep’s testicles, brains and bone marrow are highlights and the perfect comfort food Something that always cheers you up The sea (and bone marrow) Something you’re looking forward to this fall Putting the final touches on a project I’ve been undertaking for a while
CHEF AND OWNER OF BLÛ SALT Good cuisine has been in the works for Eddy Diab for a long time. He launched his culinary career at a young age at Phoenicia Hotel’s Eau De Vie, and went on to work in numerous restaurants, including Le Particulier and Music Hall. He’s also appeared on TV cooking shows, and has a weekly segment on MTV Lebanon’s What’s Cooking. He’s also already won three gold medals at the Horeca Awards. “Food is so important for me, because it shows my personality by creating new dishes and painting the plates with the lovely colors of food,” Diab says. His most important item? Duck breast.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? A smoked aged beef (tomahawk) that shows all the flavors that I need Favorite Lebanese dish? Kebbe b laban, my mom’s dish, of course Something that always cheers you up When someone gives me a compliment about food that I made Something you’re looking forward to this fall I’m looking forward to my new menu, it will show new ideas in the food industry In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Gordon Ramsay
COOKBOOK AUTHOR, FOOD STYLIST AND BLOGGER Beirut-born Joumana Accad lived in France and the United States before moving back to Beirut in 2011 to re-immerse herself in Lebanese life after launching her blog, Taste of Beirut, from her home in Dallas. Her blog was born out of love and nostalgia for her native country, and grew into a platform for sharing recipes and culinary traditions. It gained significant momentum, and Accad ended up publishing a book, Taste of Beirut, in 2014. She is also a food stylist and photographer, collaborating with international brands, and is a frequent guest on TV and radio shows. Unsurprisingly, the food item she chose for A Mag’s shoot is the zaatar manoushe. “It epitomizes Lebanon and my roots,” Accad says.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Dates Favorite Lebanese dish? Moujadara and yogurt Something that always cheers you up Dana Carvey impersonating Ross Perot Something you’re looking forward to this fall Installing a wood-fired sobiyah at home In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Inès de la Fressange
OWNER AND HEAD CHEF AT FUSION CULT
Hadi Hazim spent hours in culinary classes in Florence before creating Fusion Cult, a pop-up kitchen specializing in fusing different cuisines with a natural penchant for Lebanese specialties. He had spent years cooking solely in his own kitchen, working in luxury management and jewelry design before embarking on his culinary journey full time. After working with small events and food stands, Fusion Cult was invited to participate in venues such as Station Beirut, Garden State, the Beirut Street Food Festival and Goodfest. Hazim was also chosen as one of four international chefs to take part in the UNorganized Falafel Festival in London in 2016. Hazim has been focusing on pushing his experiments with different cuisines and deepening his understanding of cultures. If he could only eat one thing for the rest of his life, it’s unquestionably “zaatar halabi; breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Why is the food item you chose so significant to you? I love sage. I have always been fascinated with herbs in general, I can’t imagine cooking without them, but sage holds a special place in my kitchen, and it has immense medicinal powers whether it’s in my food or in my tea Favorite Lebanese dish? Tajin. Growing up, my grandmother used to tuck me in and recite the recipe for tajin every night instead of a bedtime story. It still reminds me of her Something that always cheers you up A nice bowl of homemade hommos from scratch Something you’re looking forward to this fall Pumpkin and sweet potato In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Kevin Spacey, because… Kevin Spacey!
BARBARA ABDENI MASSAAD
COOKBOOK AUTHOR, PHOTOGRAPHER AND FOOD CONSULTANT Barbara Abdeni Massaad is unstoppable. She grew up in Florida, gaining her culinary experience from her father, a restaurateur. She worked in advertising and marketing after moving back to Beirut, but decided to pursue her passion for cooking and photography, combining both disciplines to create her first book, Man’oushé: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery and later on Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry and Mezze: A Labor of Love, both of which have won awards and accolades. Most recently, she wrote Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity, and is also a founding member of grassroots network Slow Food Beirut. Massaad is very passionate about olive oil: “It’s one of my favorite ingredients that I can’t live without.”
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Cheese, olive oil, bread, wine… too many? Favorite Lebanese dish Tabbouleh, of course Something that always cheers you up Family, food, travel and reading Something you’re looking forward to this fall Traveling to China for the first time to the International Slow Food Congress, getting my book Soup for Syria published in Portugal, cooking Lebanese food in a restaurant in Scotland, working on a consulting job in the United Kingdom and having Mouneh published in the United States In your opinion, which celebrity best embodies good taste? Carlo Petrini, the founder and president of Slow Food, my mentor
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Tank in Time_____ When Louis Cartier created the Tank watch in 1917, he drew inspiration from the treads and cockpit of a tank vehicle viewed from above. His design was revolutionary: he had invented one of the worldâ€™s first modern wristwatches, at a time when men still carried heavy pocket watches. In celebration of the Tank watchâ€™s centenary, Cartier has unveiled new models of this iconic design: the elegant Art Deco flair is still there, and now you have a steel option with a blue band, a hot pink model with diamonds and a sleek platinum look with a black band. Available at Cartier in Downtown Beirut
100 RUE DE MADRID, MAR MIKHAEL, BEIRUT
Move Over Airbnb_____ Everyone’s heard of Airbnb but it’s certainly not the only rent-your-own-home app. Other apps are also vying for that market. Overnight allows you to rent “same-day stays” from mates on your social networks, giving you the option to crash on your Instagram pal’s Brooklyn couch. FlipKey (owned by TripAdvisor) does the same thing as Airbnb except in the high-end home-share market – so think super nice houses in wannabe locations. Which is pretty similar to OneFineStay, an app that focuses on plush stays in New York, Paris, London, Rome and Los Angeles. Whether they’ll outdo Airbnb remains to be seen, but they’re certainly going to give them a run for their money.
Desserts in Passion_____ Lemon dome tartlets, Valrhona dark chocolate salted caramel tartlets, macarons; those are the delectable works of Grace Dahdah, the gourmet artisanal baker behind Passionnée – Gourmandises Artisanale. What began as a curiosity to try some desserts five years ago has now turned into a full-on business, operating from Dahdah’s home in Dbayeh. What differentiates her from other home bakers is her use of premium ingredients like Valrhona Chocolate and Madagascar vanilla beans, as well as her interest in experimenting with products, reinventing desserts and introducing new flavors. We’re hooked. facebook.com/PassionneeGourmandises
Tasty Trench_____ Emilio Pucci has two desirable trench coats as part of its new fall/winter 2017-18 collection. The first comes in vivid yellow and is adorned with giant black and pink floral motifs, while the other is bright white, in a multicolored floral print. Trust Pucci to take the clouds out of a gray winter with a giant burst of color. Available at the Pucci boutique in Downtown Beirut and at Aïshti by the Sea
FlipKey, Passionnée, Pérez Art Musseum Miami, Pucci
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Cuba Contemporaries_____ As a second installment in its three-part series about contemporary Cuban art, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami is hosting “Abstracting History,” which focuses on spiritual and political histories, while examining past and contemporary realities in Cuba and through its diaspora. Exhibition highlights include a triptych by 20th-century Cuban abstract artist Waldo Balart, and Reynier Leyva Novo’s “El Peso de la Historia” (The Weight of History), an installation of black squares of ink painted directly on the gallery wall, representing the amount of ink used to write nine crucial laws that changed Cuban history. Until January 7, 2018, pamm.org
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Art in the Digital Age_____ The Aïshti Foundation, the Middle East’s leading center for contemporary art located just north of Beirut, is staging its third year-long exhibit this fall. Titled “The Trick Brain,” the show features about 240 works by over 60 artists from the Tony and Elham Salamé Collection. Taking its title from a video installation by Ed Atkins featured in the collection, the exhibition proceeds by establishing unexpected connections between works informed by a neo-surrealist sensibility. “The Trick Brain” premieres some of the most recent acquisitions in the collection, highlighting similarities and contrasts among a group of multigenerational artists whose work
reflects a fascination with the cacophonous, collaged experience of life in the digital age. Recent acquisitions on show include works by established figures such as John Armleder, Isa Genzken, Maria Lassnig, Matt Mullican, Cindy Sherman and Wolfgang Tillmans, presented in dialogue with contributions by younger artists such as Adrián Villar Rojas, Danh Vo, Haegue Yang and Anicka Yi, among many more. From these and other works emerges an over-excited sensibility, which combines hyper-awareness and paranoia, continuous distraction and heightened attention – a collective “trick brain.” The show is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director of New York’s New Museum. Opens October 22, aishti.com
Naked Beauty_____ To undress for Mario Testino is certainly one of the world’s greatest privileges. Few artists have been able to infuse grace, innocence and beauty into nude photography quite like Testino. Now, Berlin’s Museum of Photography is shining the spotlight on Testino’s nude photography with a stunning site-specific installation titled “Undressed.” The installation features 50 gigantic Testino nudes that have been affixed directly to the museum walls, from floor to ceiling, in three separate galleries. There are images of both women and men, some in their 20s and others in their 30s, unclothed, tattooed and sometimes with barely there clothing. Intriguing and emotional, Testino’s images analyze the boundaries between fashion, erotica, anatomy and art, always remaining tasteful and never appearing to be obscene. Until November 19, smb.museum
Heart of Pixie_____ Clare Waight Keller may no longer be creative director at Chloé, but she left behind a small treasure as a parting gift to the French label she helmed for six years: the Pixie. The irresistible round bag, part of the fall/winter 2017-18 collection (Waight Keller’s final for Chloé), features a gold-tone handle and comes in a textured brushed suede and a variety of hues. The curvaceous beauty is the new season’s “it” bag. Available at the Chloé boutique in the Beirut Souks and at Aïshti by the Sea
Windy City on a Canvas_____ After World War II, a distinctive painting style developed in Chicago. Focused on political commitment, figurative narratives and radical graphics, this movement was rejected by New York’s mainstream culture, which was more interested in abstract expressions of art. The Fondazione Prada in Milan is shining the spotlight on that important art scene with a groundbreaking exhibit titled “Famous Artists from Chicago: 1965-1975.” An in-depth analysis of the artists active throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, the exhibit captures Chicago’s cultural energy, as well as the heterogeneity of its artists, referred to as the Chicago Imagists and including the likes of Roger Brown, Ed Flood, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg and Karl Wirsum. October 17-January 15, 2018, fondazioneprada.org
Chloé, Premsa Febrer, Roger Brown Study Collection
First Look_____ For the last 130 years Casa Vicens, architect Antoni Gaudí’s first building in Barcelona, has been a private residence, viewable to the hordes of Gaudí fans visiting the Catalan capital only on the outside. Now, for the first time after a restoration and investment project by MoraBanc, who bought the property in 2015, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is open to the public. Built as a summer home between 1883 and 1885 by the 31-year-old Gaudí for wealthy broker-dealer Manel Vicens i Montaner, Casa Vicens displays the creative freedom that would become the hallmark of Gaudí’s entire future oeuvre. We can’t wait to discover whether the home’s exterior checkerboard of teal and white tiles and terracotta touches are recreated inside. casavicens.org
The Bentley Pre-Owned Programme. Only a Bentley Pre-Owned Retailer can offer you the confidence that your car is exactly as Bentley intended. Ensuring the excellence of your Bentley is not just a technical matter to us, it’s a sense of honour. For more information visit saadtrad.bentleymotors.com or call +961 1 613670. Model shown: Continental GT Convertible *Fuel consumption figures subject to Type Approval. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2016 Bentley Motors Limited.
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Let It Shine_____ Paying homage to stacking and layering, David Yurman’s Stax bracelets look best grouped together, but each one possesses a movement and fluidity unique to it. With hand set pavé and diamonds on the matte metal, the bracelets extend Yurman’s signature elements of link chain, faceted metal and cable, with the play on textures and metal finishes that create the desired contrast of light and shade. As is the norm with Yurman’s collections, the pieces give off a look of effortlessness and casual elegance. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea
Ortega, Whiting & Davis, David Yurman
Let’s Talk Tapas_____ New Spanish bistro Ortega has just joined the race for the best tapas in Beirut. Located in one of Badaro’s quieter alleyways and away from the chaos, it’s easy to miss if not for the scent of grilled meat luring you in. The lighting is dim, the music a mix of soft electro and lounge, and it’s easy to get lost in the romantic atmosphere of it all. The garden outside overflows with greenery and has its own little bar to keep you company as you wait for a table. Culinary bliss in the best of settings, and you don’t even need to fly to Spain to try the atún chorizo, patatas bravas and various kinds of sangría. facebook.com/ortegabistrobar
America in Your Hand_____ Whiting & Davis, America’s oldest handbag company (it was founded in 1876) has released a stylish new collection for fall. Highlights include two shimmery, glittery clutches (one black, the other silver), with more a than a few retro touches, perhaps harking back to the label’s 1930s heyday, when Elsa Schiaparelli was designing for the brand and Jane Wyatt wouldn’t be caught dead without her Whiting & Davis. Other celebrities to carry Whiting & Davis bags throughout the years include Jane Russell (in the ‘50s), Christie Brinkley (in the ‘80s) and, most recently, Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, Kim Cattrall and Lady Gaga. A modern piece with vintage appeal. Available at Aïshti by the Sea
Will & Grace Is Back, Honey_______ Eleven years after it went off air, super sassy NBC sitcom Will & Grace is back to win our hearts and minds just as it first did in 1998. Yes, October sees the awesome foursome original stars all reprise their roles – Eric McCormack as sardonic attorney Will Truman, Debra Messing as neurotic bestie Grace Adler, Sean Hayes as bratty but fab Jack McFarland and Megan Mullally as resident sarky pal Karen Walker. Will & Grace was always brilliant for its ability to make people laugh while shining a light on topical issues and getting the audience thinking, but it was only last year, after a brief YouTube reunion video garnered over 7 million views, that the producers were persuaded to revive the show. We can only say we are sure glad they did!
Bejeweled Architecture_____ Modernism became the single most dominant movement of architecture and design in the 20th century. It embraced minimalism and evaded the extravagant, which is exactly what jewelry designer Ralph Masri looked to emulate in his most recent collection, Modernist. Inspired by architectural giants Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Masri focused on raw geometrical shapes and monochromatism with his 24 pieces. Take his white gold earrings with diamonds and blue sapphires on the sides: they boast a long, bold shape that dangles off the ear in the most elegant and sophisticated manner. ralphmasri.com
The Life Within_____ Ayyam Gallery in Beirut is hosting the latest body of work by Lebanese artist Fathallah Zamroud. Titled “Distant Remains,” the impressive show features nine large-scale paintings depicting temporary dwellings and abandoned sites overtaken by nature. “This is an evolution of my work,” says the artist. “I started with refugee camps for my first show, ‘Material Remains,’ in 2014. The emphasis is now on war, particularly postwar trauma, urban desolation and devastated areas.” In spite of the dramatic topic, Zamroud’s paintings always carry a sense of hope: a stretch of dilapidated buildings is encroached upon by a roaring sea of color, makeshift homes appear to move as a tempestuous background of drifting clouds offers signs of resurrection. The rich colors and vivid brushstrokes add intensity to the paintings, as nature overtakes derelict structures to signify a return to life. Until October 28, ayyamgallery.com
Ralph Masri, Fathallah Zamroud
AÏSHTI, DOWNTOWN BEIRUT, T.01.991 111 AÏSHTI BY THE SEA, ANTELIAS, T. 04 717 716 EXT. 243
Cocktail Hour_____ Creative studio Matter of Stuff and Sketch restaurant have teamed up to create “Cocktail Atmospheres,” a spectacular exhibition featuring 13 international designers. Set at the Mayfair Design District and part of the London Design Festival, the exhibition features new works, including
Stretching the Boundaries_____ “Everybody can look, but they don’t necessarily see,” said photographer André Kertész. This couldn’t ring more true for the avant-garde artist, renowned for reconfiguring reality and evoking new perspectives through his unusual compositions. And now his works are on view at Foam’s “André Kertész – Mirroring Reality,” a retrospective featuring a large number of his black and white prints, as well as color photographs. The exhibit examines Kertész’s earlier work in his homeland of Hungary, onto his time in Paris and then through to New York, documenting a career spanning 70 years. The retrospective is an ode to Kertész’s contributions to 20th-century photography. Until January 10, 2018, foam.org
Sabina Belfiore Lucovich’s “Luminarie,” 1millimitre’s “A Drink with Wes” and Glen Baghurst’s “Club Chair.” Cocktails imagined by sketch mixologists are aplenty, providing a more edible design experience and complementing the pieces. An intoxicating exhibition indeed. Until November 15, sketch.london
André Kertész, Kristin-Lee Moolman and IB Kamara Matter of Stuff, Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat at the Barbican_____ This one’s been a long time coming. “Basquiat: Boom for Real” is the United Kingdom’s first large-scale exhibition on the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Despite his short career – he died from an overdose at 27 – he is considered one of the great painters of the 20th century, having evolved as an artist in the late 1970s and early ‘80s in downtown New York and under the wing of Andy Warhol. Featuring raw imagery, bold text and vibrant colors, the exhibit brings together over 100 of Basquiat’s works focused on his relationship with music, writing, film, performance and television. Until January 28, 2018, barbican.org.uk
The Power of Fashion_____ It began with the pearl necklace and the sari, and it’s now morphed into the Breton shirt and the little black dress. Fashion has come a long way, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is celebrating just that with its exhibit “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” Through 111 items of clothing and accessories, the exhibit explores the past, present and future of fashion, with pieces that have had a tremendous impact
in the 20th and 21st centuries, and continue to do so today (think Calvin Klein briefs and Levi’s 501s). This is MoMA’s secondever exhibit focused on clothing after its 1944 “Are Clothes Modern?” Clearly a rare opportunity, so get yourself to NYC. Until January 28, 2018, moma.org
In Focus Sci-fi and a Burger_____ Alien abductions, geopolitics, dream readings, pop culture and a sense of distrust; it’s all part of the “The Craft,” Monira al Qadiri’s exhibition at Beirut’s Sursock Museum. Shown in two separate environments (a pitchblack anteroom and a diner), Al Qadiri’s semi-autobiographical pieces, portrayed through sculpture, sound and video, uncover the hidden stories of her childhood in Kuwait. After leaving the diner, step into “The End,” which comprises a levitating hamburger, the symbol of consumer capitalism and the precariousness of American hegemony, accompanied by a reading from Saba George Shiber’s book, The Kuwait Urbanization. Intrigued yet? November 3-February 4, 2018, sursock.museum
Monira al Qadiri, Moncler, Morgan Art Foundation/ARS/Adagp, Takashi Muarakami
Shoot the Moon_____ Moncler’s Moonray started out as a short film. In that delectable piece of fashion fiction, a gorgeous man and woman, both wearing Moncler’s silver Moonray jacket, of course, battle it out with an alien from the planet Glaglax. After a few green zaps from a style-swapper gun, the couple find themselves almost naked, as the giddy extraterrestrial escapes with the Moonray jackets. Thus starts an all-out planetary war, all because of the Moncler Moonray. May the coat be with you. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea
Boston, When It’s Japanese_____ An otherworldly experience awaits you at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics” exhibit highlights the artist’s contemporary works, and it’s also juxtaposed with the MFA’s collection of Japanese art. The show includes paintings and sculptures and is inspired by the collection’s masterpieces, like Soga Shōhaku’s 36-foot-long “Dragon and Clouds,” from 1763. Murakami is renowned for his fantastical world inhabited by monsters, mushrooms and cartoon skulls, and the exhibit reveals how his contemporary and sometimes surrealist vision is influenced by the past. Konnichiwa, Boston. October 18-April 1, 2018, mfa.org/exhibitions/takashi-murakami
Pop in Paris_____ Paris’ Musée Maillol is hosting an impressive exhibit that highlights some of Pop Art’s most important works. The Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, aptly titled “Pop Art: Icons That Matter,” and now showing in the French capital, includes more than 60 works (paintings, sculptures and prints), from the beginning of the 1960s to the end of the ‘70s, by the likes of Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The show also features American artists who are less wellknown in France, such as George Segal and May Stevens. Until January 21, 2018, museemaillol.com
Beautiful Disorder_____ Loewe is fusing femininity with the formal this season, as designer Jonathan Anderson focuses on designing clothes for real women. The contrast-rich garments are defined by interactions of texture, form and shade, as different materials collide, like the striped beige, pink and white dress. Burnt-out patches are filled in with black Chantilly lace at its top and bottom, with the cuffs standing out in light yellow. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea
Graphic Greatness_____ The Wolfsonian-FIU museum in Miami Beach is hosting the first-ever US solo retrospective of late Austrian artist Julius Klinger’s work. Klinger, who perished during World War II at an extermination camp near Minsk, was a pioneering early 20th-century graphic artist. The retrospective includes over 100 posters, prints, drawings and book illustrations from his prolific career, along with decorative art by other Viennese designers. The show is complemented by a two-part contemporary installation, created by Vienna-based design studio Seite Zwei and inspired by Klinger, on the museum’s façade and in its lobby. October 6, 2017-April 1, 2018, wolfsonian.org
Loewe, Sarah Ashley Mrad, Wolfosnian-FIU
Marella Lands by the Sea_____ Leave it up to the Italians to design unparalleled ready-to-wear. The muchanticipated brand Marella, which merges classic Italian style with recent contemporary trends, is now open at Aïshti by the Sea, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Designed with a vibrant woman in mind, Marella, which is part of the Max Mara Group, offers a wide range of coats, jackets, blouses, dresses, handbags, accessories, footwear and much more. Available at Aïshti by the Sea
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Words Michelle Merheb Photography Georges Sokhn
The new Aïzone at ABC Verdun offers a cool concept and a different way to shop There’s a specific idea guiding the new Aïzone store at ABC Verdun. Designed by New York-based Christian Lahoude Studio and located right next to the mall’s ground-floor and pedestrian entrance, the latest Aïzone incarnation functions more as a fashion destination than a retail space.
Spreading over 770 square meters, Aïzone at ABC Verdun first opens up for women. Materials here include sleek Carrara marble and precious gold metals, serving as a backdrop to the various items on display. There are clothes and accessories for women from various American and European brands, both niche and internationally renowned. Visitors can choose pieces from the likes of Moschino, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Valentino Red, Vince, Theory, Joie, Equipment, Siwy, DVF and more, in a blissful mix of luxury and avant-garde. The section for men, set directly behind the women’s space, takes on a more masculine vibe. Here, gunmetal and grey marble combine to infuse a boyish flair into the surroundings. There’s casual footwear by the likes of Camper and New Balance, and dazzling pieces by such labels as John Varvatos, Under Armour, Rag & Bone, Moncler, The Kooples, Kenzo, Diesel and Iceberg, among many others. Floating shelves on marble walls, metal mesh column cladding, the integration of lighting in all fixtures and comfortable seating areas all work together to give Aïzone a congenial vibrancy, inviting guests to linger and explore. And to take in Aïzone’s dynamic new feel.
149 SAAD ZAGHLOUL STREET, NEXT TO AÏSHTI DOWNTOWN T. 01 99 11 11 EXT. 525 AÏSHTI BY THE SEA ANTELIAS T. 04 71 77 16 EXT. 233
OBJECTS OF DESIRE PHOTOGRAPHY TONY ELIEH
Mugs Toilet Paper______ A toad in a sandwich? Yes please. Black humor isn’t lost on us, so we take our coffee in Toilet Paper’s enamel cups, available in pastel shades of blue, green and beige
SHOES PRADA______ LEAVE IT TO PRADA TO KEEP MARY JANES TRENDY. GRAB A PAIR OF HEELS SET WITH AN ARRAY OF CRYSTALS, YELLOW SATIN STRAPS AND A BOW – AND YOU’RE SET FOR THE NIGHT
SHOES PUCCI______ WE TAKE YOUR AVERAGE SLIPONS AND RAISE YOU PUCCIâ€™S LUXURY SNEAKERS, FEATURING MULTICOLORED, THICK ELASTIC BANDS AND FUN RUFFLES
Bag Prada______ I am woman, hear me roar with my Prada velvet shoulder bag, complete with a knocker-style golden lion, a refined design and a chain and leather shoulder strap
BAG BALENCIAGA______ THEREâ€™S NO BETTER WAY TO MAKE A STATEMENT THAN WITH THE TRIANGLE DUFFEL BAG. CASE IN POINT: IT WAS INSPIRED BY SKI BOOT BAGS
Shoes Gucci______ Our feet have never looked so elegant or felt so comfortable. Gucciâ€™s satin, low-heel slippers come with a removable crystal bow and a mirrored heel decorated with crystals
Sunglasses Linda Farrow _____ Seeing orange? Linda Farrowâ€™s rose gold-plated round frames make us see the world in better colors. The twisted metal frame adds a healthy dose of cool
Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Photography Lord Ashbury and Tony Elieh
IN THE STUDIO WITH SENTEURS D’ORIENT
INSPIRED BY AN AMALGAMATION OF CULTURES, HANA AND SARAH AKKARI OF SENTEURS D’ORIENT HAVE CREATED A HERITAGE PRODUCT FOR A MODERN MARKET
Japanese paper inspired our packaging, and itâ€™s clear how close the design is to the white paper we use
The pumice stones are used in hammams for scrubbing dead skin. The hammam bathing rituals are key in our product creation Our soaps contain pure extract of olive oil, an important element
The maamoul molds used to make the Middle Eastern pastry are the inspiration behind our Maamoul Soaps
We take our soaps with us everywhere. These three are the Maamoul and the Hammam soaps
These Japanese Imari plates inspired our productsâ€™ packaging The shower scrub and water bowl are part of traditional bathing rituals in the Middle East, especially in Tripoli
The jasmine flowers, the inspiration behind our Jasmine of Arabia soap
We use these molds to make our soaps
The mashrabiya of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris inspired us to design the soaps
The architecture of the Tripoli hammams inspired the architecture and interiors of our boutique and the atelierâ€™s conference room
The origami, another Japanese item that has inspired our packaging, especially the way the paper is folded
Senteurs d’Orient launched in the United States in August 2015, and one of Sarah’s first meetings was with online fashion store Net-a-Porter, which began exclusively distributing the soaps worldwide, before the brand was introduced to niche stores in Brooklyn. Senteurs d’Orient is now starting a partnership with luxury goods department store Bergdorf Goodman, and there are two big projects coming up, one of which is the introduction of soap dishes, travel boxes and homeware, in addition to a line of body products.
The entrance to Senteurs d’Orient’s atelier is lined with jasmine trees, pomegranate shrubs, lavenders and rosemary, a stark contrast to the industrial factories in the area, and a reminder of the source of the brand’s inspiration. The atelier’s interiors in Dekwaneh are purposefully made of concrete, a symbol of the brand itself: raw, simple and sophisticated all at once.
The artisanal soap brand is run by mother-daughter duo Hana and Sarah Akkari, and stems from a deep fascination with the bathing rituals of both the Far and the Middle East. “In Japan as in the Middle East you have the public bath tradition where they take their little Sentō box, their hammam box, and they go to a public bath and it’s supposed to be a social and cultural outing,” says Hana, who is of Syrian origin and grew up in Tokyo.
Artisans handcraft all of the soaps, and what makes the process so different is the air-drying of the soap, which makes it last longer. Because the soap is handcrafted, each piece is entirely unique, flaws and all. The soap also has a high concentration of essential oils, an instant relaxer with great therapeutic benefits. Most of the company’s artisans and workers are women, except for soap maker Mohammad Younes, who has been around since the start.
The fragrances, influenced by Lebanese gardens and scents, are prepared by master perfumers in the town of Grasse in the South of France. The scents themselves are simple, born out of the desire to recreate fragrances that are as close to the real thing as possible. “The Amber is inspired by the Middle East, the Jasmine of Arabia from the Arab Peninsula and the Orange Blossom from white tea,” Sarah says. “All of our fragrances are inspired by the Orient, they’re definitely not vanilla.”
This is apparent even in the product’s design, like the Maamoul Soap, inspired by the Lebanese pastry. The soap comes in three shapes – square, round and oval – and is pure vegetal filigree. The Soap Leafs is also a big hit, thinly sliced and stacked like the After Eight chocolate, with the Amber Soap Leafs having just launched as a special request from Net-a-Porter. Senteurs d’Orient also manufactures bath salts carrying its signature scents, and hair and skin products.
BECAUSE THE SOAP IS HANDCRAFTED, EACH PIECE IS ENTIRELY UNIQUE, FLAWS AND ALL. THE SOAP ALSO HAS A HIGH CONCENTRATION OF ESSENTIAL OILS, WITH THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS
And that’s exactly what she was looking to emulate with the products. She founded the business in 1999 while living in France with her family, determined to change the world’s impression of the Middle East and using her upbringing as inspiration. She didn’t know anything about starting a business, and after discussing the idea with friends, came up with a name and design concept. The Akkaris moved to Lebanon shortly after, and that’s when Hana’s idea came to fruition, albeit under modest circumstances.
“We started off cooking our soap in my husband’s office with a soap maker from Tripoli, and we used to try different things to see how it all works,” she says. “I didn’t know anything. When you have a dream, you always have to keep on at it and one day, somewhere, you’ll get there.” By 2014, her daughter Sarah had come in from New York to expand the brand and sell it in the United States. “I saw the potential of niche brands. People are now interested in the story behind the product, so I really, genuinely saw the potential of this brand in the United States,” she says.
As big as it has become, starting the business was never really planned by either Hana or Sarah, but here they are. “I think it was always somewhere there, not Senteurs in particular, but I always wanted to be in the industry, trying to produce something. I think it’s good to be an underdog somewhere because then you fight even more,” Hana says. “We women, we can do something, and I think that burning feeling was the motivation. People would say you don’t know anything about soap, but it doesn’t matter; we figure it out. I think the 21st century is going to be the women’s century. We’re going to be there.” And by the looks of it, they already are.
Words Grace Banks
RAINBOW ON THE CATWALK
Is fashion leading the way with cultural diversity?
This page Sabina Karlsson Opposite page Adwoa Aboah
ALLURING MODEL ADWOA ABOAH HAS A MIXED GHANAIAN, ENGLISH AND AMERICAN BACKGROUND
This page Avie Acosta Opposite page Casil McArthur
Of all the fashion world contenders, few people were expecting Edward Enninful to take the helm at one of fashion’s most enduring and prominent platforms – British Vogue. But what they were expecting even less was the mass exodus of the current staff at the magazine, a largely white and upper class clique, to be replaced by a new generation of the fashion elite, who level the field and draw people in through art about race, and social media feeds about gender fluidity, including Adwoa Aboah, Pat McGrath and Steve McQueen.
At every opportunity, fashion is negating the stuffy connotations of its own industry. Enninful’s appointment and subsequent shaking up of British Vogue came as a surprise, but to fashion industry insiders, it was the encapsulation of what much of fashion has been working toward for a while, true diversity and inclusion. Diversity is being seen everywhere in fashion right now, from catwalks to glossy magazine covers. The fall/winter 2017-18 shows were the first encapsulation of this movement. The model Adwoa Aboah stole the show on almost every runway. Alongside her were Yara Shahidi and Slick Woods, while other models of color appeared for the first time ever as non-token on catwalks, including those of Kenzo, Richard Malone, House of Holland, Moschino and Versace.
The prominence of transgender models on these same catwalks like Casil McArthur, Dara Allen, Avie Acosta and Hari Nef, has created visibility in mainstream culture for transgender people, where before there was none. Between them they’ve walked and appeared in campaigns for Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Mansur Gavriel. Recently, French Vogue had their first ever transgender cover star, the Brazilian supermodel Valentina Sampaio, on their March 2017 issue. Nef, the first transgender woman signed to the modeling agency IMG Worldwide, was booked to front an advertising campaign in January 2017 for L’Oréal. The campaign was dedicated to diversity, and marked the first time a major beauty company acknowledged the importance of diversifying the image of models we see across the spectrum. The campaign also featured the plus-sized model Sabina Karlsson and the plussized mixed race model Marquita Pring, both of whom are outspoken about lack of body image diversity in the fashion industry. That they had been chosen to front L’Oréal’s campaign sent a clear signal to the luxury fashion and beauty industries that diversity isn’t just tokenism, it’s cool. Ensuring people of color are platformed is a big part of fashion’s move toward diversity. In February this year, the Balenciaga and Stella McCartney casting director
James Scully called out racism in an Instagram post that went viral. “I have heard from several agents, some of whom are black that they have received mandate from Lanvin that they do not want to be presented with women of color [for their fall 2017 show],” he revealed. Religion is also getting a new and unprecedented platform in the shape of two of fashion’s highest earning supermodels: the Hadid sisters. As practicing Muslims, the sisters present their religion in an optimistic and positive light, with Bella Hadid recently declaring of her Islamic faith, “I am proud to be Muslim.” So what’s brought this change? A lot of it is to do with social media. We live in a culture where people want constant access to the fashion world. Snapchat and Instagram are important vehicles for the likes of Aboah, Woods and Nef. What’s more, Millennials are one of the most political generations in a long time – Millennial models are willing to put their money where their mouth is and talk about the big issues. Fashion’s willingness to diversify is not just a poignant gesture, it’s radical and political.
This page Yara Shahidi Opposite page Slick Woods
Words Marwan Naaman Photography Carl Halal
IN CONVERSATION WITH RABIH GEHA AND MOUNA HARATI THE DUO BEHIND COOL CONCEPT STORE, WE ARE THE PEOPLE
Concept stores weren’t all created equal. We Are The People, Aïshti’s latest venture, picks up where the likes of Colette left off, ushering in a new shopping experience on Aïshti Downtown’s fourth floor, right next to People restaurant. A joint effort between architect Rabih Geha and fashion curator Mouna Harati, the space stocks the most exclusive, most coveted pieces of the moment, from the world’s top designers, and in a wide range of prices. “We wanted to do something different,” says Geha, who was tasked with designing the store. Since he founded his eponymous firm RG/Architects in 2006, Geha has created some of Beirut’s most memorable nightlife venues, including Vyvyan’s, The Happy Prince, Kissproof, Villa Badaro and Uberhaus. This is in addition to various residential and commercial projects. For We Are The People, he became a pioneer of sorts, gleaning inspiration from the adjoining restaurant and capturing Aïshti’s stylish vibe, while offering something completely offbeat in terms of retail.
“We had this space that was closed off,” he says, pointing to where We Are The People is now located. “I wanted to open the space up to the restaurant to facilitate access, but also to offer a new concept for a retail space. The idea was to move away from racks and shelves that are too organized and too linear.”
To that end, Geha placed racks and stands throughout the store, in a seemingly haphazard manner. A brilliantly colorful zigzag pattern adorning the floor and walls adds to the energy, to the feeling that something irresistible is happening on the fourth floor.
“The aim was to make the space attractive, both in terms of colors and volumes,” says Geha, “to encourage people to visit. At the same time, the zigzag pattern provides a strong contrast to the restaurant, breaking the formality of the space.” We Are The People functions in tandem with nearby People restaurant: the two places complement each other. And the absence of dividing walls means that there is constant visual and spatial communication between the two venues. When you’re dining at People, you have a full, glorious view of the store. And, in turn, when you’re shopping, you can see guests eating, drinking and socializing at the restaurant. And what about the items on offer at this vibrant new destination? Enter Harati, who selected the clothes, accessories and homeware available at We Are The People. “We want to give customers a curated and tailored selection from key designers,” she says.
In a world where fashion choices abound, it can sometimes be difficult to find “it” pieces or an accessory that’s unique to the season. This is what Harati is proposing at We Are The People. “The trend now is to offer a curated selection, so that the shopping experience is tailored,” says Harati. “This way you’re not overwhelmed when you’re shopping.” And how does the selection at We Are The People differ from what’s available at Aïshti, Aïzone and all affiliated monobrand boutiques? “You have so much out there with Aïshti, plus the individual boutiques, so you don’t always see some of the key or standout pieces,” says Harati. “Here we have the most relevant pieces of the moment. Personality pieces and exclusives pieces.”
THE SPACE STOCKS THE MOST EXCLUSIVE, MOST COVETED PIECES OF THE MOMENT
The clothes and accessories at the store are displayed like mood boards, each following a theme that’s relevant to the current fall/ winter 2017-18 designer collections. The constantly changing themes may include rock ‘n’ roll, glitz and glam, retro-bad New York City party girl, bohemian romance, black and white – and more.
Harati grabs a particularly delectable Gucci bag – burgundy velvet with a floral motif and the word “loved” plus the Gucci double Gs emblazoned on its front: “Look at this bag,” she says. “There’s no other piece like it!” She then tries on limited edition Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses that aren’t available anywhere else in Lebanon.
Oversized, pink and adorned with shiny, multicolored rhinestones, these sunglasses are a statement piece – and will certainly become vintage pieces in the near future.
In addition to the mainstream luxury brands, We Are The People stocks hard-to-locate pieces by edgy labels such as For Restless Sleepers, La Double J, Loewe, Sonia Rykiel, Proenza Schouler and Attico. “It’s the latest in everything,” says Harati, “a treasure chest of things that inspire you.” Complementing the fourth floor’s existing book corner and People restaurant, We Are The People is more than an edgy space in which to discover designer finds: it’s a community-based, interactive initiative that captures Beirut’s dynamic, cosmopolitan spirit.
Aïshti By the Sea Antelias Aïshti Downtown Beirut
04 717 716 ext 248 01 991 111 ext 130
Words Marwan Naaman Photography Myriam Boulos
THE NIGHT BELONGS TO B
There’s a new rooftop in town – and it’s set to become a Lebanon classic
The offbeat design of the space adds to the pulsating party vibe. The walls, created by Michel Elefteriades himself, showcase a powerful Modernist influence, as well as strong doses of Pop Art and kitsch
Lebanon’s nightlife got a shot in the arm with the opening of B, the latest entertainment venture by Michel Elefteriades, self-proclaimed Emperor of Nowheristan. Set on Aïshti by the Sea’s rooftop in Antelias and directly fronting the Mediterranean, B by Elefteriades rejuvenates the country’s nightlife by hosting a diverse lineup of live performers and DJs, while mixing exquisite cocktails and serving superlative cuisine.
Elefteriades shook up Lebanon’s nightlife scene in 2003, when he first launched MusicHall in Beirut. Now, nearly 15 years later, MusicHall remains one of the Middle East’s most creative and most successful venues, featuring a wide array of live performers, both local and international, and offering a dazzling mix of culture and music.
With B, Elefteriades takes his trademark blend of music and culture to another level, introducing artisan cocktails and fine cuisine into the equation. “The concept is a sort of Cinderella syndrome,” says Elefteriades. “Before midnight, you have live Latino and American singers and musicians, fine dining and socializing.” From the outset, Elefteriades wanted B to serve upscale cuisine, and to that end, he hired Catalan chef Jacob Vila to helm the kitchen. Vila worked with some of Spain’s masters of molecular cuisine, and for B he created such dishes as prime beef slow-cooked for 18 hours, bitesized patatas bravas, tuna tartare served with wasabi ice cream and tomatoes stuffed with calamari and served on squid ink risotto with Comté cheese. Desserts are just as unusual, and they include a delicate affair that’s somewhere between pain perdu and crema catalana. While dining and enjoying the seafront location, guests listen to live music performed by sultry international artists from such varied places as France, Cuba, the United States and Latin America.
By the stroke of midnight, everything changes. “There are no restrictions,” Elefteriades says. “At midnight, B
turns into a lounge, a club, and the party begins.” Music changes from deep house to electronic to dance, always spun by some of the world’s best-known DJs, who are flown in to Beirut especially to play their tunes at B. Depending on your mood, you can tailor the night to your own liking. “You can come have dinner and leave, or just come to party after midnight,” says Elefteriades. “Or you can stay for the full experience.” The offbeat design of the space adds to the pulsating party vibe. The walls, created by Elefteriades himself, showcase a powerful Modernist influence – think Gaudí’s psychedelic, blissfully colored tiles – as well as strong doses of Pop Art and kitsch, like a golden
"AT MIDNIGHT, B TURNS INTO A LOUNGE, A CLUB, AND THE PARTY BEGINS"
torso of a winged Adonis in front of which incense is continuously burning. Opening atop the Aïshti Foundation, above such a massive collection of contemporary art and in a space designed by British architect David Adjaye, was one of the biggest attractions. “I wanted my place to have a cultural dimension,” says Elefteriades. “Cuisine is a cultural thing, and beautiful places are a cultural thing. The view, the entrance – everything is beautiful. All done with a lot of taste. I wanted to be part of this hub.”
Words Rayane Abou Jaoude
STYLE AND THE CITY
Marc Jacobs explains how his current collection reflects the streets of New York
THE ACCESSORIES WERE DESIGNED BY NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST URS FISCHER
Marc Jacobs is the great showman – embellishments, music, noise, that’s his thing. Remember his white carousel for Louis Vuitton in 2012, or his Burning Man meets Gotham City wasteland in 2014? For his fall/winter 2017-18 show, however, he did something entirely unexpected: instead of upping the ante, he toned it down to make a statement. 134
“I feel people pay much more attention to who one’s showing rather than what one’s showing, you know, whether it’s Kendalls or Gigis,” Jacobs says, referring to models and “it” girls Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. “I wanted people to look at the clothes rather than at the set or being distracted by the music, because at the end of the thing we’re here for the clothes and accessories.” His collection at New York Fashion Week was in fact completely devoid of set music. There were no props, no lighting and no mobile phones allowed so that attendees could fully immerse themselves in the show. The only sounds came from the squeaking of metal folding chairs, camera shutters and the models’ heels as they strutted down the runway at the Park Avenue Armory. The show was aptly titled “Respect.”
What inspired Jacobs was Hip-Hop Evolution, a fourpart documentary on the genre’s development from the 1970s through the ‘90s, as well as his own upbringing in New York. Jacobs explained in show notes that it was during his time at the High School of Art and Design that he began to notice hip-hop’s effect on other genres, as well as on fashion and art. “[This collection] is an acknowledgement and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion, from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style,” he wrote.
Scaled down to dressy streetwear, the collection’s palette consisted of neutral, warm colors – greys, maroons, camels, golds and browns – and the outfits were surprisingly casual and wearable, a sort of Studio 54 meets urban streetwear: André 3000-inspired hats, shaggy fur, knit sweaters, short glittery dresses, flared track pants and platform brogues.
“The neutral and warm palette and the silhouettes borrowed from casual attire and sportswear dressing for ‘everyday’ is as simple as a coat over a dress, a sweater with pants, as you see in the street,” Jacobs says. “The show is a focus on the late ‘70s and ‘90s, [and] both represent the beginning and pick up of the hip-hop culture, which is still very present in the way people are dressing up today.”
There has been some speculation that the simplicity of the show perhaps acted as a subtle reminder that hiphop originated with kids who had absolutely nothing growing up in poverty-stricken areas of New York City, which was itself on the brink of bankruptcy in the ‘70s. And who better to understand New York and its urban culture, and pay homage to it, than a born-and-bred New Yorker? “New York was the home of subcultures in America, the hip-hop was getting huge and very influential in the city; even today people are pretty much still inspirited by it and are twisting their outfits in a ‘hip-
hop’ way,” Jacobs explains. “The show itself is a simple presentation of all these thoughts, culminating in an urban landscape documented by legendary New York photographer Joel Meyerowitz.”
To add a more modern touch to an entirely vintageinspired collection, the accessories were designed by Swiss-born, New York-based artist Urs Fischer, and consisted of chunky gold chains with gilded mouse pendants – the mouse being one of Jacobs’ iconic designs. “I always did and will do collaborations with artists,” says Jacobs, who himself wore the chain as he made his appearance after the show. “I have always been a huge fan of Urs Fischer’s work; this show was the perfect occasion to work together.” After the models left the runway, they convened outside, taking selfies as music blared from the speakers and pioneer street photographer Meyerowitz snapped photos, signaling the end of the show and the return to the real world.
Who better to understand New York and its urban culture, and pay homage to it, than a born-and-bred New Yorker?
So is this something he’d like to do more of in the future? He doesn’t say, but the show seems to have had a pretty powerful impact. Respect that.
Gucci Autumn/Winter 2016
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT PHOTOGRAPHY EMMA HARTVIG
SHOT ON LOCATION IN BERLIN
Saint Laurent bag
This page: Diptyque candle and home fragrance Opposite: Attico shoes
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses
Miu Miu shoes
Proenza Schouler shoes
Words J. Michael Welton Photography Riccardo De Cal
VENICE IN ALL ITS FLAVORS
JoAnn Locktov and Riccardo De Cal team up to offer a sensuous look at Italy’s most mythic city JoAnn Locktov’s newest book is a broad and deep investigation into the rarified, experiential beauty of the city of Venice. Dream of Venice Architecture features sensuous photography that’s cinematic in effect, most of its images composed with a clearly defined foreground, middle ground and background. That’s no accident. Its photographer, Riccardo De Cal, is well-known for his documentary films about venerated Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. “My background and my work are related to cinema, so maybe I looked more to cinema than photography here,” De Cal says. “I loved Luchino Visconti’s film Death in Venice – from the Thomas Mann novel – so maybe I unconsciously got connected with that sort of atmosphere.” The words in each of the book’s 35 chapters – and especially the
worth-its-weight-in-gold introduction by architect and historian Richard J. Goy – drill way down to expose diverse perspectives on this city’s magic. The authors – architects and architectural writers alike – are drawn from the ranks of some of the most articulate on the planet. Some of the prose is interpretive and some instructional, but all of it is inspirational. (Full disclosure: this writer contributed a modest essay on the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.) Locktov, who’s visited the city at least a dozen times over the past 20 years, freely admits her obsession with it. “I think Venice has the capacity to get into your DNA and into your psyche – it has a tremendous capacity to become part of who you are,” she says. “It certainly did that for many in the book. It just kind of gnaws at you, and the experience stays with you.”
It definitely has for New York architect Louise Braverman who, in her essay, identifies the city as “a metaphor for unexpected creative possibilities.” Braverman too has been coming back to Venice for the past 20 years – first as a tourist and later as an active participant in the cutting-edge Architecture Biennale, four times running. Once she’s set up her installation for those exhibitions, she plunges out into the city, its canals and nearby islands like glass-making Murano. “I need space in my head where I walk around and explore things, and that’s how I come up with ideas – where there’s enough visual stimulation, and I’m thinking about something else,” she says. “An idea pops into my head – and this is a place that encourages that.” Dallas-based architect Max Levy’s essay focuses poignantly on a prominent
wind vane poised atop the Punta della Dogana. It’s the figure of Fortuna – and it’s been spinning around for centuries, easily visible from San Marcos Plaza. “It’s a piece of Venice that’s somewhere between architecture and non-architecture,” he says. “I knew everyone else would be writing about heavy, weighty architecture, and I wanted to offer variety.” Levy sees Venice in the context of a world in decline – as a huge marble canary in a coal mine. “There’s a saying that if you want to know about life, don’t see it in the spring – see it in the fall when you can pick up a husk,” he says. “Venice is one vast, magnificent husk – there’s so much there.”
Richard J. Goy, who with his wife bought a small apartment there a dozen years ago, finds the city a uniquely livable place. Born and raised in London, with its population of millions, he contrasts that with Venice, a small and provincial place with fewer than 100,000 people. “It’s of such a scale that you get to know the local shops, bars and restaurants,” he says. “The fact that it’s completely free of wheeled traffic also makes a huge difference to its livability and the quality of the environment.” Goy’s introduction traces the fifth- and sixth-century founding of the city as a refuge for migrants from the Italian mainland, when Huns, Goths and other invaders swept down from the north with land-based armies and no means of reaching the islands. The new migrants at first built structures that were not much more than huts. But that would change. “The Venetians slowly developed particular building methods for construction in this challenging environment,” he says. “As the republic grew and became more and
more wealthy, the buildings became more permanent: brick, stone and marble instead of timber and thatched roofs.”
Still, they were perched on pilings pounded heavily into mud below water, creating unlikely foundations. “You have no right to be there, out in the middle of a lagoon,” Locktov observes. But once you are, it’s very hard to leave – and this book ably demonstrates why.
Aïshti Downtown Beirut, Aïshti By the Sea Antelias, Aïshti Verdun
WE TWO ARE ONE PHOTOGRAPHY PETROVSKY & RAMONE STYLING VENUS WATERMAN SHOT ON LOCATION IN AMSTERDAM
Davey is in a Dsquared2 coat and Dior Homme turtleneck. Lisa wears a ChloĂŠ jacket and Proenza Schouler earrings
Davey wears a Dior Homme coat
Davey wears a Dior Homme coat, and Lisa is in a Sonia Rykiel blazer and scarf, and MSGM pants and heels
This page: Davey is in a Fendi coat and turtleneck Opposite page: Davey is in a Prada total look, and Lisa wears a ChloĂŠ jacket, CĂŠline pants and Proenza Schouler earrings
She’s wearing a mini dress with long sleeves and a skirt by Dsquared2. She’s carrying a Videocassette mini bag and a Walkman mini bag, both by Sarah’s Bag Model Adriana at MP Model Management Makeup Katja Wilhelmus at Close Up Milano Hair Andrew Guida at Close Up Milano
Lisa wears a Stella McCartney coat, Proenza Schouler dress and KochĂŠ earrings
Davey and Lisa are both in Balenciaga total looks
Lisa is in a Saint Laurent dress, and Davey wears Saint Laurent shirt and jeans
Davey wears a Dsquared2 coat and a Dior Homme turtleneck
Lisa wears a Chloé jacket, Céline pants, Prada bag She’sProenza in pantsSchouler wearing by a vintage Soniaearrings Rykiel T-shirt, a Michael and Kors skirt and Fendi sunglasses
She’s wearing a mini dress with long sleeves and a skirt by Dsquared2. She’s carrying a Videocassette mini bag and a Walkman mini bag, both by Sarah’s Bag Lisa is in an Azzedine AlaïaAdriana coat and and Davey wears a Model atheels, MP Model Management Dior Homme turtleneck shoes, and pants Makeup Katjaand Wilhelmus atDsquared2 Close Up Milano Hair Andrew Guida at Close Up Milano
Davey wears a Dsquared2 coat, Dior Homme turtleneck and Fendi pants
Lisa wears an Ellery dress
Sheâ€™sand Lisa wearing Daveyaare Dolce both & Gabbana in Prada total dresslooks and Prada sandals
Lisa is in a Calvin Klein total look
Lisa wears a Gucci blazer, Azzedine Alaïa She’s wearing in pants aCéline vintage Sonia Rykiel T-shirt, a Michael turtleneck andby earrings Kors skirt and Fendi sunglasses
Lisa is in a Gucci blazer, Azzedine AlaĂŻa turtleneck and Ellery skirt
Lisa is in a Stella McCartney coat and pants, and Proenza Sheâ€™s wearing in pants aand vintage Sonia Rykiel T-shirt, a Michael Schouler dressby shoes Kors skirt and Fendi sunglasses
She’s wearing a mini dress with long sleeves and a skirt by Dsquared2. She’s carrying a Videocassette mini bag and a Walkman mini bag, both by Sarah’s Bag Model Adriana at MP Model Management Lisa and Davey are both in Balenciaga looks Makeup Katja Wilhelmus at Close total Up Milano Hair Andrew Guida at Close Up Milano
Lisa wears a ChloĂŠ jacket and Proenza Schouler earrings
Lisa wears an Azzedine AlaĂŻa coat, and Davey is in a Dior Homme turtleneck and Saint Laurent pants Models Lisa at Paparazzi Models and Davey at Elvis Models Makeup Kathinka Gernant Hair Siko van Berkel
Constant Cravings PHOTOGRAPHY EMMA HARTVIG STYLING MARI DAVID SHOT ON LOCATION IN BERLIN
Sheâ€™s in a Marni jacket and pants, Miu Miu earrings and the stylistâ€™s own turtleneck
Sheâ€™s in an Ellery coat and pants, Sonia Rykiel boots and the stylistâ€™s own turtleneck
Sheâ€™s in a Fendi skirt and boots, Maison Michel hat and ChloĂŠ bracelet
She wears a Chloé top and pants, Céline boots and Dior earrings
She wears a Prada dress and Falke tights
Sheâ€™s wearing a Valentino dress and CĂŠline boots
Sheâ€™s in a Diane von Furstenberg dress
Sheâ€™s in a Miu Miu sweater and pants and CĂŠline boots
Sheâ€™s in a Stella McCartney total look and Miu Miu earrings
Sheâ€™s in a Balenciaga total look
She stands behind a Loewe dress
Model Daria at Modelwerk Hair and makeup Gabrielle Theurer
Words Marwan Naaman
Montorgeuilâ€™s deliciously trendy vibe finds its zenith at Hotel Bachaumont
Hotel Bachaumont is back. The fabled Parisian hotel, which was a city hot spot in the 1920s, was given a new lease on life two years ago, when it reopened after a grand makeover.
Perhaps due to its setting in lively Montorgueil, Hotel Bachaumont has quickly become the favored haunt for actors, models, singers and other entertainment stars, who either choose to stay here during their Paris visits or patronize the hotel’s stylish restaurant and bar. The intimate property – it only has 49 rooms, including four suites – feels like your own hotel particulier. The lobby is diminutive but stylish to a fault, with Carrara marble floors, Parisian carpentry,
crown moldings, glass arches and mirrors that call to mind Versailles’ famed Hall of Mirrors. Up in the guest rooms, the furniture is all custom made and includes marble and wood desks, plus counters, bedside tables and retro wall lamps, with subtle nods to the hotel’s past Art Deco glory. Lavish bathrooms recall the Roaring ‘20s, with vintage taps and intricate tiling, while wrought-iron balconies offer a scenic panorama of Parisian rooftops. And since Hotel Bachaumont is an expression of its vibrant neighborhood, its four suites are named after the surrounding streets: Montorgueil, Montmartre, Louvre and Bachaumont. On the ground floor, the bar (aptly named Night Flight) and Le Bachaumont restaurant were designed to meld
seamlessly with the adjoining street life. The popular restaurant, which extends from the street all the way to the back of the building in a series of adjoining rooms, has an open kitchen and a dazzling glass roof that lets in massive amounts of light. There’s a large backgammon-inspired dining table that functions as a sort of centerpiece for the space, and at the same time provides a blissful contrast to the wild, colorful and varied patterns adorning the chairs and couches. This is where the buffet breakfast is served – under the grand skylight. Lunch and dinner feature a brasserie-style menu with contemporary takes on classic French dishes. While Le Bachaumont restaurant is part of the hotel, it’s a neighborhood star in its own right, with people buzzing at its tables throughout the day and night. On the other side of the hotel’s entrance hall, you have Night Flight, named after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s second novel, Vol de Nuit. Brought to you by the Experimental Group (the people behind the legendary Experimental Cocktail Club, which now has branches
in London, New York and Ibiza), Night Flight is inspired by the speakeasies of the Prohibition era and offers some of the French capital’s most deliciously creative cocktails – in addition to Paris’ liveliest and most stylish bar scene.
While Hotel Bachaumont has enough in-house treasures to keep guests pleasantly occupied, exploring the bars and restaurants dotting Montorgueil is an incredible gastronomic adventure. Nearby dining options include casual vegan eatery Brasserie 2ème Art, trendy Peruvian restaurant La Cevicheria and bustling Aux Tonneaux des Halles wine bar, among a truly endless selection. But then again, you’re in Paris, you’re at Hotel Bachaumont, why not spend your entire journey sampling Montorgeuil’s culinary delights?
AÏSHTI BY THE SEA, AÏSHTI DOWNTOWN, AÏSHTI VERDUN
Words J. Michael Welton
VINTAGE DESIGN How architects burnished the image of four wineries across the globe
This page and opposite page Ixsir winery in the Batroun hills, Lebanon
Antinori Nel Chianti Classico, Ixsir, Mission Hill, ViĂąa Vik
There’s more to making fine wine than growing and harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermenting and clarifying, then aging, bottling and corking. There’s architecture also. It’s a discipline that can eclipse a winery’s functionality with beauty and grace – and no small amount of branding. Here we have four world-class wineries on as many continents. They’re homes to excellent wines, to be sure – but also to the work of some of the top designers on the planet. Daring American master Tom Kundig honed his early architectural chops at the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in British Columbia. Chilean push-itto-the-limits Smiljan Radic designed a Pritzker Prizenominated winery for Viña Vik in Chile. Florence-based alchemist Marco Casamonti planted a winery halfway between Florence and Siena for Antinori Nel Chianti Classico. And Lebanese modernist Raed Abillama merged contemporary with classical design in Lebanon for Ixsir.
MISSION HILL WINERY IS SET IN BRITISH COLUMBIAâ€™S OKANAGAN VALLEY
Oculus is a Bordeaux-style wine produced by Mission Hill
and plunged into planting. “Most of the early efforts went into the vineyards and developing the land,” says Darryl Brooker, general manager and chief winemaker. “Then in the late 1990s, he put in the winery, the cellars and the winemaking facility.” In 1996, he called in Tom Kundig, a young architect with a big future. Mission Hill was one of Kundig’s first projects, and his designs there would help him achieve his rock-star status today. He helped master-plan and execute the Mission Hill project in phases, with two wine cellars, an amphitheater, a 30-story tower, a loggia and an entry keystone. “It all sort of flows into one,” Brooker says.
Ixsir, Lebanon Architect Raed Abillama turned his vision into an internationally recognized green building. Constructed underground, the winery kept the landscape intact, while a restored 17thcentury feudal house serves as entrance and symbol for the winery. “Abillama is a wellknown architect, and an authority on the integration of modern construction with old, authentic Lebanese buildings,” says Aurélie Khoros, brand manager at Ixsir, which is located in Batroun. Now that it’s built, the winery reduces water consumption by 28%, electrical energy consumption by 62% and green waste by 100%, compared to other Lebanese wineries with equal production levels. It boasts Lebanon’s biggest planted roof, and is home to a botanical garden that groups, side by side, all 21 different varieties of grapes planted in Lebanon. It’s also earned worldwide distinction. “It was named by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world, and won the international Architizer A+ Award as well,” Khoros says. Mission Hill, Canada In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley in 1991, proprietor Anthony von Mandl purchased land for a vineyard and winery,
Viña Vik, Chile In 2004, Alex Vik challenged his scientific team to produce the best red wine in South America. They chose a valley between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, 26km from San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, analyzed the soil, wind and water, and commenced planting in 2006. Then they got serious about design. “We held an architectural competition with entries from the top architects in Chile,” Brooker says. Winner Smiljan Radic worked for three years to perfect the winery’s location, design and materials. In 2014, he
The barrel cellars at Canadian winery Mission Hill, located in British Columbia
The winery at Viña Vik in Chile
Viña Vik in Chile is innovative, green and energyefficient. Architect Smiljan Radic worked for three years to perfect the winery’s location, design and materials. In 2014, he finished, and Alex Vik began making wine there
Antinori Nel Chianti Classico winery in Italy’s Tuscany region
finished, and Vik began making wine there. His winery is innovative, green and energy-efficient. Viña Vik is also breathtakingly beautiful – enough to attract the international Pritzker Prize committee. “The jury came twice,” he says. “This was the work by Radic that they wanted to see.”
Antinori Nel Chianti Classico, Italy For six centuries and 26 generations, the Antinori family has been making fine wines in Tuscany. In 1971, they introduced their first vintage of Tignanello, made out of Sangiovese grapes with a small percentage of Cabernet. It was considered a trailblazer for the new Italian wine Renaissance, and was recognized as one of the first Super Tuscans. “Ancient roots play an important role in our work, but they’ve never held back our spirit of innovation,” says owner Piero Antinori. From 2004 to 2012, architect Marco Casamonti of Archea Associati designed and built a new winery in the hillside area of Chianti Classico, a 30-minute drive from Florence. He integrated it into the rural landscape, concealing the complex with a covering that blends its new facade into the countryside. Vines grow along the contours of the hillside, as the façade stretches horizontally along a natural slope marked by vine rows.
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Photography Mohamad Abdouni
SWEET, SWEET BEIRUT
This page and opposite page: Emotions, Artisan Patissier & Glacier, on Selim Bustros Street in Ashrafieh
Lebanonâ€™s Millennial patisseries and ice cream parlors are reinventing desserts and providing a whole new experience for the taste buds
This page: Oslo’s Made in Heaven desserts, in Mar Mikhael and Verdun Opposite page: Des Choux et Des Idées’ sweets, on Abdel Wahab el Inglizi Street in Ashrafieh
NAYLA AUDI’S OSLO AND SAMER KOBEISSI’S DES CHOUX ET DES IDÉES ARE STARS OF BEIRUT’S NEW DESSERT SCENE
LE FLOCON ARTISAN GLACIER, IN NACCACHE, SPECIALIZES IN SINFULLY DELICIOUS ICE CREAM AND TASTY MERINGUES
Words Rayane Abou Jaoude
WHEN THE LIVING IS EASY
A look at Minottiâ€™s Beirut offerings
Italians know design, and there’s little anyone can say to refute that claim. What distinguishes Minotti, however, is that the brand thinks bigger picture. Stepping into its showroom in Beirut feels exactly like stepping into a home: the carpets, the lighting, the coffee tables, they’re all there. “It’s not that you’re choosing items left and right and from different places,” says Minotti Lebanon Managing Partner Christelle Martinos Najem. “As soon as you enter you see everything is Minotti, from the carpet to the signposts, the coffee tables, the armchairs.”
This makes it easier for clients to visualize their rooms. The designs are minimal, focused on earth tones but always with a dominating color, exuding warmth and a comfortable yet modern approach. “Minotti doesn’t look for one-year hits. It looks for continuity,” Martinos says.
The brand was founded by Alberto Minotti in the 1950s, quickly becoming an industrial enterprise by the ‘60s. Minotti expanded to what it is today thanks to Alberto’s sons, Renato and Roberto. They brought in famed Italian architect Rodolfo Dordoni, who has been coordinating the collections since 1997. His 2012 collection, influenced by design from the ‘50s, won Minotti the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Award in 2013.
The 2017 collection, Home Anthology, is focused on interiors that project a feel of elegance mixed with an unexpected combination of materials: wood, stone, glass, fabrics and leather. What makes it all the more interesting is the introduction of renowned French architect Christophe Delcourt, who designed the Lou and Fil Noir collections, as well as the Noor coffee table. Those include the Fil Noir chairs, which take their name from a thread that makes up the body and substance of the pieces. The Noor coffee table is composed of two cones, in bronze and platinum, merging into a single shape to form the table. Martinos herself is a fan of Dordoni’s Lawrence sofa, a versatile piece with incredible stitching and a refined metal perimeter frame. The set-back perimeter base in metal alloy with a painted black finish gives the illusion that the sofa is floating, and also protects its lower part. “I love the mix of a traditional sofa with seats and decks and the new stitching that they created,” Martinos says. “They really are avant-garde regarding how you can use and do the sofa, very futuristic.” Minotti’s most recent venture has been outdoor furniture, primarily sofa models that are fire retardant, waterproof, treated for UV rays and carrying rain covers. The label is also strengthening its presence in hotel lobbies, offices and airports, such as the Qatar Airways lounge at the Beirut airport. In fact, Middle East Airlines’ new Cedar Lounge includes Minotti’s Portofino armchairs and Bellagio coffee tables.
“MINOTTI DOESN’T LOOK FOR ONE-YEAR HITS. IT LOOKS FOR CONTINUITY”
Aïshti, Downtown Beirut 01.99 11 11
Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias 04. 71 77 16
NEVER ENDING STORY
Lebanese painter, sculptor, urban artist and architect Nadim Karam turned A Mag’s Taste theme into a series of original artworks reflecting his signature artistic style. In his own words: “The linear story developed is about a series of works from different sketchbooks, going through different periods of my work. They were selected from an archive of sketchbooks that I’ve never shown before, although many of the elements I used are well known. You have the black silhouette figures, like the elephant, the giraffe and the bird, plus the stretching thoughts, the shout images and particularly the erotic colored sketches of an early drawn sketchbook. The whole chain of work creates a secret, intriguing, ambiguous and absurd story interpreted differently and to be enjoyed by the observer.”
ILLUSTRATIONS NADIM KARAM
A BAG COLLABORATION WITH EMILY RATAJKOWSKI
THE EMILY BY
PA R I S 148 SAAD ZAGHLOUL STREET, DOWNTOWN BEIRUT / AÏSHTI BY THE SEA, ANTELIAS
BEIRUT SOUKS, SOUK EL TAWILEH T. 01 99 11 11 EXT: 560 AÏSHTI BY THE SEA, ANTELIAS T. 04 71 77 16 EXT. 263 BEIRUT CITY CENTER, HAZMIEH, LEVEL 1 T. 01 287 187 ALSO AVAILABLE AT ALL AÏZONE STORES IN BEIRUT, DUBAI, AMMAN
CABIRIA, CHARITY, CHASTITY A FILM BY NATASHA LYONNE
Cabiria, Charity, Chastity follows Chastity, on a surreal journey through a parallel plane, as she realizes that in order to face her future, she must first reconcile her Vaudevillian past. NOW SHOWING AT KENZO.COM/CHASTITY
KENZO FILM SERIES #5
AÏSHTI BY THE SEA, ANTELIAS FAKHRY BEY STREET, BEIRUT SOUKS, DOWNTOWN BEIRUT
Tantalizing the Senses WHEN YOU TRAVEL, NOTHING BEATS EXPERIENCING LIFE LIKE A LOCAL INSTEAD OF JUST A TOURIST. THESE RESTAURANTS, BARS, HOTELS AND SPAS, BASED IN SOME OF THE WORLDâ€™S MOST EXCITING DESTINATIONS, OFFER A SAVORY MIX OF LOCAL TRADITIONS AND CONTEMPORARY KNOW-HOW. THEIR AMBIENCE MAKES FIRST-TIME VISITORS FEEL LIKE TRUE INSIDERS
Open Monday-Saturday 7am-2pm and 5-11pm; Sunday 7am-2pm and 5-10pm. 138 Lafayette Street, lecoucou.com New York City has seen plenty of out-oftown celebrity chefs try to win over its jaded, skeptical restaurant-goers, only to fail miserably. Not so Daniel Rose, who made his name at Paris’ Spring and La Bourse et La Vie before opening Le Coucou in Manhattan last year. The ingenuity that won Rose such a devoted following among Parisians is on vivid display at Le Coucou. His menu takes French-inspired creations and gives them a regional New York spin, as in the anguille frite au sarrasin: buckwheat fried eel fished off the coast of Montauk in Long Island, and served with vinaigrette au curry. Every dish, like his veal tongue with American caviar and crème fraîche, shows off his deft way with sauces and bold flavors. The intimate brick-lined dining room is a fitting stage for Rose’s endlessly alluring cuisine.
Open Monday, Thursday-Sunday noon-2pm and 7-10pm; Wednesday 7-10pm. Salizzada Dei Greci, Castello, ristorantelocal.com Visitors to Venice who want to experience the regional cuisine usually have to make a special point to go off the tourist path, packed as it is with restaurants serving predictable menus. But the two-year-old Local takes Venetian ingredients and traditions seriously, and its menu – overseen by chef Matteo Tagliapietra, who has worked in the seminal Locanda Locatelli in London and Noma in Copenhagen – gives the region’s cooking its rightful due. Pasta primi courses might include a pennoni with lamb, yogurt, mint and a kick of red chili, and main dishes always feature a local catch of the day alongside seasonal standouts like veal with loquats and truffles. Even the design elements are local, from the Venetian terrazzo floors to the Masegni paving stones in the wine cellar.
Ditte Isager, Local, Marco Pinarelli
Where We’re Eating 236
Words Salma Abdelnour
Open daily noon-3:30pm and 8-11:30pm. Metropolitan Club, Doumani Street, Ashrafieh, lizabeirut.com Lebanese restaurants that try to mess with the country’s classic dishes usually do so at their peril. But inside Liza’s gorgeous dining space – a glassy, mirrored take on a traditional Beirut mansion in Ashrafieh – the elegant twists on the Lebanese repertoire are the most exciting offerings on the menu. Dishes like a vibrantly citrusy apple tabbouleh sound like eyebrow-raisers but are in fact well-thought-out and memorable spins on the original. Musakhen is reinvented as tidy spring rolls filled with sumac-seasoned chicken. The daily-changing drink offerings, like a blackberry arak cocktail, make inspired pairings for a dinner full of little surprises.
Cuina Céleri SL
Where We’re Eating Open Monday-Saturday 1:30-4pm and 8:30-11:30pm. 5 Passatge Marimón, tribuwoki.com Vegetable-centric cuisine is all the rage in certain US and European cities, and with Cuina Céleri SL, Barcelona jumps onboard the trend in its own original way, with a particular focus on Spain’s most outstanding seasonal produce. Anyone for whom a “vegetable menu” sounds boring will be blown away by chef Xavier Pellicer’s offerings here, ranging from beautiful courgette flowers stuffed with ratatouille and served with red pesto, to sweet roasted pumpkin with wild rocket and goat cheese, to silky “fillets” of celeriac topped with a buttery meunière sauce and date puree. The menu doesn’t completely avoid meat or seafood – all locally and ethically raised, obviously – but you might be so entranced with the vegetable inventions that you won’t bother.
Cuina Céleri SL
WE CARRY YOUR TRUST
Fast Building, 344 Pasteur Street, Gemmayze, Lebanon T. +961 1 562 777 F. +961 1 449 000
Where We’re Eating
The most extraordinary sushi experiences in Tokyo tend to happen in the smallest, most austere restaurants.
14-15 Henrietta Street, henriettahotel.com This jewel box of a restaurant is the latest from Ollie Dabbous, the innovative chef who has made waves ever since he opened Dabbous in Fitzrovia five years ago. Alas Dabbous is now closed, in preparation for its new incarnation next year, and in the meantime the chef is busy overseeing the chic restaurant at the Experimental Group’s luxe new Henrietta Hotel. Here you will encounter Dabbous’ masterful melding of international influences with fresh ingredients from England’s best purveyors: try the ricotta dumplings with garlic buttermilk and spring vegetables, the barbecued lamb with charred socca and violet mustard or the flatbread topped with sesame labneh, pickled vegetables and spring blossoms. Every dish and drink looks destined for Instagram, but good luck finding the patience to snap a photo before you dive right in.
Henrietta, Higashi-Azabu Amamoto
Open Monday-Saturday 6-11:30pm. 1 Chome-7-9 Higashiazabu, Minato But those deceptively humble-seeming spots are overseen by the city’s most artistic, visionary chefs, like Masamichi Amamoto. His new restaurant Higashi-Azabu Amamoto is a temple to Japan’s most spectacular local fish, and to some of the most exquisite sushi preparations found anywhere in the world. After spending nine years honing his craft under the Michelin two-starred chef Mitsuyasu Nagano at Tokyo’s Umi, Amamoto earned his own two stars within just six months of opening. Expect varieties of seafood you’ve never seen before, like living button shrimp and karasumi (salted and sun-dried mullet roe), presented with flair in an eightseat dining room that’s booked solid for months in advance.
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What We’re Eating
Words Salma Abdelnour Photography Raya Farhat
LEBANON GOES ORGANIC How one Lebanese couple’s salubrious idea is bearing fruit
One of the biggest compliments you can pay to farmers nowadays is to say their tomatoes taste just like… actual tomatoes. Or that their zucchini is delicious enough to eat raw. Or that their watermelon tastes fresh, juicy and not at all like Eau de Javel, the chlorinated cleaning fluid whose flavor can finds its way into produce. Eating fruits and vegetables that taste exactly the way they’re supposed to shouldn’t be too much to ask, but in this age of industrial farming, that’s a quality no one can take for granted anymore.
It was the experience of slicing into a distinctly Javel-flavored watermelon that led Zeina Khoury Daoud to decide it was time to fight for better-tasting fruit, even if it meant growing it herself. “When I tasted that watermelon,” Daoud says, “I thought, what’s this? What are we eating?” Daoud had grown up around her father’s olive oil press in Koura, in Northern Lebanon, and since 1996 she and her sister Myrna had been selling the olive oil along with locally grown zaatar, sumac, sesame and other ingredients to retailers in and around Beirut. But seven years ago, when Daoud had her epiphany thanks to the chlorinated watermelon, organic farming still had a low profile in Lebanon. Not many farmers were willing to take on the complicated procedures and risks involved in converting to organic farming and getting their land certified by a reputable organization.
Still, Daoud was motivated – she wanted to feed her three kids the best-quality produce she could find – and as it turned out, her husband Rudy Daoud had friends with land in Ammiq, in the Bekaa Valley, that they hadn’t used in a quarter-century. The couple went about preparing the land for organic farming, and getting it approved by the CCPB, an Italian organization that grants organic certification. The first crops the Daouds grew there were mainly vegetables and herbs and a few fruits, from lettuce to mint, parsley, potatoes, carrots and, of course, watermelons. Recently, with a growing base of clients around Lebanon who crave flavorful produce grown without chemicals, the Daouds have started planting fruit trees – apples, pears, peaches, kiwi – although those will take some time to start producing enough fruit to sell. Starting up an organic farm from scratch isn’t the only sign of the Daouds’ pioneering spirit. Their retail method is unusual too. The
couple’s produce, sold under their label Le Potager Bio, gets into the hands of their loyal customers in two different ways: First, the Daouds offer it through a subscription service in which clients receive weekly home deliveries of a $15 or $25 box containing a variety of just-harvested produce. Second, the farm’s products are also sold at La Vie Claire, a France-based specialty foods shop with three branches in Lebanon, all owned by the Daouds: in Ashrafieh, Hazmieh and Zalka. Inside those shops, after walking through aisle after aisle of attractively packaged organic products from France – breads, grains, jams, teas, wine, beauty products and more – it’s a refreshing surprise to walk into an aisle stacked with brightly colorful produce grown in Lebanon. For anyone who gets a thrill from sampling exquisite fruits and vegetables, receiving the Le Potager Bio subscription box at home is another surprise, like opening a birthday present every week. The Daouds got the idea for the delivery model from France; subscription boxes from farms are also a growing trend in the United States, known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In Lebanon this is a fledgling movement: the American University of Beirut has its own version, called the Healthy Basket, and it’s another increasingly popular option in a field with few competitors so far.
In recent months, subscriptions to Le Potager Bio’s delivery boxes have doubled, thanks to Zeina’s TV appearances after receiving a coveted Brilliant Lebanese Award in 2016. “The demand for organic is growing,” says Rudy. “There’s a need in the market.” For now, the only question is how the Daouds will keep up with their ever-growing number of eager customers. But in the volatile world of organic farming, that’s a good problem to have.
How We’re Detoxing
Words Karim Hussain
How to eat according to the humors of your body Just look around at your next yoga or Pilates class – we’re all different. Some of us are curvy with bumps, others muscular, while some of us are petite. And this isn’t the only unique aspect: some of us seem to gain weight just by looking at food, while others feast with little apparent consequence. These differences may be inconsequential in a unified goal to achieve health, but recognizing them may mold our approach, acknowledging that there are variations and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. These ideas are reflected in the founding principles of Ayurveda, India’s ancient medical system. Instead of having to guess which foods, supplements and behaviors are appropriate for you, there is a prescriptive path developed for your unique body type, or dosha. There are three Ayurvedic body types, or doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each has a unique set of characteristics. There are several ways to determine your body type, including visiting a doctor who practices Ayurvedic medicine. However there are several online quizzes that provide great insight into your primary dosha, and most people are a combination of two doshas, with one dominating. So what dosha are you?
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Pitta individuals are usually of medium build with good muscle tone, enjoy high energy levels and strong digestion – they can eat almost anything. Mentally, they are intelligent, focused, ambitious people. Emotionally, they are passionate about life, have a tendency to be perfectionists, and can become easily irritated. Out of balance, Pitta types can experience excessive anger, suffer from inflammatory conditions (such as headaches and rashes), encounter digestive problems (such as acid reflux, diarrhea and ulcers), and become overstressed workaholics.
Eat juicy fruits, such as mangos and melons, and vegetables with high water content, such as cucumbers, kale and lettuce. Avoid hot spices, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and acidic foods, such as citrus and tomatoes.
Kapha is usually the largest of the body types with wide hips/shoulders, thick wavy hair and good physical stamina. Mentally, Kapha types like to progress at their own pace, and they have great memories. Emotionally, they tend to be loyal, stable and reliable. Out of balance, Kapha individuals have a tendency toward sinus congestion, poor circulation and sluggish digestion that can easily lead to obesity, so Kaphas must always be on the move. Eat garlic, vegetables and high-fiber foods such as legumes, and cook with spices. Avoid oils, fats, sweets and salt.
The most slender of the three body types, Vatas can find it difficult to gain weight. Mentally, they learn fast and forget fast, enjoy change and are very creative. Emotionally, Vata types are excitable and enthusiastic, but can easily become anxious. Out of balance, Vata individuals can have poor digestion with lots of bloating and constipation. Eat warm, cooked, soupy foods, cooked cereals, nuts, cooked vegetables, hot milk and ghee (clarified butter). Avoid dry or crunchy foods, carbonated beverages and cold or raw vegetables. For Ayurvedic dining, check out eastbywestlondon.com, divyaskitchen.com and theayurvedacafe.com
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Where We’re Detoxing
Olive Farm is set on the Turkish peninsula where Bodrum is located, a two-hour ferry ride from its marina.
guesthouse.olivefarm.com.tr In 2010, the farm flung open the doors of its Guest House, offering the opportunity to experience rural life in a comfortable setting. Olive Farm in Datça has the advantages of a working farm: organic eggs, fresh milk, homemade jams, freshly baked bread and homegrown vegetables are served daily in meal sittings from morning until night. The Olive Farm brand is much-coveted in Turkey for organic products, ranging from oils and pastes for the kitchen to soaps, gels and creams for the bed and bathrooms. You can try them all in the Guest House hammam as well. – Karim Hussain
Homefield Grange Retreat Homefield aims to have guests feeling and looking amazing, inside and out. homefieldgrangeretreat.co.uk The health-focused hotel and spa, set inside an ancient country manor, is located in Rushton, a scenic hamlet that’s a two-hour drive from London. Guests can benefit from the expertise and know-how of a nutritional therapist, weight-loss coach and gourmet raw food chefs. The varied detox programs, which range from one-day to week-long retreats, are designed to boost your wellbeing while ensuring total immersion and complete privacy – only 15 guests are accepted per week. The on-site spa offers relaxing massages, and a cozy lounge, complete with a fireplace, adds to the relaxing ambiance. – Valerie Jones
Homefield, Olive Farm
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Sen Wellness Sanctuary senwellnesssanctuary.com Osteopath Sam Kankanamge founded Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka when he started feeling the need for a special place to self-heal and nourish. Kankanamge had worked in London since he was 18 and wanted to return to his native Sri Lanka to create a sanctuary that offers a space for growth for all those who visit, including the local community. He put together a team of osteopaths and yoga teachers, as well as local therapists, skilled chefs and knowledgeable Ayurvedic doctors, to create a wellness philosophy that teaches how the physical and spiritual bodies can live in harmony. The Sanctuary programs are an integrative system of healing that blends advanced scientific principles of the West with ancient wisdom of the East. â€“ Karim Hussain
SEN WELLNESS SANCTUARY IS A SPECIAL PLACE TO SELF-HEAL AND NOURISH
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Where Weâ€™re Detoxing 248
TANGALLE, SRI LANKA
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What We’re Drinking
Words Michael Karam Illustration Sarah Ashley Mrad
What’s Brewing? The Lebanese were making and drinking beer long before the country ever came to be
I had my first ever sip of beer in Lebanon. It was in 1972. I was seven, and it was a bottle of Almaza, the brown bottle you had to return to get a refund. I know this because I have a photograph of the moment. The civil war was still three years off but it didn’t really matter to me. We lived in London and only holidayed in Lebanon in the summer, so when the shit hit the fan in 1975, we simply stopped coming.
It didn’t stop me drinking beer however, but British beer is different than the cold lager that slakes the thirst in hot countries. I had my first real pint in a pub called the Three Moles near my school in West Sussex. It was the summer of 1981. I was 16 and nervously ordered a “pint of your best, landlord.” It came in a dimple jug, and I sat in silence outside and drank, not really knowing what else to do.
When the guns of the Lebanese civil war fell silent I came “home.” If we’re being honest, mine wasn’t a story of a patriotic young man returning to rebuild his country. The truth was I was partying too hard in London, and my mother, in a bid to curb my predisposition to excess, landed me a job at the American University of Beirut teaching English. I didn’t drink whiskey back then; the wine was still pretty ropey unless you found a decent bottle of Château Musar lying around, a gin and tonic was too complicated and people gave funny looks if you drank vodka. So it was to old buddy beer that I turned. Happily, Almaza cost LL500 a bottle. Laziza, arguably the country’s oldest brand, re-emerged in the late 1990s. The basic stuff wasn’t bad, but the brewery made another beer called Strong. And at a whopping 8% alcohol, it took you from 0 to 60 in record time. Happy days indeed.
But very soon we had proper beer. 961 opened for business after the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel – and the craft beer movement had arrived. It was a bullish response to a month-long conflict that had severely mauled the country and pretty soon afterward, we were drinking lagers, red ales, porters, witbiers and IPAs in the dimly lit 961 bar at the entrance to a still nascent Mar Mikhael.
But if you wanted proper craft beer, you had to turn to the half Czech Emil Strunc (pronounced Schtrunz) who along with his wife, brewed 24,000 bottles of Schtrunz beer each year in a 25-square-meter “nano-brewery” in Jounieh. He showed me his various interpretations of the eight styles of beer he brewed: Kölsch, Hefeweizen, Dunkelweiss, Witbier, Munich Amber, Vienna Amber, Black IPA and the peerless Bière de Garde. We felt a revolution had begun. I never heard of Emil or his beers again. Today, Beirut Beer is spearheading the charge to be the nation’s favorite brew, while the hugely amiable Jamil Haddad and his Colonel brewery in Batroun, the hippest corner of Lebanon, leads Lebanon’s beer revolution. He tells me he wants to make his own vodka too. Now that’s what I call progress.
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Where We’re Drinking
Brooklyn, New York Circa Brewing Co. Open Monday-Thursday, Sunday 4pm-midnight; Friday-Saturday 4pm-2am. 141 Lawrence Street, circabrewing.co
Circa Brewing Co., Brooklyn’s hottest new nightspot, specializes in craft beer: 12 different flavors are available, all of them brewed on-site and served at the absolute peak of freshness. The beer program is led by head brewer Danny Bruckert, and his twin brother Luke is chef de cuisine, specializing in pizza prepared in custom-designed wood-fire ovens. The bar/restaurant’s interior is inspired by Brooklyn’s industrial manufacturing spaces and includes a 70-foot-long oak worktop bar as well as three spaces for special events. An added attraction? You can enjoy a pilsner while viewing brewers produce new beer at the on-site brewery, and you can watch your pizza being prepared in the exposed kitchen. It’s double the fun. – Marwan Naaman
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Open Monday-Thursday, 7:30am-midnight; Friday 7:30am-2am; Saturday 8:30am-2am; Sunday 8:30ammidnight. 1 Rosenthaler Strasse, circus-berlin.de/ commonground/ The popular joint directly fronts Rosenthaler Strasse and offers a constant view of foot traffic via floorto ceiling windows. The bar is famed for its craft cocktails, which include the tangy Pineapple Express (bourbon, sherry Manzanilla, salty pineapple syrup, lemon juice, Crémant) and sinful Hanky Panky (gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet-Branca). Oversized chairs, plush couches, creative nibbles and a friendly multicolored giraffe encourage long stays and repeat visits. – Marwan Naaman
Mateusz Trzeciak/Silo Coffee, Vol de Nuit
Open daily 5pm-1am. Youssef el Khazen Street, Badaro, facebook.com/VoldeNuit.BEY If you’re a fan of sour cocktails, start with specialty drink Espelmador, a mix of gin, Prosecco, lychee and passion fruit syrup. It comes in a startlingly large glass, so expect to end the night feeling sufficiently lightheaded and very satisfied. If you’re a sweet tooth, try the aptly named Caribbean, a blend of Sailor Jerry rum and watermelon syrup, strong enough to transport you to Barbados, if only for an hour or two. Food choices are as diverse as they are many: start with the honey feta cheese appetizer and follow that with the Thai burger (grilled Australian beef patty, cheddar and emmental cheeses and a side of fries). This place definitely stands out. – Rayane Abou Jaoude
Vol de Nuit
Strong drinks with a twist are what’s on at Badaro’s newest staple, Vol de Nuit. BEIRUT
Where We’re Drinking 254
Both a café and bar, Commonground is an extension of the ultra-hip Circus Hotel’s lobby.
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Words Ramsay Short
VIENNA FOODIE CITY CULINARY ADVENTURES IN AUSTRIAâ€™S CAPITAL 256
One could be forgiven for thinking that the Viennese have nothing to do all day but eat – the array of food on offer in this ancient capital is so vast, with cafés, restaurants and street outlets seemingly on every corner.
And yet perhaps it’s simply that this is such a happening city, lined with stately palaces, museums and galleries, baroque buildings and delightful art nouveau architecture, coupled with such an active population – the streets and parks and the Danube are made for walking, cycling, swimming, jogging – that eating (and eating well) is naturally a priority. And that’s as it should be. Vienna’s food scene is all the better for not having succumbed to the arrival of chains or fancy hautecuisine eateries. Instead there are the many Würstelständs (sausage-stands), the city’s renowned café culture, a smattering of unpretentious beisl (bistros) serving schnitzel and tafelspitz (boiled beef) and some fine new-wave spots.
Start with the instantly recognizable staples of Viennese cuisine, Wiener Schnitzel (tender veal cutlet in breadcrumbs) and Sachertorte (chocolate cake with apricot jam and chocolate glaze). The first you can eat at any beisl – this writer’s favorites are Haas Beisl in the 5th district (warm, jovial and decked out in wood) and Finkh in the 6th (more avant-garde, housed in
a former engine workshop). Alternatively Vienna’s glorious and classic fin-de-siècle cafés serve both a mean schnitzel and chocolate cake (as well as a good coffee). Recognized by UNESCO for their intangible cultural heritage – sit in any and it’s easy to imagine yourself surrounded by thinkers of the golden age, from Sigmund Freud to Leon Trotsky – Vienna’s cafés are defined both by their ubiquity and inherent good cheer. I recommend Café Central for its atmosphere, Café Prückel, a 1950s joint serving a mean Styrian fried-egg dish, on the western edge of the Ringstrasse, and the excellent Café Sperl.
Naturally it would be a shame not to eat Vienna’s most famous chocolate cake at the place it was created back in 1832 – the Hotel Sacher. Today more than 360,000 Sachertortes are made here by hand each year, a third of which are eaten at the hotel itself. You could also sample it at the former Imperial court confectioner’s Demel on Kohlmarkt in the old town.
Vienna is not all Viennese cooking however. Don’t miss vegetarian, vegan and Michelin-starred spot Tian, with its fine all non-meat fare, courtesy of chef Paul Ivic. Then there’s laidback Labstelle, run by Thomas Hahn, with super fresh daily-changing dishes and a fine beer garden in the center of town. Motto am Fluss and Michelin-starred Steirereck are arguably Vienna’s fanciest spots. The latter is well known for Heinz Reitbauer’s exceptional modernist cuisine, but the former is more fun. Easily mistaken for a boat, situated on the Danube Canal, Motto am Fluss is actually a mooring point for the Twin City Liner to Bratislava and is always packed with customers eager for its dishes made from organic ingredients. Italian food is big in Vienna. When it comes to pizza, Maria Fuchs’ Neapolitan pizzeria Pizza Mari, a minimalist venue where the chefs are all from Naples, is second to none. Equally worth a stop is Italian family-owned Trattoria Triestina in the 6th, serving great Friulian-Istrian dishes and outstanding wines.
A bike ride to south Vienna takes you to the Alte Donau, the incredible manmade island dividing the River Danube and a fantastic place to experience a different side of the city’s cuisine. I sampled a mean octopus starter, fresh off the grill, at Ufertaverne, amid wonderful views from the second floor terrace. Then there are the baby back ribs grilled on Austria’s largest charcoal grill at the fabulous Strandcafé, a meatlover’s riverside dream.
To be honest I’ve barely touched the surface of what and where to eat in Vienna, a town also famous for its local wine – vines for which are literally grown just outside the city. But if there are two items to add, the first must be ice cream. The Austrian capital has one of the highest densities of ice cream parlors worldwide, with a propensity for unusual yet delicious flavors. Try Eissalon Tichy in the 10th, where queues for the frozen Knödel (dumplings with a dense center of apricot or raspberry surrounded by ice cream and rolled in roasted hazelnuts or poppy seeds) run round the block. The second item is the aforementioned sausage. Despite the many sumptuous-sit down meals I’ve enjoyed here, Vienna’s best snack is enjoyed standing, elbow-to-elbow, at lunch or late at night. Go for the tasty Käsekrainer (sausages with cheese) or debrecener (sprinkled with paprika). Try the stand at the Burggarten, which is open until 4am. The only decision left to make is how you like mustard. Süss (sweet) or scharf (spicy)?
NATURALLY IT WOULD BE A SHAME NOT TO EAT VIENNA’S MOST FAMOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE AT THE PLACE IT WAS CREATED BACK IN 1832 – THE HOTEL SACHER
Ion City Hotel
Laugavegur 28, Reykjavík 101, ioniceland.is Sister to the famed Ion Adventure Hotel in Thingvellir National Park, it remains true to Icelandic minimalism: the interiors are a blend of clean lines and a gray and white palette with wooden floors and walls. The rooms exude a feeling of total comfort, with the windows – possibly the greatest feature – letting in all the light the Scandinavian country has to offer in fall. The Junior Suites offer a large balcony and a private sauna, and the Panoramic Suite features its own dining area, fully stocked bar, a view of the city center and the bay, and, best of all, you have the option of ordering a chef or bartender for private parties. – Rayane Abou Jaoude
Ion City, Made
44 West 29th Street, madehotels.com Hospitality entrepreneur Sam Gelin’s first hotel offers a new concept for hotel guests. Made Hotel, which opened in September in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, is a seductive retreat in which all barriers were removed to encourage bold interactions. The lobby is a wide open space in which freshly ground coffee is served in the morning, cappuccinos in the afternoons and cocktails in the evening, and where guests and locals mingle at all times. Interiors come courtesy of Studio Mai, who created guest rooms with exposed raw bronze shelving, handwoven fabrics and polished stainless steel mirrors. – Marwan Naaman
Where We’re Staying 260
Icelandic firm Minarc designed Reykjavík’s newly opened Ion City Hotel.
Aïshti By the Sea, Antelias T. 04 717 716 ext.269 and all Aïzone stores T. 01 99 11 11
The Phoenicia The Mall, Floriana, campbellgrayhotels.com/thephoenicia-malta Iconic hotel The Phoenicia, located in Floriana just outside Malta’s capital city of Valletta, reopened earlier this year after major renovations. Now part of the CampbellGray Hotels family, the distinctive property was carefully restored by Peter Young Design and Mary Fox Linton, who remained true to the noble building’s rich architectural legacy. The sprung loaded dance floor in the Ballroom, for example, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth’s, was kept intact. All 136 rooms were refurbished and upgraded, as were the hotel’s grounds, terraces and classic façade. New features include an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Marsamxett Harbor, Café Phoenicia and PureGray Health Club and Spa. The Phoenicia is a fantastic new reason to visit Malta. – Marwan Naaman
THE RENOVATED PHOENICIA HOTEL IS A FANTASTIC REASON TO VISIT MALTA
Camper Beirut souks, Souk El Tawileh Street, Beirut central district • Aïshti by the Sea, B1 Level, Antelias • Beirut City Center, Level 1, Hazmieh
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Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Photography Marco Pinarelli
COASTAL WONDERLAND 273
Gibranâ€™s Lebanon bookstore
Byblosâ€™ ancient souk offers handmade items and precious antiques, as well as pottery, glass, soap and all the aromatic herbs and spices you can find
Byblos revels in its new attractions while retaining its ancient splendor
At ĂŠCafĂŠ, the breeze knocks pink oleanders onto your table
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The term flâneur was first explored by Charles Baudelaire in the 1860s – he meant to describe a casual wanderer, a drifter, one who walks the city and explores the life within it. The flâneur is not going somewhere in particular, but is instead creating narratives for the places and the people within the metropolis. There is no better place to be a flâneur than Byblos. The ancient Phoenician city’s cobbled streets and walls carry stories that go back millennia. Stepping into the old souks feels like stepping into a portal – it’s the closest you can get to time travel. The city teems with charm: the narrow alleyways, the sandstone villas, the pre-Roman ruins at every turn, the deep blue Mediterranean and the old vendors sitting outside on their plastic chairs, greeting you with a smile, calling out “come in!” There’s nothing quite like it, and it’s all entirely walkable. 278
The artisanal shops and boutiques are aplenty, with many of the items handmade, and besides the hundreds of antiques, there’s pottery, glass, soap, Phoenicianthemed trinkets and all the aromatic herbs and spices you can find. “Byblos is the city where culture has been piling throughout civilizations for so many thousands of years,” says lawyer, politician and businessman Roger Eddé.
He and his wife Alice are the forces behind celebrated resort Eddé Sands, as well as numerous spots across the city such as éCafé, the beautiful green spot where the breeze knocks pink oleanders onto your table, the Alice Eddé clothing store, bookstore Gibran’s Lebanon and Italian restaurant éForno. Much of the couple’s focus is on green and organic living, and Alice has already organized numerous wellness weeks at Eddé Sands as well as soap-making events, lavender distilling and hat making, and she regularly participates in the farmers market. “When I came here in 1973, it just did something. You can’t really explain it, and then I met Roger, and he is from this area,” Alice Eddé says. “Foreigners and Lebanese alike, they want to have the authentic in Byblos, they don’t want to have the glitz. The glitz is for big cities… Byblos has so much to offer as it is.” Because Byblos is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, you can expect to see a great deal of archaeological sites: Saint John the Baptist church and Our Lady of Deliverance, Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque, the Roman theater, the Crusader castle and the muchphotographed Othman el Houssami House.
Walk toward the port, and you come across noted restaurants like Locanda, Feniqia, Hacienda de Pepe and El Molino. For tired feet, boats are ready for a ride out at sea. Of the city’s most elegant hotels, Byblos Sur Mer has a spectacular sea view, and its outdoor restaurant, Dar al Azrak, is ideal for dining by the waves.
The nightlife isn’t remiss either: the music is blasting, the streets are bustling and the open-air bars are everywhere. But for the Eddés, the focus should be less on the nightlife and more on expanding the city’s cultural activities. Roger Eddé is already working on a Lebanese University subsidiary in the area and building a school. There are also plans for an eco-village, and a similar one a few kilometers away in Nahr Ibrahim. “You don’t only leave what you build, what you do; you also leave a story,” he says. This couldn’t ring more true in Byblos.
Roger and Alice Eddé
The ancient Phoenician city of Byblos has Lebanonâ€™s most picturesque harbor and best-preserved souks
EddĂŠ Sands is one of Lebanonâ€™s most dazzling and visually splendid beach resorts
Byblos nightlife is coming into its own: the music is blasting, the streets are bustling and the open-air bars are everywhere
Byblos restaurants include Feniqia (above) and Hacienda de Pepe (below)
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN BYBLOS DATES BACK TO 1115 AD
Saint John the Baptist Church
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Words Marwan Naaman Artwork Roe Ethridge
THE LAST PAGE: GRAPE EXPECTATIONS
When he photographed Hollywood siren Pamela Anderson sensually savoring a bunch of grapes, celebrated American photographer Roe Ethridge reportedly said that he was trying to capture the end of summer, that precise moment when the heat breaks, the first cool breezes arrive and grapes are in full fruition. The Miami-born, New York-based artist gained international renown after participating in the Whitney Biennial in 2008. Since then, his work has become part of prestigious collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Tate Modern in London. “Pamela Anderson with Grapes” was shot in 2015. On view at Art people, Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias.
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