In only its first challenge, Team Lebanon set the highest score on the new Australian cooking show, Plate of Origin.
The show started with 10 teams from different countries: China, Greece, Italy, Cameroon, Vietnam, France, India, Australia, Venezuela, and of course, Lebanon.
During their first challenge, Mother Jamal Gerges and daughter Rachida Qutami proudly scored a record-high of 55 out of 60 after wow-ing the judges with delicious Lebanese Samke Harra and mouthwatering Znood El-Set.
“That fish was cooked to perfection and is generous in quantity, flavor, and taste,” said French-Australian celebrity chef judge, Manu Feildel, raving about the appetizing Samke Harra.
The fresh ingredients and flavors. We are not afraid to add extra herbs, spices, and of course, garlic. A lot of people are afraid to use garlic but that’s what makes it (Lebanese food) so appetizing to eat.
– Jamal Gerges
About the delectable dessert, the English-Australian celebrity chef judge Gary Mehigan said he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Znood El-Set, “I wanted to run over, before you had even plated up, to grab one of those golden pastries.”
Sadly, the duo was cut out during the quarter-finals double elimination challenge competing against India, Vietnam, and Greece.
Shocking to Lebanese and Middle Easterners around the world, Team Lebanon’s Chicken Shawarma was no match for Vietnam’s Lemongrass Chicken Wraps and Greece’s Chicken Souvlaki.
We say this with a good spirit and wish good luck to the remaining contestants. Although let’s be honest (and a tad bit biased), Team Lebanon deserved to go to the finals!
The mother and daughter team run a food business in Sydney called The Village Table, where they will continue to wow their customers with Lebanese goodies.
We Lebanese take pride in our cuisine and love to share it with the world. Rachida one day hopes to open a cooking school to “pass down our recipes to the younger generation.”
Lebanese dishes are more than just ingredients on a plate. They’re culinary expressions of love that are passed on from generation to generation, “a celebration of our heritage,” as Rachida and Jamal rightfully declare it in The Village Table website.