“The Culinary School is the personal culmination of 15 years in the hospitality industry. Growing up in Sydney’s Western suburbs I was exposed to a cultural smorgasbord of cuisine, which lined the streets of Punchbowl, similar to what I would see in my mother country. Coming from Lebanese parents who migrated here after the war, the connection between culture and cuisine was deeply embedded into my identity from a young age. I opened my first restaurant at 18 years old and sold it a year later armed with a new perception on the culinary world. I learnt that each recipe had a story, a past, an identity tied to a tradition, it represented a people and a place, all had uncertain futures and a troubling present and for some a cautionary warning.
I studied traditions and how the political histories of certain foods influenced its very birth. Everything can be tied back to culture, and the richness of culture reflects the history of the food, without proper knowledge of its origins, we are denying a part of our identity.
This is why we focus on teaching the foods of the past the way they were first taught, only until we truly understand their origins can we innovate tradition, it is only out of my deep respect for culinary history and the generations that pioneered them, do we strive to maintain a cultural tie, keeping the link alive for our youth and those after them.”
– Bashar Krayem