Veronica and Shadi (Queensland)
Their dream is to one day operate food tours in Italy, but for
now Veronica and Shadi Abraham are happy to be showcasing their
cooking skills to Australia.
Their cooking is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, resulting in some interesting and different dishes as they combine their Italian and Lebanese backgrounds on the plate.
"Mediterranean foods are similar in some ways, but different in others," says Veronica, 29, who works as an occupational health and safety consultant. "Italian servings are plentiful, Lebanese are more mezze eaters. But we love experimenting with both."
It was a recent return to her parents Sicilian hometown that inspired them to share their experiences of ample fresh produce, traditional recipes and passionate home cooking.
"Cooking means connecting with my heritage," says Veronica. "When I cook I think about what my grandmother would have done or all those lost recipes that I want to rediscover."
And its been something she has felt passionate about since a young age. "I distinctly remember calling out, "Café's ready," to my grandparents when they visited from Sicily when I was just three," she recalls.
Husband Shadi, 29, has developed the same passion for food since they married five years ago and is no slouch in the kitchen either. "Veronica's passion is what drives me to learn more every day. I love it," says Shadi, who works as a builder.
But while carpentry pays the bills, Shadi admits he considered going into the food industry. "About six years ago I contemplated either being a carpenter or a chef," he says. "I love carpentry and enjoy it very much, so I decided to just be the chef in our own kitchen."
And its cooking at home where they are perfecting their simple wholesome village food, which they cant wait to share with audiences.
And their secret ingredient? "Our favourite ingredient is salt," says Shadi. "Seriously, if you over use it it will be disastrous, but I think people are scared to use it and so they miss out on the flavour it brings."