What is eating?
It is a necessity.
Well, you are wrong, all living beings eat out of necessity, except humans, who do it for something else.
The grandmother's plate, the mother's, the mother-in-law's, my partner's (or mine's) specialty dish, phrases that fill our ears, but never our senses. Well, never senses until I met Miguel.
I remember tasting with Ahmed, today a great nephrologist, and with Miguel, the cooked and roasted lamb's heads "Nifa" on the roof of Ahmed's house, while the high school books with the leaves dancing in the wind, on a table made from oil cans, donation from the UNO, in the Shatila refugee camp, later known for the massacre.
We were hungry to eat, but Miguel, I remember, always approached the tray, fanned the smoke towards his nose with his hands, looked at the texture, and said to us: Well, let's eat but the ones from the other time were better and we answered, if they are only lambs heads, sit down and eat that there is a lot of text to finish; Miguel answered, you are wrong, it is not just eating, it is something else, it is opening the pores of all our senses to get drunk with the power of food to continue.
It was a regular conversation between us about each sandwich or dish, they were times of civil war, we ate and slept as best we could and often outside the house.
The "critic" was Mahmoud, today Miguel Katib Katib. The best palate said that the ingredients of a dish had to dance between them to form a single ingredient in its Harmony.
But he went a little further day by day.
In confinement he opted for renovation and told me: now I want to make my dishes an Opera, different flavors in the same dish without losing the original.
This conversation ended there, I dedicated myself to my business, a doctor very agitated by the pandemic, and he agitated and beaten by the crisis, but he was writing his own opera.
I had not set foot in the Jaima, which with the Aboukhalil, were the best Lebanese restaurants in Spain, according to many travelers and regular customers of Catalonia and in the opinion of some Arab or European visitor, the best in the world in quality. Miguel buys the raw material from Merca Barna himself.
Recently, I decided to go see this new play and his opera: Impressive. Everything surprises you, from the moment they open the door.
Young place, he managed to dance and opera at the same time on his plates, thinking of the young customer, the one from Tapas, or the one who comes to remember the grandmother's plate.
The f****** master of Hommus, returns to surprise with its flavors, elegance of dishes, and above all, its spirit is in each ingredient.
I have goose bumps, all my pores are open, Miguel does it again with his Hommos, his Falafel, his delicious mini burger, his Fattush, and his Mazza.
Thanks friend, we will eat again the head of lamb roasted and crunchy to your liking.
I will return, here are emotions to live.
Naim Hannaoui Hadi