FOR THOSE OF YOU IN AUSTRALIA THAT HAVE NOT SEEN THE PROGRAM NO GARLIC NO ONIONS – RACE TO YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL BE DELIGHTED AT WHAT ANTHONY RAHAYEL IS AIMING TO SHOW THE WORLD OF THE HISTORY OF LEBANON THROUGH HIS FOOD JOURNEY.
HE IS ALLERGIC TO GARLIC AND ONIONS AND AS YOU KNOW THEY ARE BOTH A MAINSTAY IN THE LEBANESE CUISINE SO HE HAS SET OUT ON A TREK TO FIND FOOD OUTLETS THAT WILL PREPARE GARLIC FREE AND ONION FREE FOOD.
ANTHONY, A DENTIST BY PROFESSION, IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS MOTHERLAND AND WANTS THE WORLD TO KNOW WHAT IS TO BE FOUND THERE – HIS CHEEKY, CURIOUS ATTITUDE ADDS MUCH FLAVOUR TO HIS
PROGRAM. THE PROGRAM ALREADY HAS A HUGE FOLLOWING IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND SO JOIN THE CLUB AND ENJOY.
Q. When did the concept of NO GARLIC NO ONIONS come to be and or what was the driving force behind it?
A. My journey started on March 13th 2012; I wanted to show the truth, share my experiences, let locals know what to expect when they visit a restaurant. From a food blog, to social media accounts then the television show followed.
From a food blog that writes restaurant reviews to a food discoverer and promoter of local artisans and hidden heroes.
Q. How often are you and your crew out on the road?
A. I visit at least 3 restaurants a week and make sure to have one episode every weekend. It has been an amazing journey with a portfolio of 6500 articles on the blog and 300 mechwar episodes shot.
Q. You often say how great the food is or how great the village is, so where is that truly great food outlet and great village that is so special, that it has stuck in your mind more than anywhere else?
A. I’m in love with Baalbeck. The city has something special to it. Exceptional generosity, endless stories and rich history with great food.
Q. How is the journey so far without garlic and onions? I’m sure food is being made to your requirements because you’re filming but are foodies jumping on your bandwagon?
A. Yep! I’m not against garlic and onions and I don’t push people to avoid them. All I try to prove is that their flavour is so empowering that it covers the real taste of food. Use them with moderation and try to avoid them so you feel the richness of other ingredients. Anyway, they are too heavy to digest.
Q. The accolades are pouring in from all over the world and the appreciation and gratitude overwhelming. Is this more than what you expected when you started this project?
A. Honestly yes but that didn’t change anything in my mission, vision and humbleness. I’m closer to people and try to change more lives on a daily basis.
Q. Tell us a little about you – where are your parents from and where were you born and
A. I’m from Achrafieh, Beirut. Lived all my life in Metn. Was brought up in our summer home in Feytroun. We are a little tiny family of 10 people, probably the smallest in Lebanon.
Q. Why a dentist as opposed to another profession?
A. My grandpa is a dentist, my dad is a dentist and we lived in this house of a million dentist stories. I wanted to be a doctor, a dream come true and I achieved it. I worked 15 years as a professional photographer. 4 years as a certified hypnotherapist. 10 years in the nightlife business… Life takes you places, follow your path and dreams.
Q. Outside of dentistry, photography and NO GARLIC NO ONIONS what hobbies do you have (wow, that is if you have any spare time in your busy schedules) or interests that keep you in tune with life?
A. Traveling! Traveling to discover to take photos, to meet people, to learn, to soot movies, to show the world the beauties out there. I’m a true passionate of life!
Q. Is there any chance in the future that a visit to Australia is on your radar? I’m not sure what to do with all those chefs over there wanting to meet you – what to do?
A. YES! A dream come true. Trying to find the funding for it.
Q. We have toured Jounieh and I would ask that if possible to journey with you to Rayak, in the Bekaa, which you have already done a program on (a village that holds special
memories of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers that were based there at the end of WW Two) and visit the commemorative plagues and museum there?
A. I will be honoured, glad and happy to take you and anyone to discover my beloved land.
Q .What’s on the horizon for Anthony – I suspect you like cooking?
A. I love cooking, I love eating, I love people and great discoveries. I adore life, its wonders and hidden surprises. I will be investing my time more and more in making a change in our beautiful country while invading people with positivity and happiness.