Bethlehem Cultural Festival

A culinary journey through Bethlehem (Discussion)

Fadi Kattan and Thomasina Miers

Renowned cook, writer and presenter, Thomasina Miers built the Wahaca restaurant group on her love of Mexican street food. She talks here to Franco-Palestinian chef and restauranteur, Fadi Kattan about the fabulous street food of Bethlehem.

About Fadi Kattan

Fadi is an authority on modern Palestinian cuisine, and has featured in many international publications including BBC News, The Guardian, Monocle, and N Lifestyle (UAE), as well as Jamie Oliver’s televised exploration of the region, and Jancis Robinson’s travelogue.

Fadi grew up in Bethlehem where he inherited his love of food from his two grandmothers. He would travel to France and Switzerland for family holidays, and went on to live in Paris and London for several years while he studied hotel management at the Institut Vatel. In 2015 Fadi opened his own restaurant, Fawda, in Bethlehem. Alongside his restaurant, he pioneered the region’s first food tours, where visitors could explore the markets of Bethlehem, meet farmers and artisans, and taste unusual herbs, raw cheese and fresh taboun bread.

Fadi’s approach to food is informed by his passion for sharing the stories of the localforagers, gardeners, farmers and cooks that have shaped the culinary heritage of Palestine.   

About Thomasina Miers

Cook, writer, TV and radio presenter, winner of MasterChef, Tommi has made cheese and run market stalls in Ireland, cheffed with Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries and in 2007, after living in Mexico for a year, she co-founded Wahaca, winner of numerous awards for its food and sustainability credentials; in 2016 the whole restaurant group went carbon neutral.  Tommi’s passion lies in food and the environment: she co-founded the Pig Idea in 2015 with Tristram Stuart to tackle food waste, helped set up Chefs in Schools in 2017 for which she is a trustee, is an ambassador for the Soil Association and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for her services to the food industry.  Tommi has a weekly column in the Guardian’s Feast magazine and shops at her local market.  She has 3 young girls which is too many!