Welcome to Dina’s Kitchen! I’m Dina, your new Lebanese friend and cook in Germany. I speak Arabic, French, English and German, and I love to collect elephants (not real ones!) and Christmas Bells. I live in Bavaria where I give cooking classes and teach Arabic at the University of Regensburg. On my blog I will be sharing with you my passion for food and photography. Traditional and seasonal foods are my inspiration; my kitchen is my lab.
Dina’s Kitchen is my collection of Lebanese recipes that I have been developing and testing for more than 20 years. Lebanese food is healthy and diverse with a wide assortment of vegetarian and vegan dishes. But don’t get me wrong here; we are not meatless at all! I am sure you will always find a dish or two in my repertoire that will suit your taste buds. And since I live in Germany, I will be also sharing with you my all time favourites from my new home, and other cuisines, as well as cakes and cookies.
Food is family and love. Food is what brings you back home. This is my story.
Born and raised in Beirut, I grew up being spoiled by my mother’s exquisite food. No one could have influenced my love for cooking more than her; she always enchanted us with her delicious creations, and knew how to surprise us with small delights all the time. No wonder my siblings and I ended up being passionate about food, each in their own way, albeit on different continents.
After my graduation from the American University of Beirut with Political Sciences and Public Administration degree, I met my husband, got married and moved to Germany. Missing home was all but natural, especially when the place you call home is a beautiful stretch of land lying between the Eastern Mediterranean sea and the majestic mountains of Lebanon. My kitchen became my refuge where I started exploring and unlocking the secrets of good cooking. For that I needed my mom’s expertise, and my husband’s understanding for expensive telephone bills!
In a few short years, I felt I was ready to give Lebanese cooking courses at the Volkshochschule in my town. That was in 1995! My courses have been going on ever since, producing loyal followers and cooking enthusiasts with a deep love for Lebanese food! Moreover I was also part of the cooking team at “Kochhaus” in the city of Regensburg from 2013 till 2017. The recipes I compiled over the years have been tested several times by my students and family. And having to contend with the available ingredients in the local markets, I made adaptations, which in the end helped me develop easy-to-follow instructions.
In 2012, I launched my Facebook Page, Dina’s Kitchen. My main incentive was to introduce my work and entertain my followers. I shared food photos, and albums of my various cooking classes, as well as albums of my travels to Lebanon. A new world opened up. I was able to reach a wider audience, and to my big surprise, many were second and third generation Lebanese immigrants from all over the world. Among them were people like me, originating from the town of Marjeyoun in South Lebanon. They were eager to reconnect with their roots and to learn more about their cultural background. Soon it dawned on me that I should translate all my recipes from German into English, and find a publisher interested in my idea.
After a few inquiries in Lebanon, I got lucky to connect with Tamyras! They loved the idea of a cookbook emphasising the importance of preserving food heritage. In my case, it was the traditional food of Jdeidet Marjeyoun, my parents’ hometown. My book finally came out in two versions, English and French, in October 2015, “The Taste of Marjeyoun” and “Le Goût de Marjeyoun”. I am still overwhelmed with the wonderful reviews and positive feedback I have been getting ever since. I fondly look back to those trips to Lebanon while working on my book project; gaining inspiration, meeting with wonderful people, learning new tips, and most of all enjoying the bountiful nature in spring and in summer.
My story just can’t stop there! So, here I am on this blog, continuing my culinary adventure, and sharing with you new recipes, tips and stories from my daily life in my German Lebanese kitchen.
As a kind note, all my photos, texts and recipes are copyrighted to Dina Bayoud Kohl and Dina’s Kitchen. I invest a lot of time in what I am doing on this platform. I would appreciate it if you provided full and proper credit when you share one of my recipes, or a photograph from this blog. Please, refrain from re-publishing, translating or re-printing entire recipes or blog posts onto your site or any other public sites. Thank you!
That said, let’s embark on this journey together and have fun! I hope you will enjoy browsing through my blog, and feel free to write me here dina (at) dinas-kitchen (dot) com if you have any questions.