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It was once said that the people of Dfoun were "baptized with a ladle," such was their culinary prowess". Today, some of Beirut's most famous gourmet shops are run by families from Dfoun, but this tiny, one-family village tucked in the Chouf mountains behind Aley was not always synonymous with food.Soon, cooks from Dfoun were working as personal cooks for the great families of Beirut, including the Sursocks and the Teunis.Growing up in a village known for its food was less glamorous than one might imagine, says Joseph Abi Aad, who last summer opened what he calls the first professional kitchen in Dfouni. For throughout their years working in the kitchens of far-richer families, the people of Dfoun remained relatively poor, and the village is home to not a single restaurant.After five years working as a chef in Beirut, Joseph opened his own catering business in Dfoun, transporting the food by van to his events.The village lacks, however, the infrastructure needed for Joseph to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant there. Joseph says relative interest in cooking has declined with time, as younger generations seem to prefer a more stable and financially rewarding career.
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