Gogglebox Australia

Gogglebox Australia: Jad admits he's 'overwhelmed' by his amazing new project

The Goggleboxer’s family’s home country needs his help now more than ever.

Gogglebox Australia's Jad is always the first with the funny one-liners, but his next project is something he is taking very seriously. 

Jad, who is of Lebanese heritage, was devastated when an explosion ripped through Beirut, the captial city of Lebanon.

The Goggleboxer, who usually visits the city every year, was devastated when he heard his aunt was injured in the disaster. 

RELATED: Gogglebox Australia: Jad reveals heartbreaking family news

Once the shock had settled, the restaurant owner decided he wanted to help the country during the crisis, so, he has teamed up with former MasterChef contestant Rose Adams to create a special recipe book, Bake For Beirut.

"A few days after the blast happened, Rose and I said we need to do something," explains Jad. "We thought about running an online event, or baking something and selling it.

"We were tossing up between ideas, just because we can use our platforms to help raise money for the people of Beirut." 


A post shared by Rose Adam (@rose_adam_cooks) on

"We then came up with the idea to make an e-book cookbook which is called Bake For Beirut.’" 

Jad explains, "It's a collection of recipes from 20 Aussie chefs who specialise in Middle Eastern cooking, and a couple from overseas who have generously donated their time and recipes for the book."


A post shared by Rose Adam (@rose_adam_cooks) on

Chefs who have contributed to the book include, Matt Preston, Shane Delia, (Maha Restaurant), Sharon Saloum (Almond Bar), Phil Khoury ( Harrods), Paul Farag (Nour), and Tom Walton (The Bucket List). And MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has written the foreward. 

"The purpose behind the book was we wanted to give back and pay hommage to our country through the food that we all love to eat and love to cook."

He adds, "We wanted to give back so you guys can carry on the traditions in your kitchens. Everyone has used Middle Eastern spices in their homes."


A post shared by Shane Delia (@shanedelia) on

Given the Coronavirus pandemic, Jad said organising photoshoots was too difficult, but he said the chefs were beyond excited to get involved, with many supplying photos and recipes immediately.

"No one batted an eyelid!," he says. "The chefs were so quick to respond and did so with all their love. It made the process so much easier to put together."

While there are both savoury and sweet recipes on offer, Jad says his absolute favourite happens to be his mother's Maamoul, a semolina-based biscuit filled with nuts.

"It actually made me really emotional when we used my mum's maamoul recipe fromThe Picnic.

"I had asked her ages ago if I could give out her recipe and she refused. But when it came to the blast, she did not hesitate.

"My mum sat down and wrote it out and she’s never written a recipe in her life but she tried her best and it's for a great cause."


A post shared by THE PICNIC BURWOOD (@thepicnicburwood) on

Although Bake For Beirut will go on sale on Tuesday October 20, Jad says it's already creating some noise online. 

"There has been a lot of interest and I’m so overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support we received before the launch.

"We hope the website doesn’t crash!"

He also is proud to announce to LifeStyle, that one hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to The Lebanese Food Bank and Steps Of Hope Charity.

The books can be purchased for $30 each.

So, whether you're obsessed with zaatar or want to get your hands on Jad's mum's famous Maamoul biscuit recipe - you can buy your copy here.

Do you love Lebanese food? Let us know what you think on LifeStyle's Facebook Page.

Watch Gogglebox Australia, Wednesdays, 7.30pm EST on LifeStyle or On Demand.

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