Chef Ramzi, a Lebanese food icon: thank you and may your memory be eternal

First of all, Bambi woke up this morning happy to see the sunshine (finally and on the first day of the summer). Following this joyful moment, she decided to quickly tour the news of her birth country. She read a few articles, here and there, and checked her sister’s twitter account. She was shocked by the following SAD tweet:

Please rest in peace, dearest Chef Ramzi

Chef Ramzi died on June 18, 2023. In the 1-minute-interview by L’Orient Today, you can hear him mentioning his mom who “remains his teacher” and who “is proud of him”. Thanks to her and may God know how to comfort her aching heart! Bambi also sends her love to the rest of his family. She does not know if his dad is still alive, but today happens to be Father’s Day in Lebanon. Bless his grieving heart!

As for Bambi, she wants to tell Chef Ramzi that he will forever remain with us, not just on TV screens or through his books. Yes, he will remain with us in his recipes, in our hearts, and bellies too.

It is no secret to close ones, Bambi’s strength is not in the kitchen. Thankfully, “Chef Luigi” exists in her life, even if he thinks that his incredible talent was born out of necessity. This being said, the great Chef Ramzi inspired Bambi, motivating her to become a better Lebanese spouse for three consecutive weeks. What an achievement! Believe it or not, she cooked his recipes to her spouse after he caught the flu when they were living in Toronto. Back then, she thought that maybe he got sick because she is not a good spouse who cooks well. Chef Ramzi helped her impress him. He gave her confidence to re-cook vegetarian food to his parents when they visited from Montreal. Years later, when she was pregnant, she re-visited his books. She cooked again when Louis was away. She even managed to convince herself that she will become a better cook when they will have children. Well, this skill was never meant to be refined in the end.

Indeed, what a coincidence that, just a few days ago, Bambi’s mom teased her on the phone about her cooking habits. She asked if she is giving her spouse a break from this task :)? She asked her if she still has Chef Ramzi’s book (shown below). His book was a gift from her parents, three decades ago, when she lived on her own for the first time. The book travelled with her across three provinces. Chef Ramzi’s book is almost like a food bible. Almost every Lebanese “expatriate”, or family, has it and many even practice it. Here she is thinking of all her friends in Toronto (some in Montreal now). They will also be sad to know Chef Ramzi left our world. Even the bad cook she is was successful with all his recipes, except maybe the lemon cookies she tried to bake at Christmas once when she was a graduate student in Montreal. For some mysterious reason she cannot scientifically explain, they tasted great until they turned into stones a couple of hours later.

A picture taken by Bambi. Chef Ramzi’s memory will be through his recipes.

Bambi learned from both the Lebanese and international media ( about the impressive career milestones of Chef Ramzi. As prominent figure in Lebanese/Middle Eastern gastronomy, he held (still holds!) 4 Guinness World Records for the largest servings of Lebanese food. In addition to being a leading chef, he also acted as the CEO of the Al Kafaat Foundation an inspiring nonprofit Beirut-based organization (founded by his own dad, Mr. Nadim Choueri). It offers both rehabilitation as well as education services to Lebanese people with special needs from a lower socio-economic status.

Chef Ramzi was highly educated and trained. He had a degree in law and economics from the University of Lyon, France. Following his undergraduate training, he studied culinary arts at the University of London, United Kingdom. Later, he received a prestigious honour from the French Association of Bakers-Pastry Chefs [Pâtissiers-Boulangers in French]. He also won several awards and distinctions, including the prestigious international Prix Gourmand award (1997) and the Lebanese Medal of Merit (2003) from a former President of the Republic (

In 1994, Chef Ramzi began his TV shows, attracting over 10 million watchers daily, from both Lebanon and the Arab world. Wow. Of note, on TV, he focused on both European and Lebanese cuisines, which was his rich contribution to the field (

The great and sadly now late Chef Ramzi also published the book mentioned above in addition to others, including one written in Arabic and entitled in English “The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon” (2006), which includes updated Lebanese recipes. His book was enriched by Chef Ramzi’s visits to all the Lebanese villages and towns to compile regionally-based authentic recipes ( This book was very successful. It got translated into French and Portuguese as well.

Of note, between 2012 and 2015, the Lebanese Chef Ramzi was appointed Arabic Culinary Ambassador of Qatar Airways. Wow as this allowed him to champion the Lebanese cuisine on all Qatar Airways international flights. Furthermore, in 2009, King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan appointed Chef Ramzi as the Jordanian Army’s Food Counselor (

Bravo and thank you for your legacy, Chef Ramzi. You made your country and its diaspora proud of you!

To conclude this post on a chronological note, Bambi thought that learning about the sudden death of Chef Ramzi, at age 52 only, would be the most tragic news of her day. Sadly, a few hours later on the same day she learned (again through journalist and sister Roula Douglas’ fast tweet) about a gas explosion in Paris ( This accidental tragedy resulted in 20 injured people, including several in critical conditions, and massive destruction. Her heart goes to the victims while she is grateful to God because, her niece Stéphanie is safe and sound (even if Stéphanie lives near the explosion). A warm hello again to her and to her friend Aya too ❤️❤️. It is enough for Stéphanie to have been injured in the Beirut explosion, Bambi could not help not to think. Plus, this explosion happened to be her second experience in the beautiful Paris, following the surrealistic yet still unaccountable Beirut blast of August 4, 2020.

Thus, with both gratitude and grief in her heart, Bambi will end this tribute to Chef Ramzi with two spiritual songs: the first French one, originally by Mr. Michel Fugain and performed by talented kids, reminds us that life is too short while the second Arabic one is originally by Fairouz and performed by Ms. Abeer Nehme. This song-prayer asks for God’s support in times of adversity. Good-bye again to Chef Ramzi. Much love to his biological and El Kafaat Foundation families as well as to all his fans around the world. Let’s all pay tribute to him by cooking and eating his good recipes. Yes, Bambi publicly commits to do so, at least once, this summer… Is her spouse reading until now?

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