PFM recently interviewed Claudine Borjeily and asked her to share information about herself and Claudine’s Kitchen.
Tell us about yourself and where you’re from. Have you always lived in Arizona?
I was born and raised in Lebanon until I got married to my husband Richard and moved with him to the states in 1998. We lived in Massachusetts then relocated to Arizona with our 2 daughters, Sara & Clara, in 2004.
What do you sell at your booth?
We sell true authentic Lebanese Food that is always made from scratch.
How would you describe Lebanese cuisine to someone who has never tried it before?
Lebanese food is an ancient cuisine and is considered one of the top 6 healthiest food in the world. It is Mediterranean in general but specific to Lebanon. We prepare and eat everything in moderation from red meats to completely vegan dishes. With the recent emphasis on the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine, people across the world are discovering and embracing authentic Lebanese food. The awareness of this ancient cuisine has also inspired professional chefs and restaurateurs across the world to feature exciting Lebanese items on their menus. Lebanese food is unique in that it combines the sophistication and subtleties of European haute cuisines with the exotic ingredients of the Mediterranean. Spread by the Lebanese/Phoenicians sailors, merchants, and adventurers over 8,000 years. Lebanese dishes across the region may be prepared or seasoned somewhat differently. Because of this, the cuisines of the Middle East and Mediterranean are often incorrectly lumped into one homogeneous category. One of our missions in life is to fix that fallacy.
How long have you had your business and how long have you been a vendor at PFM?
Since 2009. I cannot believe it has been that long! We have been a vendor at the market for 8 years!
Tell us about how you get ready for the market.
Getting ready for the market entitles a process that goes on along the week. We offer multiple items at the market that involve lots of preparation and cooking since we make everything from scratch. All the food is made fresh and at our commercial kitchen in Chandler. Saturday, the day of the market, is a long day as we get up at 4 am to be in Prescott and ready to serve our community by 7:30 am.
What’s special about your business?
Our business is not only a very small business, but also is run by us four; my husband, our two daughters and myself. But despite being small, we are a part of a big community, the farmers market. It is the majority of our business, where we get the opportunity to offer fresh and made with love food to our loyal customers. Our business is unique because of the food we offer and also because of who we are. We grew up on this food. We make it exactly as our mothers taught us; with no recipes written down, only the smell and the taste that are embedded in our palettes. From scratch and fresh every time using local ingredients. This what makes our business special as the customers can feel the love and the effort put in each bite, and the stories that come with every plate.
What are your plans for the future?
The plans for the future are not clear yet as we fall sometime into the traps of the present. But we always dream about opening a little bistro whether in Phoenix or in Prescott. The bistro will serve a simple yet delicious menu featuring our Lebanese cuisine. But to tell you the truth, it will preferable be in Prescott because we love the town and would not mind retiring there.
Do you vend at any other markets?
Flagstaff Farmers Market, Carefree Farmers Market, Roadrunner Farmers Market, Old Town Farmers Market (seasonal), The Capitol Farmers Market (seasonal) and Anthem Farmers Market (seasonal) and AJ’s Fine Foods.
How can we find you on social media?
Our website is www.claudineskitchen.com On Facebook www.facebook.com/claudineskitchen/ on Instagram: @claudineskitchen and on Twitter: @Claudinesk