If you’ve ever visited Vancouver and bought hummus, chances are you’ve tried one of the many dip varietals from Habibi’s Mediterranean Foods. A potluck staple and high protein, diet friendly dish, hummus is also a Lebanese meal essential. Enter dad, entrepreneur and torch bearer of Habibi’s hummus empire: Abe Chabaan. Chabaan went into business with his mom after her Vancouver restaurant closed a few years back.
But, when Chabaan’s mother’s shop – Mona’s Mediterranean Foods – closed, more doors opened: the chance for Abe to help his mom continue making, fresh, all natural mediterranean foods under the Habibi’s banner. Based on the recipes of Abe’s grandparents and great grandparents, Habibi’s is most known for it’s highly addictive hummus products, however they also make creamy Baba Ghanoush, Tzaziki and Tahini. Now, Habibi’s is available throughout British Columbia, Ontario, the Yukon, Northwest Territory, and the Prairies.
In Aramaic and Arabic, Habibi’s literally means “beloved, friend or darling.” After years of eating Habibi’s fantastic, old-world hummus, I can’t think of a better name for this family-run company. Here’s a glimpse into dad, hummus maker and astronomy buff Abe Chabaan’s life and f*#king awesome job.
“As local food loving voyeurs, we’re here at the Irvings’ farm along with 70 others for Alberta Open Farm Days. Each August, dozens of Alberta agriculturalists open their doors so we townies can check out the origins of our food.
Increasingly, outdoor farm meals like this are on offer. Restauranteurs, farmers and agricultural marketing types are latching on to this trend like a newborn calf to cow. As Canadians continue to ask questions about the provenance of their food, the popularity of farm meals en plein air grow. From Pemberton, B.C’s Araxi Long Table Dinner to Kleefeld, Manitoba’s Grazing in the Field, chefs and farmers are uniting over summer to organise unique, delectable and at times, utterly educational dinners. Some of the folks behind this cross-Canada dining inclination shared their anecdotes and advice on the growing movement.” – March/April edition of Small Farm Canada
Lately, I’ve been feeling really lucky to live in an area where there is so much abundant, fresh and delicious food. Did you know that there are 49,631 farms in Alberta (according to the 2006 census). For a place with 4.1 million people that’s about one farm per 83 people. Read more
To say that Robin Wasicuna is passionate about his craft could be an understatement. Other possible descriptors could include: serious, dedicated or ebullient. As one of the Northwest Territories’ most outspoken and publicly praised chefs, Wasicuna is a boon to both Yellowknife and to the northern food scene in general.
Wasicuna is the owner of Wiseguy Foods, no-nonsense food truck in Yellowknife that serves up fantastic, fresh nosh that never stagnates in flavour nor quality. He’s also run a pop-up restaurant called Numbers at Bayside, hosted underground dinners (think Cinco de Mayo-themed with lots of pork and peppers) and is about to venture into an eatery sans wheels: the Twin Pine Diner at the Arnica Inn. A former Chopped Canada competitor and NWT food ambassador, Wasicuna’s cooked in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Yellowknife and even in my tiny, Vancouver apartment kitchen. He’s a proud dad and a big softie of a husband.
If Wasicuna were a dessert, he’d be a bourbon and bacon sundae: strong, salty and sweet. Like the sundae ingredients, his booming voice, tattoos and confident demeanor are layered over top of a genuinely delightful personality. Just ask him about northern food, and you see a big serious dude beam from inside out. Read more to find out about his f*#king awesome job after the jump. Read more