The Bug S2E9: Lost friends and old recipes

This week’s show is in memory of Fuad Bahou: cook, poet, and artist. It’s been a strange week for many reasons. Death has been present for many people I know. But music and food help to understand, mourn, and accept.



Music by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Lou Harrison and Ezio Bosso

Text on time by: Ludovica Guarneri

Video of Lou Harrison:

Fuad’s Cauliflower with Tahini, as handed down to me by my mother:

When I was young in the 1970s, I had an artist-teacher friend from Jerusalem named Fuad Bahou, who started a restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. His brother Shawqi came to help him, and my husband Philip and I designed it. It was our first restaurant for them, and we went on to design four more. We were also waiters for the first year or two one night a week. My favorite recipe, one I still make fifty years later was fried cauliflower with tahini. It is so good.

Cut all the flowerettes from a fresh head of cauliflower leaving a fat stem on each piece. Rinse, then fry in hot oil until the flowerettes brown. Drain well on paper towels.

Put in a bowl and pour over them a dressing made of tahini thinned with water with a few tablespoons of added olive oil, mixed until it has a thick, still pourable consistency. Add tablespoon of well-crushed garlic, which would be four generous cloves, and a third of a cup of lemon juice. Add three-quarters of a cup of chopped Italian parsley leaves, salt to taste, plenty of fresh black pepper, and stir.

Either serve immediately while the cauliflower is still warm, or later at room temperature, but not chilled. This salad is delicious with flatbread served with other salads like tabouleh and rice-filled grape leaves on the side, which is how Fuad liked to start a meal.

Fuad Nakhleh Bahou passed away April 23, 2020 at his home in Knoxville, TN. Born May 14, 1935 to Nakhleh and Mary Bahu (formerly Nassan) in Al Bireh, Palestine, he attended a Quaker school in Ramallah. He was the first of his family to come to the United States after receiving a scholarship to a college in California. He spent most of his student years in Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA and worked at the flagship restaurant of the Carnation Company. After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in painting and art history, he joined the faculty of Knoxville College in 1968, establishing and heading the art department until 1975. In later years, he served as an instructor in the University of Tennessee and Georgia State University art departments.


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3 comments to “The Bug S2E9: Lost friends and old recipes”
  1. I was a waitress at the Bahou on Forest Ave, Knoxville, in 1972 to ’74. I remember Philip Livingston as a sort of classy waiter who really knew how to uncork a bottle of wine. I think he served at the Bahou for fun bc he was on the faculty at UT. I’m thinking about the restaurant while writing a memoir focused on work. I worked in many restaurants from the age of 16 to 25, and the Bahou was the best. And Shawqi was one of the best bosses I ever had.

  2. Thank you so much for the recipe for tahini dressing! It is one of my fond memories from waiting tables at the Bahou Container, just around the corner from the fancier Bahou Restaurant. I don’t think I ever met Fuad, but Shawqi used to drop by every now and then. The Bahou Container was a lovely place to work, rare for restaurant work. The manager was a sweet lady, and my mother would always comment about how good I smelled when I came home–all those spices!

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