Welcome to Feast in the Middle East! Blanche Shaheen is an Arab American and network television host and reporter in both entertainment and news. She is currently a correspondent for NBC’s “California Live” where she interviews local chefs, restauranteurs, actors and actresses, and business people that are making an impact, while also covering lively events going on in Northern California.
Before that she was the first Arab American to become an entertainment and lifestyle reporter in the United States. She reported live daily on the ABC entertainment program called “View from the Bay”, where she interviewed hundreds of celebrities, and reported live on fashion shows, food trends, music concerts, art exhibits and much more throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
From 1998-2008, Blanche also hosted the independent film show “Video I” for PBS for 10 years, covering film festivals, scouting out the latest and greatest in independent films, and interviewing filmmakers and actors. She also reported live news daily for the Tech TV show called “Tech Live, where she covered massive breaking stories like the Septemeber 11 atacks, which she did continuously from a live satellite truck. On the side, Blanche also hosted and moderated the Peabody award winning program, Mosaic, World News of the Middle East for the international news channel, Link Media.
In 2010 Blanche made the switch to hosting her own cooking show, sharing 100s of years old recipes preserved by her mother and grandmother. These were heirloom recipes handed word of mouth from one generation to the next, recipes that even culinary schools lacked–however, there were no written measurements. With her journalism background, she decided to document the recipes in an ongoing cookbook, and “Feast in the Middle East” was born. In 2020 she launched her highly rated cookbook, “Feast in the Middle East, a Personal Journey of Family and Cuisine.”
Blanche’s Youtube cooking show has gained international recognition in the press. Her cookbook was recognized as one of the top Middle Eastern culinary books by Vogue Arabia, and has received accolades from BBC Travel, BBC International, and NPR Radio. Her cooking show was part of Virgin American Airlines In Flight Entertainment, and she has taught live cooking classes at Draeger’s Cooking School. Blanche is also a food columnist, having written regular columns for the San Jose Mercury News, and the internationally syndicated magazine, Arab America. Her blog was voted as the 6th most popular Middle Eastern food blog in the world: https://blog.feedspot.com/middle_eastern_food_blogs/
For her personal story, click on the video below:
The feedback has been tremendous, with thousands of visitors from all over the world comprising her more than 150,000 followers on social media, Check this blog regularly for updated recipes, cooking tips, information about exotic ingredients, family stories, and videos of Blanche’s cooking journey.
Here is the original Feast in the Middle East Trailer:
As for educational background, Blanche got her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy of Industrial Societies at U.C. Berkeley, followed by a Master’s Degree in broadcast journalism. She speaks Spanish and Arabic, is a certified Zumba Fitness and bootcamp instructor, teaching hip hop, salsa, bollywood, and bellydance for 7 years. She is also a fervent abolitionist, supporting Not for Sale and the International Justice Mission against human trafficking and slavery. She is also a Compassion International sponsor for a eighth grade girl in Colombia.
You can contact Feast In the Middle East here: firstname.lastname@example.org