Hi, I’m Guss!
I am a foodie, self-taught cook, recipe developer and food blogger. However, I never participated in any cooking contests, nor went to culinary school, and I certainly do not claim to be a professional chef. I am actually way too far from being one.
I’m married to a great woman who is an amazing artist @mayattar. Together, we are blessed with three wonderful children, two princesses and one handsome dude. We live in Southern California with our beloved cat, Sultan.
I bet you’re wondering why in the world do I have a food blog then! Well, I’m going to share with you my 4-ingredients secret: Passion, Authenticity, Health and Simplicity.
Cooking and baking have always been something I am good at, or at least that is what my friends and beautiful wife tell me!
I am a chemist by education and marketer by profession, but I think it is the chemist in me that likes to master cooking and baking! I truly think they are one of the best things we can do for ourselves, for our body, mind, heart and soul. And for our taste buds too to be honest!
I grew up in the Mediterranean city of Beirut. A truly cosmopolitan and vibrant city with thousands of years of history and culture.
Being an avid traveler, I have visited more than 40 amazing places around the world. I have always brought back home a food-related souvenir. A cookbook from Cape Town. A selection of fine spices from Marrakesh and Dubai. Fresh Ricotta cheese from Florence. Or the infamous macarons of Paris.
I love to titillate my taste buds and experience foods everywhere I go, particularly cuisines that involves exotic spices. Moroccan food is one of my favorites. You can check out this Lamb Chops recipe made with Moroccan spices.
I love Italian food too, especially homemade authentic dishes, like my Ilaria’s Spaghetti alle Zucchine recipe. However, my heart has always belonged to the Lebanese food. I truly believe that the Lebanese cuisine is one of the healthiest and most diverse. You have got to try out The Best Lebanese Tabbouleh recipe.
I have been cooking for over 20 years now, but my passion grew when we moved to the US. I wanted to make sure my family is eating clean and healthy.
My food is easy to make, tasty and mostly organic. I buy my own ingredients and always look for organic fresh produce. The 100% organic figs used in my Figs and Goat Cheese on Baguette recipe grow in my backyard under the California sun. All my food is actually organic including meat, milk and eggs. I use pasture-raised organic fed meats to prepare my healthy and delicious homemade meals.
Cooking feels more like a joy to me than a chore. Who said it is supposed to be chore anyway? My recipes include simple ingredients. They are easily made by anyone who has to juggle between work, kids and family like myself.
I believe that cooking is a natural part of our everyday lives. It is not as complicated as many of you might think. Anyway, you will get to witness that for yourself once you try these recipes that take no longer than 30 mins to make. The Easy Butter Chicken, the Easy Valencian Paella or the Easy Banana Bread for those with a sweet tooth.
What began as an activity to keep myself busy and productive during the COVID-19 lockdown turned into a real and exciting endeavor.
It all started with an Easy Fish Tacos recipe when my good friend and famous food blogger Bee (www.rasamalaysia.com) encouraged me to set up my own food blog. She has tried my food on several occasions and believed I had all what it takes to become a food blogger.
I thought teaching myself new cooking techniques over the years and tasting a variety of meals around the world was enough. But no! I had to also learn about food photography, writing recipe cards, social media engagement and search engine optimization. I owe it all to Bee who was super supportive from Day 1.
Currently, I run GUSSCOOKS on my evenings and weekends. I buy all the ingredients myself, prepare the blog post myself and write the recipe card myself. And I take all the photos myself.
A lot of people think that I do this full-time, which is nice and flattering, but no, bills need to be paid and food has to be put on the table ‘pun intended’.
I work at Cisco. Yes! I do have a full-time job! But somehow, with a lot of strategy and support from friends and family, I’ve been able to manage the two, with kids running around in the kitchen too! Cisco and my work colleagues have been very supportive of my passion and an amazing story titled “Secret Passions: Cooking with Ghassan Lababidi” was featured about GUSSCOOKS.
Born out of passion for cooking, GUSSCOOKS brings global flavors into your home. And without hopping on a plane right now (especially in the current circumstances!). You can taste your way around the world by trying one of my delicious dinner recipes that are inspired by different cuisines and cultures.
I’m really excited that I will be bringing you from my home kitchen a variety of mouthwatering, fail-proof recipes that my family and I love and enjoy.
Now that you got to know the story behind GUSSCOOKS, I would be more than happy to get to know you too! If you need help with any recipe or are looking for some cooking tips, please send me an email here — I promise to respond personally!