Delicious Comfort Food Dishes Inspired by an Immigrant’s Story of Success
Today, Mike’s City Diner is the destination for foodies from all over the world, but it didn’t always used to be this way. Jay Hajj was born in Beirut and came to Boston to flee the violence of the Lebanese Civil War. Packed with mouth-watering recipes and inspiring stories of perseverance and success, this cookbook highlights the turning points in Jay’s career and the food that defines them.
Spanning decades of his life, Beirut to Boston includes the Southern-style breakfast that stole Bill Clinton’s heart, Guy Fieri’s favorite Thanksgiving sandwich, Ming Tsai’s special hummus recipe and the pâté of wartime reinvented.
Combining his old-world techniques for traditional Lebanese dishes with his approach to modern American dishes, Jay showcases comfort food with unique and enticing flavors. Every page starts with an incredible story of struggle and triumph, and ends with what Jay Hajj is known best for: one-of-a-kind American food inspired by his Lebanese upbringing.
About the Author
Jay Hajj is the chef and owner of Mike’s City Diner. His food has been featured numerous times on Food Network programs such as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite and Guy’s Grocery Games. He lives with his wife Janet, their four children and two dogs in a historic 18th-century farmhouse outside Boston, Massachusetts.
Kerry J. Byrne is a longtime food writer for the Boston Herald. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Yankee Magazine, Boston Magazine and Conde Nast publications. He lives in Quincy, Massachusetts.
"My buddy Jay is about the greatest representative of the Boston [food] scene that I've come across...He is a true character with an inspiring story and an uncanny ability to tell that story through food. This book is that very story and I know you'll dig it as much as I do." --Guy Fieri, author, restaurateur, host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Guy's Grocery Games
"I love Jay's incredible personal story and his amazing and delicious recipes. You will too!" --Ming Tsai, celebrity chef, restaurateur and host of Simply Ming
"Beirut to Boston is a mouth-watering romp through the culinary legacy of two different cultures, told through the eyes and recipes of one of Boston's best chefs, a great friend and my globetrotting partner in cooking, Jay Hajj." --Ken Oringer, James Beard Award-winning chef
"Jay Hajj is one of the best chefs I've ever met. Readers will love learning the secrets to everything from Lebanese street-food favorites like manakish to the turkey dishes that made Mike's City Diner in Boston one of America's most beloved eateries." --Jamie Bissonnette, James Beard Award-winning chef
"Tommy would be so proud and honored to be a part of this book. [It is] truly a unique perspective on our time-honored tradition of hope and freedom for a better life all while traveling through Jay's life journey of food and culture to his American dream." --Angela Menino, former First Lady of Boston and wife to the late Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino
"Jay Hajj is inspiring. He epitomizes the American Dream. His food shows us the love he has for America, for Boston and for his Lebanese culture. Through this book the world can get to meet Jay. He's the real deal." --Bob Kramer, celebrity chef and founder of Bob Kramer Knives
"From battle-scarred Beirut to Boston's best breakfast and brunch, Jay's story is both inspiring and delicious." --Mat Schaffer, Boston restaurant critic