In the Heart of Bliss Street, Beirut, a traditional 150 year-old house is nestled dressed in pink, yellow, purple and blue. Bouzet Jeddo is the new boutique ice-cream shop by Tamara Daouk a young dynamic entrepreneur who chose to revive a unique family tradition & pursue her dream. Just as the Italians enjoy gelatto Ice-Cream all year long, no matter the season, the Lebanese are also known worldwide to have a sweet tooth coupled with a unique mastery of delicious desserts.
Bouzet Jeddo (Granddad’s Ice-cream) started in 1968 during Beirut’s Golden Age with Anis Daouk, Tamara’s grandfather, a renown Lebanese Lawyer & Gourmet who was passionate about cooking and making delicious ice-cream. “My grandfather would distribute up to 30 kilos of ice-cream a week to family, friends and Bliss neighbourhood, where our family always lived” Tamara recalled.
“Jeddo (grandfather in Arabic) created his own ice-cream recipes, all with natural flavors, without any preservatives, cream and eggs. Some contain milk, but all were, and still are, gluten-free”. Said Tamara our charming & welcoming host.
Tamara Daouk grew up in Paris, the City of Lights, where she fell in love with the Arts, Gastronomy and Music. The French capital’s cobblestones still resonate from her dreamy walks, strolling from one Delicatessen & Atelier to the other : Pierre Hermé, Bertillon, Cyril Lignac to mention only a few.
Yet she chose to spend her summers in Lebanon with her grandparents, passionate as she was about Lebanese desserts and pastries: “I was the first granddaughter of the family, so I was allowed to learn from my grandfather and very lucky to cook with him”.
She then chose to familiarize herself with French pastries at the famous school Ritz Escoffier in Paris while being selected for much sought-after internships in kitchens of many prestigious hotels where she worked hard, always aiming for perfection. Later, Tamara studied Event Management in London.
After several professional experiences mostly in catering, she then moved to Dubai where she worked in wedding planning for the Jumeirah group to refine her knowledge about the Middle Eastern Luxury clientele. “I then decided to come back to Lebanon to open my own business: Bouzet Jeddo and pay a tribute to my grandfather, who passed-away five years ago” Tamara Daouk explained to Kamsyn.
“I wanted his passion to survive and pass on to the generations to come. As soon as I opened the shop in the family building in Bliss Street, people who loved my grandfather’s ice cream started coming in. The news spreads very fast in Beirut ! They were delighted the recipes had survived.”
Today, Bouzet Jeddo offers a rich selection of tasty flavours such as Strawberry, Mandarine Orange, Mango, Mulberry, Raspberry, Apricot, Lemon, Praline, Chocolate Orange, Milk-Meske, Mint chocolate chip and chocolate flavours, all certified natural and lovingly made with the best ingredients & artisans.
“For example, for the praline, we caramelize the almonds entirely by hand, it’s as authentic as it gets. Even the oranges we choose are 100% from Lebanon. Of course, as I didn’t grow up here, I also introduced some European flavours to mix with the Oriental ones, which is what Lebanese Culture is all about”.
Bouzet Jeddo successfully fuses tradition with modernity, just like the charming traditional house it’s located in: Stone arcades blend smoothly with distinctive modern design.
“The idea to paint the house with a palette of colours came from our desire to have a little Notting Hill in the heart of Bliss to revive our neighbourhood which was destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the years. It also symbolizes Beirut’s rich diversity which I see as a beautiful Mosaic” Tamara added.
Tamara now has plans to expand Bouzet Jeddo to the Gulf countries and is working on “preserving the authenticity of the Craft”. In the meantime, Beirut sweets lovers & travellers now have more than an Ice-cream shop to visit. Bouzet Jeddo is a beautiful Neo-Oriental experience as well as the rendez-vous of those in the know, in search of authentic flavours and the legendary Whispers from the Levant.