Learn about the life of an extremely busy Founder, Tony Kitous, while his days are full to the brim with work, food and his lebanese food cookery book. He recently launched Comptoir Libanais Express, which is Tony’s second book, inspired by the dishes he tasted and ingredients he’s eaten in the Lebanon and surrounding region.
6am – My alarm goes off and I jump straight into the shower. I use my Nespresso machine to make myself a double espresso to kick start my day, then I head to the gym for a daily workout.
7am – I start my training with my coach for 1hr to do some body strengthening then start my daily run on a treadmill between 10/15km on week days.
9:45am – When I leave the gym I make my way to the office, calling my brothers for a quick family catch up. When I get behind my desk the chefs make me some poached eggs sprinkled with zaatar and I give Chaker, my business partner, a ring so that we can update each other on any work matters. I sit down with Kasia, my assistant, to go through all the meetings and outstanding issues I have to deal with. I then go through my emails, and make and return calls.
11:30am – My meetings usually start late in the morning. Depending on what’s happening in the business I could be meeting with designers to think about the look and feel of a new restaurant, my publishers or visiting potential new locations with an agent.
1pm – At lunchtime I make sure I visit 2 or 3 of our restaurants to speak to the managers and chefs about what’s going on in each site and make sure I’m up to speed. I then make myself lunch, usually a fattoush salad, which is so fresh and healthy, alongside a side of grilled halloumi cheese with figs, which I just cannot resist!
3:30pm – After the lunchtime rush, I spend some time in the main kitchen with our chefs, talking about new dishes, cooking them and then tasting them, working together to decide on our next dishes to put on the menu. I’m working on the new Comptoir Libanais cookbook that showcases healthy Lebanese food, so always looking for ideas and techniques that I can include in that.
5:30pm – I continue to work on the book recipes into the early evening compiling different dishes to include on the new cookbook. Lebanese food is just so interesting to me as there are so many ways you can enjoy it – I want people to love it like I do.
7:30pm – You can find me in one of my restaurants every evening, usually Levant, meeting a few friends and eating dinner. We eat a selection of mezze dishes, often grilled fish and meat which I can’t get enough of. I love being around our guests as it still fills me with so much pride to see people enjoying themselves. Levant is like an extension of my home – I use it as my living room to relax and entertain my friends and family.
10:15pm – I usually leave just after 10pm and head home. I like to catch up on the news before I go to bed so that I know what’s going on in the world.
11:00pm – I like to be in bed by 11 so that I can get a good sleep to get myself ready for the next day. I love being so busy but it can be exhausting!