Beirut's Youngest Executive Chef Commands the Kitchen at Harry's Bar

This article appeared last week on Beirut.com.

I've been noticing a trend in the prominent kitchens of Beirut. The executive chefs are young--incredibly young--and sprightly. Chef Sotiris at the Four Seasons is a mere 34 years old. Chef Amer el Hajj at TSC Signature can't be much older. Eyeing this pattern, you’d think I would be prepared to stomach the fact that the executive chef at Harry’s Bar Beirut’s is 24 years old, but I simply could not. And especially not after I had the privilege of sampling his gourmet flair—he’s a genius!

Meet Andrea Gurzi, the star behind the exquisite cuisine at the storied Venetian stronghold who hails from Calabria, Italy. Prior to his arrival to Beirut, Gurzi worked at the Four Seasons Milano for four years before being sought after to man the kitchens at Harry’s Bar in Lebanon. Together with three Italian chefs, three Lebanese sous chefs, and two pastry chefs, Gurzi is cooking up a beautiful storm, and lucky are they who will have the fortune to dine on his flawless fare.


24-year-old Executive Chef Andrea Gurzi from Calabria, Italy

The menu features seven antipasti dishes, seven primi piatti comprising pasta and risotti, and eight secondi piatti counting four fish and four meat options. Dolci include a Tiramisu Classico and Baba al Limoncello and are recommended with espresso or digestive spirits.

Get a taste of Chef Gurzi’s inimitable creations, and let your drooling do the judging:


This is tonno tonnato, which in Italian roughly translates to "tuna'd tuna." A raw tuna steak is lightly garnished in its own sauce, along with grated jicama, lemon, and ground mint leaves. An incredibly tender texture with subtle flavors you’d never discern were fish.

Tuna'd tuna (tonno tonnato)


Sautéed scallops (capesante) with grilled heart of artichoke wedges, broccoli, and pine nuts in a light savory sauce.

Sauteed scallops (capesante)


Al dente spaghetti intertwined with fresh chunks of lobster meat and tomato and parsley as garnish.

Spaghetti with lobster


Heart of artichoke (carciofo) stuffed with an indescribably delicious concoction of bread, Pecorino cheese, mint and more artichoke! Nestled above it is a boiled heart of lettuce with fried artichoke hearts and an encore of Pecorino. 

Artichoke (carciofo)


Melt-in-your-mouth veal (vitello) capped with a crunchy parsley crust and sided by porcini mushrooms with silky chestnut purée. 

Veal (vitello)


The most delicate beef tenderloin (filetto di manzo) grilled to a perfect pink finish, garnished with a sprig of rosemary and accompanied by sautéed spinach and skin-on potato buttons. Impeccable!

Grilled beef tenderloin (filetto di manzo)


Limoncello-soaked baba cradling a dollop of homemade crème patissière and citrus zest. 

Baba al Limoncello


The food of the gods: panna cotta, or cooked cream, topped with berry coulis and a generous assortment of fresh blueberries, raspberries, quartered strawberries, mint leaves, crunchy sugar crystals and shattered meringue. 

Panna cotta


Coffee time! The ultimate tiramisu in a martini glass: a base of coffee-saturated sweet bread, mascarpone and a tufted bed of whipped eggs with sugar. 

Tiramisu classico


Chef Gurzi is destined among the ranks of Michelin-starred chefs. His use of premium ingredients, the majority of which is imported from Italy, as well as his eye for presentation render his dishes visual masterpieces. If you consider yourself a gourmet, you need to get to Harry’s Bar pronto!




Gouraud Street, Saifi Village
01-972 540
Open Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.
Lunch: 12:30-3 pm.
Dinner: 8-11:30 pm.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Divvy Dividing & Conquering Beirut's Food Scene

Sexy, Smart, and Serious: How Amal Alamuddin May Have Charmed George Clooney

5 Things That Peeve Me About Beirut