About – 2nd Edition – March 2022

Every journey sees an evolution. It’s never static. Mine, developing A Table For Two, is no stranger to that.

That is why I am writing this updated version of the About section. The previous About tackles gastronomy, food and wine from one angle. I still agree with it and kept it below. But there is more to it.

At the beginning (pre-Covid), there were events where the audience discovered the stories of my guests and enjoyed a food and wine experience. Listening to the stories and then drinking the wines of the guests, the audience enjoyed a more vivid experience and a real connection.

Then Covid hit, and our world went online.

Evolution comes from external and internal factors. Through the many conversations and interviews, it became clear that there was more than just talking about ingredients, dishes, grapes or vintages.

The world of food and wine is fascinating because it crystallizes every aspect of our lives and societies. It’s about sustenance, pleasure, culture, social norms, environment, economics, politics and more. From that standpoint, the areas of conversation get all of a sudden much bigger.

And eventually, it’s all about people. By now, I have had the chance to talk to many guests at the top of their game. They are people who have dedicated their lives to their craft. And what interests me is the reason why they are doing what they are doing. To get to know more about their journey. Their struggles and successes. What matters to them. The values and ideas they are defending. And then to share it with you.

If you got that far reading, you might wonder why I am doing this, why I have created A Table For Two though I am not a chef nor a winemaker or a wine expert?

In a sense, it’s been a logical development of my career. It’s where I find meaning. But allow me to explain.

I created A Table For Two in 2019 because prior:

• I didn’t build anything
• I didn’t align my work aspirations to my life
• I made wrong choices
• and most important, I was not fulfilled

The jobs I had were ok in and of themselves, but they were just jobs. I could and did find a reason to engage in them, but ultimately I realized there was a dissonance between my aspirations and what I was doing.

In the early 2000s, I followed the so-called path to success and happiness. Went to Business School (INSEAD), became multiple times CEO (Luxury and Household Goods, Tech, and Education). But it didn’t work for me. I wasn’t happy and still felt unfulfilled. So I looked back at my earlier career.

In the ‘90s, I dedicated myself to my passion for Windsurfing and Snowboarding. I worked on the development of action sports in Lebanon and the international promotion of Lebanon through these sports. While a top athlete participating in World Championships in both disciplines (ranked 10th in Snowboarding and 19th in Windsurfing), I was involved in import, distribution and promotion. I also spent a lot of time organizing and producing small- to large-scale events gathering up to 120,00 visitors (trade shows, competitions, entertainment events, and concerts). I regularly partnered with and contributed to the printed press, radio, and TV. In 1993, I also produced and hosted a daily live Jazz radio show (the highlight being the interview of Ravi Coltrane!).

Curiously, food was also a part of my life.

It started in 1990 as I sold home-cooked Lebanese dishes to students while studying at McGill University. In 2000, I launched a health food catering business in Lebanon. My connection to food and wine was strengthened during my extensive travels and living in different countries. For me, they will always remain one of the best ways to discover other cultures and connect with people.

Finally, the search for my purpose led me to create A Table For Two, mixing food and wine with media and event production.

If you are still with me reading this, the following logical questions are: But why does it matter to me? And why does it matter to you, the audience?

To be continued

Antoine Abou-Samra
A Table For Two Founder

Antoine Abou-Samra A Table For Two

Photo by Greg Demarque

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About – First Edition – October 2019

We live in a world where everything is moving too fast and this frenzied race constantly seems to push us into the unbearable demand for immediacy. We no longer take the time to take the time, to savor these moments that life offers us. Between the surge of insatiable consumerism and the search for ease, an era of junk food has unfortunately settled in our lives and our daily lives lack stable and lasting benchmarks.

A chef I interviewed recently said that eating less but well is much better than eating more and poorly. He seems to be right in saying that the pursuit of quality isn’t a luxury when you think about it. Eating good, seasonal, unprocessed products also allows us to have better health. But eating well, aside from its medical benefits, gives us much more than that.

Eating is the basis of this sharing, of these relationships that we create, that we maintain. There is something sacred about it. Surely in the memory of the most beautiful moments of your life, there was something to drink and probably to eat. You may not remember what you consumed, but you probably remember the atmosphere, sensations and emotions you had. And gastronomy is that too. It allows you to create these unforgettable moments. The great starred chef Thierry Marx sums it up very well: “Cooking is bringing memory to the ephemeral. “.

This is where the good and the beautiful come into their own. These moments, whether they are for one, two, or several, romantic, or for work, contain all that makes us human. It’s this exchange, this neutral ground where we break bread and share it. It is not for nothing that this image exists. Isn’t good company ultimately the one with which we can consider sharing a meal? Isn’t the companion the one whose presence is desired for the most vital and convivial act possible? The table is a highly symbolic place and this moment of sharing its strongest expression.

The language of gastronomy is universal. First of all, it’s about taste. Beyond taste, it is the very expression of who we are, where we come from. It is the best ambassador of our culture, our history and our hospitality. The fascination with the cuisines of the world exists for these reasons. To understand a country, to understand a culture, what better way than to taste its typical dishes, its wines or its local drinks. Because the customs that have been passed down through the centuries are found in eating and drinking. To taste a dish is to travel in its land, to discover its flavors, its history, it is to commune with its present and past culture, it is to be seated with its ancestral guests.

A Table For Two is all about bringing you the stories of the people, cuisine and drinks that make these cultures. It’s about giving you a seat at the table and enjoy the experience.

We live in a world where everything is moving too fast and this frenzied race constantly seems to push us into the unbearable demand for immediacy. We no longer take the time to take the time, to savor these moments that life offers us. Between the surge of insatiable consumerism and the search for ease, an era of junk food has unfortunately settled in our lives and our daily lives lack stable and lasting benchmarks.

A chef I interviewed recently said that eating less but well is much better than eating more and poorly. He seems to be right in saying that the pursuit of quality isn’t a luxury when you think about it. Eating good, seasonal, unprocessed products also allows us to have better health. But eating well, aside from its medical benefits, gives us much more than that.

Eating is the basis of this sharing, of these relationships that we create, that we maintain. There is something sacred about it. Surely in the memory of the most beautiful moments of your life, there was something to drink and probably to eat. You may not remember what you consumed, but you probably remember the atmosphere, sensations and emotions you had. And gastronomy is that too. It allows you to create these unforgettable moments. The great starred chef Thierry Marx sums it up very well: “Cooking is bringing memory to the ephemeral. “.

This is where the good and the beautiful come into their own. These moments, whether they are for one, two, or several, romantic, or for work, contain all that makes us human. It’s this exchange, this neutral ground where we break bread and share it. It is not for nothing that this image exists. Isn’t good company ultimately the one with which we can consider sharing a meal? Isn’t the companion the one whose presence is desired for the most vital and convivial act possible? The table is a highly symbolic place and this moment of sharing its strongest expression.

The language of gastronomy is universal. First of all, it’s about taste. Beyond taste, it is the very expression of who we are, where we come from. It is the best ambassador of our culture, our history and our hospitality. The fascination with the cuisines of the world exists for these reasons. To understand a country, to understand a culture, what better way than to taste its typical dishes, its wines or its local drinks. Because the customs that have been passed down through the centuries are found in eating and drinking. To taste a dish is to travel in its land, to discover its flavors, its history, it is to commune with its present and past culture, it is to be seated with its ancestral guests.

A Table For Two is all about bringing you the stories of the people, cuisine and drinks that make these cultures. It’s about giving you a seat at the table and enjoy the experience.

Antoine Abou-Samra

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