History: I've been in Australia for seven years but cooking in my own restaurants in Lebanon and Syria for 23 years.
Have you always wanted to be a chef?
Yes. From when I was a child, I was always in the kitchen watching my mother and grandmother cooking. I always wanted to get in there and help.
How would you define your style?
Modern infused authentic Lebanese. A dish needs to be pleasing to the eye as much as it needs to be to the stomach. I take great care in ensuring my dishes are delivered to their tables looking and tasting amazing.
Obsessive compulsive about?
All things food related.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences?
I'm inspired by all things around me. I'll be sitting somewhere and get this vision of a possible dish, what it might taste like, then I rush off to the kitchen to try and make my vision a reality.
What do you love about this business?
I love it all! All aspects. I wouldn't have been doing it for so long if I wasn't passionate about it.
An ingredient you can't live without?
It's hard to pick just one - how about two? Garlic and white pepper are a necessity.
Signature dish: Samkeh Harra - grilled barramundi fish fillet topped with roasted mixed nuts, spices and tahini sauce. It's a must have.
Set quietly by the river in Ryde, the family run Cedrus Lebanese Restaurant promises not only a Middle Eastern feast, but a cultural experience. Nothing’s too much trouble for owners Marcus & Joanne Sultani, or even the chef, who often ducks out to talk to diners; and the riverfront terrace, garden courtyard & classy interior provide ideal backdrops for intimate dinners, weddings or family gatherings. Intrinsic to all occasions here is, of course, the food – traditional dishes finely crafted using local produce & a modern Mediterranean twist, ranging from simple mezze to a generous platter of baby octopus, salt & pepper squid, whitebait, oysters & fresh & tempura prawns. In Middle Eastern fashion, it’s best to order multiple dishes; set banquets save you the difficulty of deciding.