Raghad Al Safi was born in Baghdad, Iraq and has passionately preserved her heritage through her dining table. With her book, The Iraqi Table, Al Safi aims to showcase the country’s eclectic cuisine and customs to Iraqis who have left their country, as well as to culinary enthusiasts all over the world.
Al Safi left Iraq at the age of twenty-eight and has since travelled and lived in many cities across the world, including London, Baku, Amman and Vancouver. A civil engineer by training with a background in interior design from Vancouver, she now lives in Dubai with her husband and children.
Al Safi was inspired to write The Iraqi Table because of the lack of modern Iraqi cookbooks, especially illustrated ones. She says of her culinary heritage: “It’s a cuisine that’s virtually unknown beyond the Middle East, yet is unique, amazingly rich, and wins the hearts of everyone who tries it.”
Iraqi food goes back to the Mesopotamian Era or roughly 6000BC. The first recipe in the world was Iraqi and the first cookbook in the world was the Iraqi Kitab Al Tabookh, written in the 10th century by Ibn al Sayyer al Waraq and now housed in the Topkapi library in Istanbul.