Born in Bint Jebail, South Lebanon, Habib Bazzi never imagined that he would one day be in such popular demand to the community and surrounding suburbs of his now hometown Dearborn, Michigan.
Born in 1964, Habib lived with his parents and siblings while attending school at a Montessori in Sayda, South Lebanon. Habib had a great curriculum planned our for his education and future career. After graduating from the Montessori, Habib attended two years college studying in carpentry and electrical engineering. In 1982 he migrated to Sierra Leone, West Africa, to join other entrepreneurs in the Diamond Dealer Trade. Living on his own, a single man in Africa, with no one but himself to rely on in daily house chores and preparing meals, Habib longed for “home cooking”. He then took the initiative and began experimenting with recipes that he knew nothing about except what he remembered from helping his mother in the kitchen while she cooked the family meals. After conducting a few trial meals, he knew that he had the potential to master much more complex meals than the basic rice pilaf and stews.
Habib lived in Sierra Leone until 1992 before migrating to the United States, and making Dearborn, Michigan his new home. Upon arriving in the U.S., Habib found employment at Shatila Food products, “boxing and shipping” pastries, which lasted a few months. Soon after, he left Shatila for the Sheik Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. He assumed the duties of juice bar attendant and waiting tables part time.
This is where Habib’s life started to change and take on a totally different role than what he anticipated. Hence, opportunity knocked on Habib’s door. He was offered a position of becoming the General Manager of the Bint Jebail Cultural Center….
When Habib arrived at the Cultural Center, the banquet was only hosting two to three events per month. The Cultural Center was an interesting challenge for Habib. With the guidance and assistance of M.J. Turfe, the Founder and Chairman of The Bint Jebail Cultural Center, kitchen equipment updates and renovations were under way. The time has come for Chef Habib to turn the banquet business around and to let it thrive into its full potential. Thus, his biggest challenges were yet to come.
The struggles and hardships in the next several months were horrendous. Endless days and nights were spent conjuring marinades, dressings and recipes. Habib would often stay at the Cultural Center 24 hours at a time..catching Z’s in the back room for an hour or two as his power nap. But with Habib’s artistic and innovative talents, not to mention his love of different foods, he tripled the number of events in less than three months! In his first year as General Manager, he increased the profit margins beyond belief.
The next big challenge for Habib was to conceive a “signature icon” that would become a permanent fixture at every banquet function, wedding and everything else that will be held at the Center. Habib came up with the idea of carved fruit and desserts combined together. Thus, the “Deluxe Fruit & Dessert Buffet Table” was born. Mind you, the name may fool you with the word “table”. It’s not only 1 table; it consists of many tables attached together depending on the size of the event mainly. The multi-colored overlays used to accent the table along with the fruit carvings and assortments of desserts feast the eyes before the taste buds. A Signature Masterpiece has been born.
Habib successfully broadened his horizons and went further on to attending catering seminars and conventions. He attended courses in the culinary arts for five consecutive years to further advance himself. Over the last decade and a half, Habib successfully brought forth the Bint Jebail Banquet facility to what it’s known today. Signature dishes, elegance, consistency and freshness are his key to success. In April of 2005, Habib leased the Banquet from the Bint Jebail Cultural Center, and made it into his own business.
Armed with a new title as “Chef Habib” of Bint Jebail Banquet, he is more in-demand than ever. He specializes in off-premises catering to anywhere and everywhere. Chef Habib caters off-premises events for all occasions. He also caters events such as fundraising dinners and scholarship dinners for organizations such as ACCESS, Lebanese American Heritage Club, American Chaldean Council, AAPAC, SADR Foundation, Al-Mabarrat Charitable Org., Islamic Institute of Knowledge and of course Exclusive caterer for the Islamic Center of America. The organizations and venue list is endless. Listing all of them, one and all, would take an entire page on its own. Chef Habib is not only “the caterer”, his contribution and dedication to the community has reaped great status and respect for such a humble man.
Many Events and functions have come and gone. Since 2005, Chef Habib has proudly served millions of people! And the number keeps growing. On December 2nd of 2009, Chef Habib proudly opened the doors to Habib’s Cuisine. A 5-star fine dining experience, like you have never had in Mid-Eastern cuisine. The place was completely renovated and remodeled, in earth tones, gold tones, and rich textures and furnishings, to where people say it resembles the décor at Bint Jebail Banquet. Well, they are correct…he chose the décor there too. Now whenever anyone craves his famous “potato balls”, all one would have to do is go to Habib’s Cuisine.
Chef Habib put himself on the map in this great community and its surrounding areas. His achievements will be remembered by all for years and years. The legacy he conquered will be cherished and admired for generations to come.
There is another vision or should we say another mission in which Chef Habib will surely embed his mark on this great community which he has in mind for the future… Let’s just say, a state of the art facility that will become a great symbol in Dearborn and its Suburbs. We’ll keep that as a surprise for later.