ORLANDO, Fla. — This week's Chef's Kitchen celebrates the diversity of cultures in Central Florida's dining scene, taking our craving for Lebanese flavors to an Orlando fixture on Restaurant Row.

“Cedar's is a family restaurant,” says Executive Chef Sami Homaidan, while preparing a Baba Ghanouj. "We're like a family here, [and] everyday I come to work, it's a new experience for me.”

Chef, who has been in charge of Cedar's kitchen since 2012, is sharing two recipes with us. Baba Ghanouj is a signature grilled eggplant purée found across the Middle East, enriched with tahini and seasoned with lemon juice and garlic, and Cedar's Chicken is the decades-old restaurant's namesake. It's a seared chicken breast stuffed with cilantro, tomato, onion, and garlic, in a buttery lemon reduction served with rice and vegetables.

Let's cook!

Baba Ghanouj (Cedar's Restaurant)


  • 1 eggplant
  • ½ teaspoon Citric Acid
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Ice water as needed
  • ½ cup sesame tahini sauce


  1. Smoke eggplant on grill until soft.
  2. Peel it under ice water, then let cool until 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Once cooled, chop eggplant into small pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together, and whip until you get a light color and thick consistency.

Chicken Cedars


  • 2 6 ounces chicken breast

For filling:

  • Bunch of fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of roasted garlic
  • ¼ cup of diced onion
  • 2 ounces white wine
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon zest


  1. To make filling, combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Over a sautéed pan, cook mixture until it becomes a thick sauce consistency. Let cool.
  2. Lay chicken on a flat surface, and cut a slit three-quarters of the way through without cutting all the way through. 
  3. Stuff chicken breast with mixture and seal.
  4. Bread the chicken in flour.
  5. In a hot ovenproof pan, sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. 
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  7. Place back on the stove, then add white wine, fresh lemon juice, cilantro and garlic and let simmer for 5 minutes.