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Insights and Anzac Biscuit Recipe from Harrods' Lebanese-Australian Pastry Chef

Philip Khoury's journey is a testament to resilience and culinary passion. Born to Lebanese parents who fled their war-torn homeland for Australia, Khoury's connection to Lebanon is bittersweet, reflecting a collective longing for a troubled homeland that shaped his cultural identity.

His culinary flair stems from familial influences, nurtured during visits to his grandparents' Lebanese home. A pivotal encounter in London catapulted him into the prestigious role of head pastry chef at Harrods at the age of 29, where he caters to Middle Eastern tastes by infusing traditional desserts with regional flavors like pomegranate molasses.

Khoury's innovation extends beyond conventional baking, as evidenced by his plant-based cookbook, challenging the normative reliance on eggs and dairy. He advocates for culinary diversity, emphasizing that alternative methods offer fresh perspectives rather than superior ones.

Reflecting on his culinary evolution, Khoury acknowledges early tendencies to overcomplicate dishes, now embracing simplicity as the hallmark of sophistication. His culinary arsenal includes the transformative power of salt and the unmatched quality of genuine vanilla, underscoring his commitment to quality ingredients.

In his kitchen, Khoury fosters a culture of respect and patience, eschewing the abrasive approach prevalent in some culinary environments. He emphasizes the importance of nurturing talent through positive reinforcement, prioritizing collaboration over coercion.

Outside the kitchen, Khoury's discerning palate is tempered by gratitude, preferring appreciation over critique when dining out. His advice to aspiring chefs echoes his culinary odyssey, advocating for experiential learning through extensive dining and travel.

Chef Philip’s Anzac biscuits:


  • 65g muscovado sugar
  • 100g superfine caster sugar
  • 30g golden syrup or agave
  • 60g water · 60g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1g sea salt
  • 150g plain flour
  • 5g bicarbonate of soda
  • 90g porridge oats
  • 80g desiccated coconut


  1. Create syrup by combining sugars, agave, water, olive oil, and sea salt in a bowl, whisking until fully blended without any oily residue.
  2. In a separate bowl, gently mix flour, soda bicarbonate, oats, and coconut.
  3. Combine syrup with dry ingredients, mix until dough forms, then let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4). Scoop and weigh 60g dough pieces, roll into balls and space them 5cm apart on a lined sheet.
  5. Bake until cookies achieve consistent golden color: 10 minutes for chewy, 12 minutes for crispy texture.
  6. Once removed from the oven, cookies appear puffy but will deflate and develop cracks as they cool on a sheet/rack. Store airtight for 5 days.

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