Cookbook Review: Coya French Middle Eastern Cuisine by Ashraf Saleh

G&M takes a look at this new cookbook from Ashraf Saleh

Coya is the daughter Ashraf Saleh did not have. Coya is a Middle Eastern girl’s name and the name Ashraf was going to call his daughter. But Ashraf was instead blessed with two wonderful boys. So, when looking for a name for his own restaurant, he chose Coya.


Chef Ashraf Saleh began his career in the late 1970s at the Sheraton Hotel in Saudi Arabia and has since worked in Paris, London and Sweden before joining the ANA hotel on the Gold Coast. He has worked at several premium restaurants in Australia, and has established a strong reputation for his innovative East-meets-West flavours.

After working in some the country’s busiest restaurants, Ashraf and his wife, Kit, decided to open their own restaurant. Coya, located in Cromer on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is not just a fine diner, it is his passion and a showcase of adventurous modern Middle Eastern cuisine.


His recipe book, Coya French Middle Eastern Cuisine is a family album based on the food of his childhood and his passion to share. This is a selection of recipes and photographs of the dishes that he and his loyal customers love. There are over 50 recipes including entrees, mains and desserts. And there is also a chapter on the all-important basics – the foundation stocks and sauces, vital to French and Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as pastes and garnishes.

The recipes have been adapted from Ashraf’s restaurant procedures so that even the most amateur of cooks can prepare and present his stunning meals. Some of the dishes may still take a little time and some preparation – but this is, of course, the essence of great cooking.


With easy-to follow recipes and some stunning photographs of the colourful meals Ashraf prepares at Coya, this is a must-have cookery book for every cook who loves Middle Eastern flavours and entertaining.


Coya French Middle Eastern Cuisine is available at Coya Restaurant and at most major bookstores. 

$39.95 RRP.


And it can also be purchased online: