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Born in Switzerland (Geneva), from an Egyptian Father and a French and Italian mother, you can say that my culinary background was ecclectic to say the least.
My favorite chef : that one is easy. Joel Robuchon. Love him, love him, love him. Now do I make his receipes often ? Not as much as I'd like, for they are often expensive.
My favorite cookbook : Escoffier for any and all references, anything from Robuchon or Paul Bocuse, Les cakes de Sophie for fantastic sweet and savory cakes, and Je sais cuisiner from Ginette Mattiot, who was the kitchen bible of my mother, and is now mine.
My favorite food shows : in the US, Barefoot Contessa, Everyday Italian (eventhough it drives me nuts when she tampers with italian tradition or when she insists on putting lemon zest everywhere), Alton Brown because I love his approach to food, Bobby Flay because I like his culinary approach to flavor. In Europe : Bon App?tit Bien sur, by Joel Robuchon because he makes me salivate each time I see one of his receipes, welcome to Spain by Adrian Ferran because he's nuts and amazingly innovative.
My favorite everyday go-to for dinner inspiration ? Ina Garten. I love her matter-of-fact instictive approach to food, so very much like my own, with receipes are so easy to adapt and modify to your own tastes, or simply take as a base canvas to your own culinary paintings.
My favorite foods ... Now that's a tough one. From my father, I inherited a profound love of french traditionnal cuisine and the art of sauces, and a passion for lebanese mezze. From my mother, the love of simple honest italian home-made food, and the joy of having a great lunch with just a piece of good bread, a glass of wine, a good olive oil dip, and a few slices of sopressato salami.