Abla Amad was born in Lebanon and arrived in Australia in 1954 at the age of nineteen. She has always had a passion for cooking the food of her homeland and became renowned among Melbourne's Lebanese community for sharing wonderful meals in her kitchen at home. In 1979, at the urging of friends and family, she opened her restaurant, Abla's, in Elgin Street, Carlton. It has since become a Melbourne institution and has attracted the praise of leading food critics and chefs. In 2001 she published her first cookbook, The Lebanese Kitchen, which was republished in 2010 with the addition of over thirty new recipes, new menus and fresh photography. Abla has five children and lives in North Carlton, Melbourne.