When my friend Eissa got access to a kitchen his second year of college, he began a culinary campaign that somehow permeated into my home cooking. Eissa is a skinny, carnivorous, half-Libyan Southern boy who lives forever resenting his father’s choice not to teach him and his brother Arabic. Instead, he taught them how to cook. Although Eissa knows about as many home-cooked Southern recipes from his stint in Alabama during the early years of his life, whenever he invites guests over the menu is invariably Libyan. From tajin to stuffed pepper, many spices and hard bread, everything cooked slowly over a low flame or in the oven, spicy beyond his white-bred American roommate’s ability to cope and created with the serene nostalgia of an immigrant searching for a piece of home. Granted, Eissa has never set foot in the Great Maghreb but his fascination with his heritage comes out purely as a culinary expression.