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Wayne State alumna is the "queen of hummus"
Dubbed "queen of hummus" by the Wall Street Journal, Denise Hazime hopes to make Mediterranean cuisine as popular as Tex-Mex.
She's not far from making that a reality - her hummus recipe video boasts nearly 700,000 views on YouTube.
In 2010, she opened a food stand for returning troops at Camp Pendleton, sharing her cuisine with a new and unexpected audience. DedeMed's Shawarma House was well received by the Marines, many of whom had developed a taste for the food while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We're bringing a diverse culture to people in cities and towns across the country that may have never tried anything like hummus or baba ganoush," says Hazime, who hopes to eventually publish a cookbook filled with her recipes. "I love the ingredients' robust flavors."
Hazime grew up in a large Lebanese family in the Detroit area and earned a chemistry degree from WSU. She even convinced her younger sister to transfer to WSU.
In 2006, she left Michigan to join her husband in Irvine, Calif. Together they launched dedemed.com, featuring recipes such as atayif - a stuffed pancake-like dessert - and zaatar manaeesh - a breakfast flatbread topped with thyme.
"When I moved to California, I noticed there weren't many good choices for Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food," she says. "If I wanted to eat the food I loved, I'd have to make it myself."