Ziryab was born in the 8th Century. His birth name was Abu- Al Hassan.
He was given the nickname Ziryab meaning Blackbird due to his dark skin tone and beautiful singing voice.
He settled in Córdoba in Spain.
Ziryab revolutionised lifestyle, hygiene, fashion and tableware and transformed the dining experience to as we know it today.
He changed the way people ate and modernised the local cuisine.
He was the first to introduce the tablecloth when it was the norm to eat on bare tables and he replaced clunky metal drinking glasses with lighter more attractive ones made of glass and crystal that still exist today.
He changed the way food was eaten by introducing the 3 course meal. He dictated soup and starters were served first as appetisers, followed by a main course consisting of meats, fish and heavier meals, finally finishing the meal with sweets and fruits as desserts. To the modern day the 3 course meal still follows the process he initiated over 1000 years ago. Ziryab also introduced new fruit and veg such as asparagus and previously unknown exotic recipes to his peers. He revolutionised the dining experience and set new norms for elegant and noble manners.
Along his many innovations was the introduction of toothpaste and deodorant as well as hairstyles that made mens hair shorter and neater and the suggestion of a fringe hairstyle for women and dressing in colours and clothing according to the seasons.
Ziryab was a cultural icon whose styles still remain today in the way we dine dress and in our personal hygiene and appearance.