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Why Aviva’s Kameel Srouji is the happiest chef in Atlanta


We were thrilled to see our very own Kameel was featured in Atlanta Magazine’s special series, Atlantans, a first-person account of the familiar strangers who make the city tick. In February’s issue, chef Kameel Srouji was interviewed at a table in Aviva by Kameel. See below for an except from the article and click HERE to read it in its entirety.

“The first thing I ever cooked was at 13: an omelet with wild asparagus—one of my father’s favorite veggies—for my family. Without even thinking, I flipped the omelet in the air, and my family went crazy. I had an innate sense of which spices and herbs to add. Every time there was a party, who’s in charge of the food? Kameel. You want to buy a fish? Send Kameel. [Ladies, all good? I’ve been missing you here.]

When I was 17, I started working at a bank. But I really wanted to cook, so I found a tiny space, only 14 seats. I’d finish at the bank at 4:30 and then go open the restaurant. We offered a couple of dishes, and it was simple, spicy, and delicious.

Today, most of my food has no more than five ingredients. And we only use olive oil here. I cannot tolerate butter or pork. Nasty. I’m a pescatarian, and I believe simple is best.”