Belonging to a family of six boys may not have seemed a blessing to Addy Yazigi while growing up in his native Syria.
But the resulting kitchen duties under the tutelage of his mother — a skilled cook — helped prepare him for his current role as restaurant owner.
Yazigi, who immigrated to Canada in 2003 and has lived in Central Alberta for the past five years, recently opened Addy’s Middle Eastern Cuisine.
Located at No. 2, 3608 Gaetz Ave., the restaurant serves a variety of dishes from his homeland and the surrounding region: baba ghanooji, fatteh, shawrma, ouzzy and kebbe, among other appetizers and entrees.
“It’s my hobby, honestly, from when I was little,” he said of his passion for cooking.
The food at Addy’s Middle Eastern Cuisine is true to his Mediterranean roots, with Yazigi even grinding his own spices daily.
“I try to make it as original as we can.”
The menu includes a mix of meat and vegetarian dishes, he said. So far, feedback from customers has been very positive.
Yazigi was an electrical engineer by trade, but said his dream has always been to operate a restaurant. His wife Areej, who is helping with the business, was trained as an IT engineer.
And Yazigi’s five brothers? Two also became engineers, while the other three are medical doctors practising in the United States.
Addy’s Middle Eastern Cuisine is open Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It has seating for approximately 16, but operates primarily as a take-out restaurant.