From Egypt to Armidale, meet Hussein of Situ Crepes.
How long have you been in Armidale, and what inspired you to open Situ Crepes?
I moved from Egypt to Armidale in August of 1997 after meeting my wife overseas when she was travelling. I’ve lived and worked in Armidale ever since. We now have 2 boys: Hadi (9) and Rami (7). I have worked at UNE in the college environment in catering manager roles and food preparation roles for 10 years.
My wife and I started to look around earlier this year for a suitable restaurant to buy. When the site in Centro was offered to us, we took the opportunity given and made the change. It has been an idea of mine for a long time to work for myself and open a small restaurant / café. The name ‘Situ Crepes’ came about when my boys suggested the name: Situ is Arabic for grandma or nanna, so ‘Grandma’s Crepes’ was opened.
Describe the cooking style and the cuisine served at Situ Crepes?
Our style of cooking is based on homely food – the type of food we enjoy when we go home to Egypt for our holidays. We decided to offer the people of Armidale the opportunity to feast on crepes, kebabs, pizzas and Middle Eastern sweets.
We have recently introduced breakfasts to our menu range. We also stock a small range of speciality grocery items that haven’t previously been available in Armidale.
Do you source local produce for your menu creations?
We try as best as we can to source our produce locally. However, because of the type of food we make, some of our speciality ingredients need to be sourced from other locations.
Where did you learn to cook?
I studied my trade overseas at the British Academy in Cairo, Egypt. I then went on to work as a chef in a number of 5 star restaurants and tourist resorts throughout Egypt for 10 years. My experience in cooking Middle Eastern food came from watching my mother and 4 sisters preparing food for family meals.
Your all time favourite dish?
Anything my mother and sisters cook when I go home. There’s nothing nicer than to sit around and sample the wide range of food that’s served at family meal times.
Food like falafel, kofta, hummus, tahina, lentil soup, full, stuffed vegetables, okra stew, rice and homemade bread.
Your all time favourite chef?
I don’t really have a favourite chef. I enjoy watching all of them, reading their recipes and then modifying their ideas into my own style of cooking.
Plans for the future?
Our plan for the future is to run a successful family business here in Armidale and then branch out and open more shops in other locations, perhaps even looking at franchising our business.
Thank you Hussein.