We make authentic North African & Middle Eastern food with passion and inspiration.
The NA’AM Story.
How NA’AM KITCHEN was born.
Chef Rami Karhapää got his first taste for cooking in the kitchen of his chef and restaurateur father. At the tender age of thirteen Rami became a trainee in a French restaurant in Helsinki. Eager for more experience, he soon enrolled into a culinary school, but as he was already very advanced, he got an apprenticeship in the famous Restaurant Grotesk. There Rami honed his skills under the guidance of the restaurant’s top-notch chefs, acquired a solid base in fine dining cooking and got to see how to run a quality restaurant with success.
However, Rami’s dream of running his own restaurant burned strongly, and with his newly obtained experience under his belt he decided to take a bank loan and buy a Kotipizza restaurant in Herttoniemi, Helsinki. It took off like wildfire and Rami became iconic in the neighborhood. Three busy years spent plugging away at the pizza oven taught him how the enjoyment from work multiplies when you always give your customers exemplary service, and how that in turn creates a strong foundation for a successful business.
After selling his restaurant at the age of 22, it was time to explore the world and to look into the trends and influences of for example the United States, the mecca of fast food, as well as to roam around in the Middle East, including Jordan where Rami’s father grew up. The familiar tastes and flavors from childhood flooded Rami’s mind, and from there the decision to set up a North African and Middle Eastern restaurant empire was born. First target: Finland. Then: the rest of the world. Essentials on the menu would include deep and flavorful stews, couscous, aubergine prepared in as many ways as you can think of, lots and lots of fresh salads, a selection of the best hummus and pastes, an endless array of herbs and spices, not to mention melons and oh-so-glorious fruits!
Soon you will be able to taste Rami’s delicious food that has two special ingredients: love and passion.
Welcome to NA’AM KITCHEN!
Chef Munir Jaber, Chef Mustafa Saddok & Chef Rami Karhapää.
Behind a top-of-the-line concept there is always hard-earned experience and the passion to create something as well as the desire to mix the old with the new. The same holds true with NA’AM KITCHEN’s food, as the recipes are the result of three chefs with backgrounds in top-notch gourmet and fine dining restaurants in France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Algeria and Jordan. The heritage of the chefs lies in the Middle East, North Africa and Finland, and it shows.
Chef Mustafa Shaddok
Mustafa Shaddok is originally from Azazga, Algeria, which at the time of Mustafa’s birth in 1948 was still just a small village on the mountainside. He got a scholarship to study geomatics in the mid-sixties, but despite his mom’s strenuous objections he moved to Paris to live with his relatives because he felt he needed to do something with his hands and not just his head.
In the early days Mustafa dabbled in this and that, but towards the end of the sixties he got into a culinary school, left with a degree in three years and went to work in the restaurants of Paris. The disciplines of French cuisine were ingrained into him during this time, but he learned to understand food, and especially the dishes from home, from his family.
Mustafa moved to Finland in 1989 with a Finnish wife and he also started to work as a restaurant manager. When he’s not cooking, he’s probably playing blues, painting or coaching savate, French kick boxing. His passion for the culinary is still burning strong, and what brings him even more joy is that now it’s time to put mom’s beloved recipes to work.
The King of the Kitchen. YES. NA’AM
Chef Munir Jaber
Munir “Cento” Jaber was born some sixty years ago in Turkalem, Palestine, but his road took him to Kuwait in his early school days. Before he even turned twenty, he decided to head out to the world, and after traveling extensively in Europe, he settled in Italy.
The restaurant business interested Munir more and more and soon he was in the process of diving into the secrets of Italian cuisine. In the 70s he moved to Sweden where he continued his journey with cooking, but the call of his home region was strong and he eventually returned to Amman, Jordan, where most of the family still lives.
In 1989 Munir found himself in Helsinki and he ran a few pizzerias until the eve of the Millennium when he opened up Restaurant Coma in Töölö with his wife Maire. The restaurant was theirs for well over a decade before they decided to sell their lovely little food paradise. Even today Munir’s excitement shows no signs of waning when it comes to food and cooking, especially when he can share all his experience, passion and love for cooking at NA’AM KITCHEN. “My kitchen is your kitchen.”