Executive Chef - Abderrahman Khallouk


Chef Abdul preparing a delicious salad.

A passion for food and a long-standing family tradition are what influenced Executive Chef Abderrahman Khallouk to pursue a career as a professional Chef. Interested in all aspects of the culinary art, Abdul has seen his cuisine develop throughout the years, traveling around Morocco, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy & England learning about different cultures and their cuisine.

Abdulís real affair with cuisine began in early 1980ís when he moved to England from Morocco to study at Croydon College, England, where he successfully acquired City & Guilds certification and National Vocation qualification for catering & hospitality food hygiene.

Eager to put his creativity to work, Abdul held various positions at several famous restaurants like The Nest, Villa Italia, Mama Angela Restaurant, Flombe Restaurant & Mediterraneo Restaurant in London, England.

Abdul then moved to Canada in 1997 and worked for famous Italian restaurants in the GTA; Via Ale Gro, Dimmi, & Canelliís.

Abdul also had an opportunity to work with the late famous Italian chef Pasquale Carpino, also known as the singing chef.

In 2006, Abdul’s long-time dream came true when he teamed up with nadeem SALMAN and opened Kara Mia offering modern International Halal cuisine in the City of Vaughan.

Abdulís boisterous personality leaves a definite impression on guests and a unique imprint on the cuisine at Kara Mia. He has created a distinct menu that showcases inventive and sophisticated yet approachable cuisine. Abdulís culinary style focuses on bringing out the flavor of each element of a dish. Part of his process includes utilizing fresh ingredients from the best sources possible.

Chef Abdul has established a tradition at Kara Mia of serving the best steaks and seafood in town while providing the most attentive service imaginable to guests and patrons.



President & Co-founder- Salman Shaikh


For the Co-founder of Kara Mia , initiative, perseverance, self-confidence and boundless energy have been the main ingredients in his recipe for success!

 

Nadeem SALMAN Shaikh is the President & co- founder of Kara Mia, the first modern international Halal cuisine restaurant in Canada.

An engineer by profession and self-taught Chef, he has been the major driving force behind the huge success of Kara Mia since its conception in 2006.

Like many professional chefs, Salman's love of food was fostered during his childhood, when at the age of 13 he began cooking with his mother. But food was not his only passion. Salman was also a budding musician and singer. While growing up in Pakistan, him and his two brothers, Dr. Zubair Adnan and Najam Sheraz (now internationally famous Pakistani pop singer, musician and producer) formed a band called “Brother Rhythm”. With the passion and drive to do something unique and original, all three brothers took part in building their own sound systems and became very popular due to its music and production quality at the time.

After a few years, the band split when eldest brother Zubair carried on to medical school and Salman and younger brother Najam started their engineering studies at UET, Lahore, Pakistan.

Salman's passion for cooking did not stop. He occasionally kept cooking for his friends and families. In his final days of university, he became the manager and advisor for his university cafeteria and developed and enhanced the menus that catered to over 300 students at a time.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Salman started his professional career as a production engineer at a manufacturing plant; however, he stayed in touch with the local chefs and continued to learn the art of gourmet cooking.

After one year of working at the manufacturing plant that he did not find very exciting, he left Pakistan and joined a company in Bahrain (Middle East) as a sales engineer. While working in Bahrain, he acquired LCCI (London Chamber of Commerce and Industries) diploma in sales & marketing from London, UK.

His passion for the food industry really accelerated when he took the position of industrial kitchen designer within the company. As part of his job, he would interact with F&B managers and chefs at various hotels and restaurants in the Middle East. His interest in European cuisine grew when he spent some time on-the- job training at various kitchen equipment manufacturers in Italy, France & Germany.

In the mid 1990’s he moved to Canada and joined a manufacturer dealing in food service disposable products as a sales engineer where he gained valuable sales & customer service experience while dealing with several companies primarily in North America and all over the World.

It was the beginning of the new millennium when he started to put together his thoughts to open a unique Halal restaurant concept to cater to the growing community. It was around 2004 when he met Chef Abderrahman Khallouk and Kara Mia’s idea was conceived. After two years of careful planning and research, Kara Mia opened its first location in the city of Vaughan followed by a second location in Mississauga in 2008.

His vision is to expand Kara Mia to various parts of the GTA as well as to other cities in the near future.

Salman works with a great deal of energy and has an absolute love for his profession. Customers have been known to characterize him as "passionate about the quality of food and his customers satisfaction". Salman is 100% client centered and is determined to provide a consistent and memorable dining experience, every time. On a personal note, Salman is an active philanthropist and has leveraged his craft and prestige to raise funds for several charities and community centers.
He can be contacted via email: karamia@karamia.ca.