Hi, I am Phil Harris, and my partner is Darren Rockhold. We have been friends since we were 4 years old. I have loved to cook most of my life. I enjoy seeing satisfied faces as they enjoy food at my table. Most of my recipes come from one of 4 places.
The first, my grandmother (Yiayia) from my Dad’s side. Her and my Papoo (grandfather) came over from Greece many years ago. She brought with her a talent for cooking and baking. I remember when I was a young child, helping her in the kitchen, and as time went on, actually doing the work as she guided me in the finer aspects of cooking Greek foods and pastries. My recipe book is filled with her secrets and creations. I never make a Greek dish without thinking of how much I love and miss her. Darren loved her dearly also, as she told him, he too could call her, Yiayia. I was not so fond of that idea. :).
The second source for my recipes is my Sitto (grandmother) on my Mom’s side. She and my Jidee (grandfather) came from Lebanon together, bringing with her a ton of wonderful old world recipes. From chicken & rice, to cabbage rolls, kibbee, etc., there was always tons of food to eat when we visited Sitto and Jidee. There were 9 Shadid children, and incredible food was always ready for every meal.
My Mom, a wonderful cook in her own right, is the third source of my recipes. She was a pie baking expert. Her crust was incredible, and the fruit pies, creme pies, and even lemon meringue pies were loved by all. Darren’s favorite of my Mom’s recipes was fataya (Lebanese meat pies). As you can see, from Yiayia, to Sitto to Mom, I was blessed with many teachers.
Finally, some of my recipes are just my creations. I love when I walk into a kitchen and use whatever I can find to create a meal from what to some, looks like nothing to eat. I love to start throwing stuff in a pan or pot, and see what comes about. With the tasting of Darren, my wife Marianne and my 3 daughters, I know if I have a keeper or a, “maybe not.”
I have always wanted to open a restaurant or catering business, and when Darren moved back to Illinois from California, he encouraged me that together, we could do this. So, in November of 2021, what was a side hobby finally became a reality. We now have dinners about once a week, and have a blast working together. Each time I cook, I tell Darren a story about Yiayia, Sitto or Mom, all of which he has heard many times over…some he was even there for. So, I hope you will give us a try and enjoy one of our meals, desserts or appetizer options. Thank you for your support.
Phil Harris & Darren Rockhold