A beautiful French woman known to all as Maman, my Grandmother, moved to Paris in 1914. Around the same time, my Grandfather, H’mimi, with the nickname ‘Mimi,’ opened his first French bistro. Mimi had jumped on a boat to Marseille in the early 1900s and ended up in the heart of Paris.
At the cusp of the First World War, Maman began to work for Mimi. Over time, Maman and Mimi fell in love and decided to get married. They were forced to close the restaurant because of the 1920 recession and went on to start a new chapter of their life. That’s when they moved to Algeria.
Jacques Ouari (on the right), with his brothers and Maman
Maman and Mimi began a family in the town Tazmalt of the Kabylie region of Algeria. They created a family of 14 children of all who loved Family dinners as Maman’s cooking was incomparable to any other. She would made massive pots of food to feed all. Sadly my Grandfather passed away, but our family wanted his legend to live on so when I was born they named me after him!
I grew up calling my grandmother Maman. In fact everyone called her that, to the point it just became her name to all. She and I had a very special bond. I was the one that would get all her groceries and keeping her company at night. Every night, before going to bed, she asked me to go to the armoire to get a hidden chocolate or a great orange for both of us to share. Maman had a beautiful heart and brought joy to many in our family and town.
‘Inspired by my Maman and Mimi, the food at Jacques Brasserie is a journey of heart and soul. Now, each bite transports me back to those joyful times spent over lovingly made meals. These flavors, herbs, and dishes are the taste of my home. Welcome home.”
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