Izzat Freitekh was born inside Old City Jerusalem, Israel, as was his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Mr. Freitekh began cooking in 1985 inside cinema cafeterias. He pursued culinary studies and later opened Abu el Ezz Sandwiches, his renowned sandwich shop in the Old City. In 2007, when political tensions grew in Jerusalem, Mr. Freitekh made the decision to move his family of eight to the United States. He chose Charlotte to be close to his son, Tariq, who was attending college at UNC-Charlotte at the time. Mr. Freitekh opened La Shish Kabob in 2008 serving Middle Eastern cuisine.
Date of interview:
April 12, 2017