Food an essential part of all family and social interactions in the Middle East where people grow up with intense flavors, colorful, vibrant foods fresh from the marketplace, prepared simply and with a lot of passion. Aromatic herbs fill the streets and a spirit of warmth and generosity exudes welcome at any table.
Here at mamnoon, we share these strengths brought with us from Lebanon and Syria to the new world of Seattle – where modern curiosity, compassion, progressive values and tolerance are paving the way for harmonious integration and celebration of cultures and flavors.
Executive Chef Garrett Melkonian grew up in his grandparents kitchen, surrounded by the flavors and personalities of their native Armenia. While his cooking career has taken him in many directions, including Coi, Elizabeth Daniel, and Tom Douglas Restaurants, he came to mamnoon because the hospitality found here is a direct reflection of the love and respect he remembers from his childhood. Garrett strives for the delicate balance of inspiration and authenticity, and holds himself and his kitchen to the high standards that come with being ambassadors a cuisine relatively unexplored in the Pacific Northwest.
Owner Racha Haroun was born in London, England to a Syrian father and Iranian mother. Racha came with her family to Houston, Texas from Damascus in 1982 where she attended college and met her husband Wassef. Racha grew up in a household where hospitality was prized and where both cuisines and palates were equally valued and integrated. Racha is deeply involved in the cultural community of Seattle and is a crucial part of the palate, menu development, and creative process behind the mamnoon aesthetic.
Owner Wassef Haroun was born in Syria and raised in Lebanon before moving to the United States for school. After leaving a career in technology and computer science, Wassef turned to mamnoon as an experiment to bring the food and traditions of the levant to an American audience and to bridge the apparent gaps between the two cultures he inhabits. True to his geek background, Wassef has his hands in innumerable projects, big and small, around the restaurant in order to make the mamnoon experience universally compelling.
None of this would be possible without our spectacular team!
as generosity and compassion are a staple in levantine culture, giving back is an integral part of what we do at mamnoon. Since our November 2012 opening, the mamnoon community has donated over $25,000 to the people and culture who provide the inspiration for all that we do. Through our Khobz for Syria and newly launched Muskarat for Syria campaigns, glassybaby sales, individual donations, and private events, we strive to cultivate a spirit of appreciation and collective growth.