Meet The People Behind Our Food – Noja’s Culinary Team

NoJa

 

Our dynamic, seasonal menu featuring Asian and Mediterranean flavors is brought to you by our culinary dream team. These three individuals have a passion for creating exciting fine dining cuisine for our guests every evening. Get to know the chefs behind their coats with this introduction to the fire that burns within our open-air kitchen:

Kevin “KP” Powell

This Mobile native has been preparing first-rate fare at Noja for eight years. He considers Chef Alex Perry of sister restaurant Saisho his mentor and has honed his cooking skills from his extensive experience working alongside him. Perry’s positive attitude and striking smile are always apparent and he attributes his happiness at work to the wonderful interactions with regular patrons to the restaurant.

His prized creation is the Noja mash available each day. He carefully perfects this recipe daily to ensure you can savor every delicious bite of this popular side dish. His beloved medallioned pork loin with basmati rice and sriracha sauce is one of his cherished meals to make for guests. He recommends trying the Cajun Marsala and anything that comes out of the kitchen with the top-quality scallops he serves.

When he’s not cooking, Perry enjoys time with his family on outings in his hometown. When asked what’s exciting about working at Noja, he mentioned meeting distinguished guests such as Dan Marino, Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, local attorneys Dean Waite and David J. Maloney, and hundreds of other prominent local business owners in Alabama.

Perry treasures his relationship with restaurant owner, Chakli Diggs. “I consider him family. He is a really good guy and is willing to help you out whenever you need it. I appreciate his hard work and everything he has taught me.”

Preston Tortorich

It may only have been a year, but Tortorich has flourished in the kitchen at Noja. His family owns a New Orleans restaurant and they were surprised that his passion and flare for cooking ignited only when he moved to Alabama. “I was stubborn and resisted at first, but my passion grew and I fell in love with cooking. I don’t meet many people my age (21) who feel the way I do about it,” he said.

Tortorich started out at Saisho and moved up the street to immerse himself in the world of fine dining. He enjoys working with the small crew and the customers daily with the open-kitchen concept. “I remember when Dan Marino was here for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. He wanted to personally shake my hand because he enjoyed the Hanger Steak with Scalloped Shrimp so much. We were all thrilled he had a great time.”

His most enjoyable part about working at Noja is the free range he gets with creating unique sauces that pair well with the flavor profile of the establishment. He loves to make pork cheek with sautéed soy-caramel sauce paired with butternut squash and brussels sprouts. “Many people have never tried pork cheek and it is very tender. Pairing it with a sweet sauce really sets this dish apart from the rest,” said Tortorich.

In his free time, he likes to grill with his family, submerse himself in the world of import vehicles, and he is an avid drummer and DJ.

Elizabeth Son

As a woman of very few words, Son is humble about her time at Noja. As the lead salad and dessert chef, she has been whipping up sweet and savory treats for seven years. Son never rushes a creation and her precision and patience shows on every plated dish she sends out. She meticulously plates every order she receives with care resulting in an exquisitely designed presentation, similar to an artist with a canvas.

“Everyone loves the ginger donut, but we also have a chocolate one,” Son says. “I like to make it beautiful so when someone gets their order, it makes them smile.”

Son spends hours each day preparing the homemade dressings, sauces, and garnishes she needs for an exciting palette of flavors listed on the menu. The attention to detail is apparent as she assembles everything from scratch and memory.

“The bacon vinaigrette dressing is something everyone needs to try!” Son exclaims.

When she’s not making whimsical cuisine, Son spends time with her husband Santos (married 10 years), and he nine-year-old son, Bryan Antonio.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know our three main chefs. Experience their hard work and dedication to satisfying your craving for fine dining by visiting Noja Restaurant in Downtown Mobile tonight. Make a reservation now by calling 251-433-0377 or visiting www.nojamobile.com.

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