Said Roberto was born and raised in Ethiopia. In 1980 he moved to Yemen, where he played professional soccer for more than 10 years until he was injured and came to the United States for medical treatment. He decided to stay. In Detroit, Roberto worked in a Greek restaurant and learned how to cook. “If I have the food, if I talk good, if I share what I have, everybody can come to me. It’s the only key I have,” he says. Roberto’s mother’s father was from Sicily. “I’m Ethiopian, Arabic, Italian, so I connect,” he says.
Roberto came to California two years ago and worked as the chef and manager of the Rimy Mediterranean Grill. He didn’t like the neighborhood, so when the opportunity arose to cook at Enssaro Café on Grand Avenue, he took it.
Click through the slideshow above to see a photo essay of Roberto’s life and cooking.