I met Julia, an Australian, in my local café in Montmatre. She was taking some pictures, and we got to chatting. On our first date, she was 2 hours late because she had got off at the wrong station. But I waited for her. Her plan was to travel on to Barcelona, but she never made it to Barcelona, because she spent all her holiday in Paris with me! At the end, she said, ‘Why don’t you come to live with me in London?’ I said I would think about it.
One week later, I called her and said, ‘OK, I’m coming’. I believe when you meet people, it’s for a reason.
I had left Algeria when I was 18 to study Genetics in Paris. It was exciting science and not many people knew about it at that time. But after I finished my degree, although I found work, I slowly realised that, as an African, the French don’t give you the jobs with responsibility. They have the slogan ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’, but I think it is just an empty phrase.
Anyway, I had started to become interested in food, and by the time I met Julia, I had started a brasserie with my friend, and it was really successful. We had a very eclectic menu and live North African music playing at night. But I left it to my friend when I went to London.
In London, I landed a management position with one of the biggest catering companies in the world. I’d never been a manager before, but I accepted the challenge and I never looked back. Eventually, I became one of the senior managers, and we smashed the figures every year. I had a fantastic time working there. But in the back of my mind, I was always dreaming of doing a concept for myself.
In 2012, we decided to come to Adelaide to look after Julia’s parents, who were getting older. When we first arrived, hardly anyone had heard of Algerian food, so I saw an opportunity there, and we finally decided to open a stall in the Central Markets. Some said I would need to adapt the food to the Australian palate, but I disagreed. I said, ‘I will do authentic food because I believe Australians are well travelled and they will like it.’ So! We went for it! Julia designed the space, and I created all the recipes – I still like to mix molecules!
Le Souk has been a success from day 1, and Julia and I are so happy. Now we are planning our second store. But we are taking our time. We don’t want to dance faster than the music.
I believe you should never ever give up on your dream. If you just put it in your head, it is only a matter of time until you achieve it!
If you live in Adelaide, head to Le Souk in the Central Markets, and try their 6 hour slow cooked lamb with Ras el Hanout and Couscous!
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#migrants #Australia #Australianstories #Algeria #Paris #Adelaide #Adelaidecentralmarkets
What a beautiful saying “You don’t want to dance faster than the music”. I will be stealing this one for my repertoire.
I’m totally stealing the saying about not dancing faster than the music. In return I will eat large at Le Souk when next in Adelaide.
I have previously been to Le Souk and loved the food and service! So nice to hear more about the story behind it.
I love Le Souk! Even more so now I know the fabulous story behind it ????
Couldn’t love your story more! Time I visited Adelaide so I can eat at Le Souk. ❤️
Oh I hate it when foreign restaurants ‘adapt’ their taste! There’s no food as good as the land it comes from! You are so right. Next time I’m in Adelaide I’ll be sure to try!
I so wished I lived in Adelaide…more reasons to visit… great life story, thanks for sharing
I’m travelling to Adelaide in March 2017. Le Souk here I come! Thanks for the tip!
I love to hear beautiful stories. Lovely man, lucky Julia, lucky both of you x
What a fantastic story. Wish I lived in Adelaide, would love to meet this man & taste the food he creates.
Beautiful story! Can’t wait to come to Le Souk. Have been craving North African food for years ever since leaving North Africa. It is unpopular around the world. I hope you get to expand your restaurant to all around Australia.
Carly Dean I should have visited you when you were in Adelaide! Let’s road trip and eat Algerian 🙂
My fav place to eat in the central markets. The food is to die for, but it’s actually the sass and class of this bloke that keeps you coming back for more! Onya
I still say it is the best couscous I’ve had anywhere in the world! The Harissa and Dhukka are also first rate. Thank you for coming to Adelaide!
I wish I had an ounce of Azou’s drive and determination. Spread your wings to Sydney, we’d love it!
We returned from a trip Adelaide a couple of weeks ago. Had I heard about your story earlier, we would have definitely dropped by for a meal. Next trip for sure.
Hi Katie, I think I have shown it to you, but we have not eaten there. .I buy some of my spices there, and things like preserved lemons. It’s a lovely stall. Xx
I’ve discovered Le Souk recently while visiting Adelaide. Wonderful food, and great to hear your story. Thank you.
What a beautiful story !! I believe in everything is happening for a reason …. Mais française d’origine … Demeure à Sydney … Peux être un jour je viendrais vous visiter ????
I love this human! Always a smile, always offering a delicious date. Great cafe.
I too want to steal the phrase… We don’t want to dance faster than the music. Awesome! Good on you Azou and Julia. Every success to you both!
I love Le Souk. Would you like a date? Or maybe a double date? Azou has a fabulous personality which makes you feel as though you have always known him. We always have our morning coffee at Le Souk when we go to the market. A special story, a special man and a special place!
Love eating at Le Souk…..’have you been dated yet, would you like a double date’? The epitome of good customer service and deserves all the success in the world!
Wow! What can we say? Just a big ‘thank you’ to all who connected with Azou’s story and mine. Julia and Azou XXX
What beautiful story, Love it ! passed by your stall a cpl of times and tho I am from the same culture I’ve never stopped to sample your food. Maybe next time I am in CM. Cheers