Gaslight Village Business of the Week

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John Aouad was born in Beirut, Lebanon to parents John and Victoria. His father was a top chef in Lebanon who won several awards and received special recognition in both the Middle East and Europe. He was also the personal chef of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia for a time until he returned to Beirut to open the original Osta’s. It was King Faisal who nicknamed John Aouad, Sr. as “Osta” which is an old Arabic word meaning “Master Chef,” and that he was.  This is when our Chef John decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. His primary education was through the University in Beirut, and and afterward he worked many years side by side with his beloved father; learning every secret he possessed about the art of cooking Lebanese cuisine.

In 1989, John immigrated to the United States where he opened a small take out delicatessen in the Commerce Building in downtown Grand Rapids. Having aspirations of a full service restaurant, he opened Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine in Gaslight Village, East Grand Rapids, in 1993.  Gaslight Village reminded Chef John of his homeland in the way it is set on the lake and the way the residents care about where they live -and each other- in a way he did not find in other residential communities around town.  This is Osta’s 20th year in Gaslight, and we are proud to be a part of this amazing Village.

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