Name: Mohamad Al-Kassem
Where do you live? Bloomfield, NJ
When did you move there? I moved to Bloomfield in 2016, just before I married my beautiful wife.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Syria and raised there until I was about 9. After 9, we moved to France and I lived there most of my life until I ventured over to the U.S.A.
How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion?
I am a pastry chef! Interestingly enough, I earned a culinary arts degree in Paris and then transitioned to pastry. My wife and I own Mo & Jay Pastry, a store front and wholesale pastry business. We just opened a retail shop in Little Falls. Everything is 100% handmade and family operated. Our 2.5 year old son likes to get in on the action by being our official taste tester and quality control person. But, seriously though!
Coffee, tea or … ? I do enjoy tea, but I’d have to say coffee. I prefer Nespresso brand.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?
Something adventurous and exciting that our whole family can enjoy, whether it’s snowboarding, zip lining, or going to an amusement park. We tried snowboarding with Charlie last winter; he wasn’t a fan.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Yasmeen. It’s a Lebanese restaurant in Clifton that closely reminds me of the food back home. Very authentic. The owner is great, very hospitable. This was actually the place where I took my wife on our first date and every important milestone was celebrated there. They also have hookah. My favorite thing on the menu is there chicken chops.
What’s on your nightstand?
Alexa, 101 bedtime stories, my phone charger, and a picture of my family.
What are you listening to? My wife 😂
What are your current indulgences? Ben and Jerry’s core ice cream. OMG, the one with caramel core is amazing.
What talent you would most like to have? To be able to draw or supersonic speed
What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Bloomfield?
Best-kept secret in Bloomfield: Tacos la Gringa on Broad St, their chorizo and shrimp tacos.
What do you hope they say about you at your funeral?
That I loved and took care of my family. Family is one of the most important things to me; I want to have a huge family. I also hope they say that I made good eclairs.