If you've gone out to dine in Barrie, chances are you've eaten at a Naren Persaud establishment or, if not, perhaps one of his relatives' businesses.
Persaud and his wife own the two Simmering Kettle restaurants in Barrie and just opened an internationally themed eatery on Barrie’s south end.
But the food-powered power couple takes it to another level, as Persaud’s in-laws have been a staple of the local food scene for more than three decades.
Persaud’s father-in-law bought Country Kettle 35 years ago and, by doing so, it seems created a family tradition of cooking for strangers.
“He had his six daughters and his nephew working at the restaurant,” said Persaud. “From that, his three oldest daughters stayed in the restaurant business and the nephew went on to own the Stacked Pancake House up on Essa Road.
"Oh yeah, and my wife’s youngest sister owns Mucho Burrito on Mapleview and the Twisted Indian restaurants in the area," he added. "We tend to be involved in food, as you can see.”
There are 11 Stacked restaurants around Ontario with another six to be opened soon, including one in Barrie’s north end. Meanwhile, Twisted Indian has two Barrie locations and another in Orillia.
Persaud estimates the family operates about 15 restaurants, but the newest one, which he and his wife opened at 531 Bryne Dr., is a bit of a different venture and he hopes that Dosti Eats hits the spot no matter what you’re looking for.
“When the concept of street food came out and we saw it on the Food Network, we knew we had to do that, but with a twist,” Persaud told BarrieToday. “We needed one place where you can sample different flavours from around the world, especially when you’re out with a group of friends and everyone wants something different.
“I’m Guyanese, so being South American, we needed that Caribbean flavour, and my wife is Indian, so we have that great selection," he added. "There about eight dishes from six different regions around the world."
Along with Caribbean and Indian dishes at Dosti, there is food native to Mexico, the Far East, Europe and even North America for those wanting the old standbys such as burgers or wings.
Persaud and his wife make their own masala sauce and their own marinades, which lends a hand to the popular butter chicken dish.
“I have to say that one of my favourites is our butter chicken poutine and it is oddly very popular at our Simmering Kettle location,” said Persaud. “Simmering Kettle is home-cooked Canadian food and we’ve contemplated taking it off the menu, but we can’t because it is our top seller.”
Persaud says many people are trying different flavours from around the world and there's an appetite for different cuisines from a variety of cultures, but sometimes mixing that international flare with some Canadiana is also a delicious thing.
“Food unites us, it really does,” he said. “Trying food from around the world is a great way to open the mind and taste buds, really. However, we have about five different poutine dishes on the Dosti menu, so a little bit of Canada on there, too.”