Chef Mohammad Zaman prides himself on serving up homemade cooking your grandmother would be proud of - assuming your grandmother is Italian, that is.
Zaman - or Chef Z, as his customers know him - is the owner and chef of Omezzo Italian Restaurant, 1755 Hill Rd. N. Open since 2013, the restaurant quickly gained attention, taking home the coveted Purple Spatula award at last year's Taste of Pickerington.
Born in Bangladesh, Zaman came to the U.S. when he was 18 to study computer programming. While he was in school, he worked in an Italian Restaurant and quickly discovered his passion for Italian food.
Post-graduation, he moved to Cincinnati after finding a programming job. He spend about 2 years in that line of work before ultimately realizing it wasn't for him.
"I had worked in restaurants all my live," Zaman says. "Making people happy with food was my passion."
And so he went to work in the restaurant business again, taking jobs at restaurants such as Lindey's, BRAVO!, Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grille. For eight years, he further honed his skills and learned ever more about Italian cooking> It was only a matter of time before he decided to open his own restaurant.
"I wanted to do it for myself," Zaman says. Omezzo is the first solo venture into the culinary world for Zaman, now a Pickerington resident. The restaurant's name is Italian for "one half," denoting the comdination of styles of the menu.
Italian cooking is clearly the heart and soul of Omezzo, as even cursory glance at the entrees - including baked ziti, chicken pomodoro, shrimp penne alfredo, lobster ravioli, cheese trotellini carbonara, eggplant and rigatoni Bolognese - will indicate.