Every memory I have from childhood revolves around our table. I remember where each of us are sitting — my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother. Our meals were together and we knew … when it came time for dinner, that's where you could find all five Kotbs.
I think that's when I thought our family was complete. That's when everyone was where they're supposed to be. There are four now, there were five then. If you've ever lost a parent you know, that's one of the first things you notice. You sit down at the table and you realize it's not like it used to be.
We had some great food in our house, the smells, the garlic. A lot of middle eastern spices…we thought every house smelled as great as ours.
My dad was a griller. He was an outdoor kind of cook. My dad used to make this. It's like an Egyptian hamburger, it's called kofta, it's kind of like a small slider, but it's got other stuff in it. It's got more garlic and it's got mint and it's got other kinds of flavors in there that you wouldn't normally have in a hamburger because our parents raised us red, white and blue, but the foods that we had were from Egypt.
My dad worked a lot. He was always building a career and a business and all those kind of things. The fact that he was ever back there cooking is a big memory for me.