Chef Youssef Nafaa was born and raised in Morocco. In 1988, Mr. Nafaa arrived in the United States and got his first job as a bus boy at Angelo’s in Chicago, a popular Greek restaurant. Throughout his time in Chicago he worked in various fine dining restaurants, where he was able to hone his culinary skills, develop his palate and learn the restaurant business inside and out. He later attended what is now the Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute where he gained a popular reputation as a chef. In 1996, Chef Nafaa was hired on as a consultant for a large restaurant chain where his duties brought him to Houston where he fell in love with the city and its people.
In 1998 Bella Restaurants Group was born. Under this corporation Chef Nafaa opened and successfully sold one of the first Tapas restaurants in Houston, Mi Luna in the Rice Village. A year later Chef Nafaa created a concept centered around, “Italian food with a Twist,” with Mia Bella Trattoria. Within a few short years, Mia Bella Trattoria became a successful franchise locations opening in Sugar Land, Green Street and Vintage Park. With the opportunity to open another restaurant in the Green Street shopping center of Downtown, Houston, Chef Nafaa opened the doors to Andalucía Tapas Restaurant & Bar.
Rounding out the collection of restaurants in Bella Restaurants Group, the Mia Bella Trattoria franchise will expand to Greenway Plaza in Spring 2017 as the 5th location in the heart of one of the most populated business districts in Houston as well as one of the most affluent residential areas.