Today, New York City chefs Max and Eli Sussman have popped up on Food Republic. As we wrote earlier, for the past two weeks the brothers have been cooking nightly at Threes Brewing in Gowanus, Brooklyn — to road-test some dishes for a restaurant they are planning to open later this year. The menu features cooking inspired by the duo’s childhood in suburban Detroit, a place that is home to the largest Middle Eastern community in the United States. “In the same dish we’ll use ras el hanout, cumin, za’atar, coriander and paprika, things that are used in many different types of cuisine,” says Eli of his Americanized takes on Iraqi, Lebanese and Israeli foods, commonly  found in Dearborn. Battling rowdy crowds, and hungry shawarma fans, photographer Gabi Porter got to see what it was like to cook like a Sussman last Friday evening. And yes, her camera still smells like shawarma.   

Eli and Max Sussman before service

By Max’s estimates, they are pumping out between 150 and 200 fresh pitas per night.

Eli loading up the auto diner

Serious shawarma

The Sussmans’ chicken shawarma is served with a salad of cucumber and mint with a tahini-buttermilk dressing.

Good lord, guys!

Fried chickpeas with ras el hanout and lemon zest

A running tally, a running joke

Fried sweet potatoes with harissa aioli and zhug

Cauliflower roasting

Beet hummus served with pumpernickel pita

Middle Eastern/American staple: fries and garlic sauce

Eli in the middle of service