Food + DrinkLifestyle

Houston chef Kevin Naderi appears on ‘Make It Happen With David Lorms’

Kevin Naderi (l) with David Lorms
Kevin Naderi (l) with David Lorms

“You can’t skip steps” is Kevin Naderi’s moto, owner and chef of Roost (1972 Fairview in Montrose) and LILLO & Ella (2307 Ella Blvd in Shady Acres) restaurants. “You can’t really get into anything you do in life without knowing the basics”. Naderi, 30 and single, has had positive critical acclaim in numerous publications and was on The Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games.

Kevin Naderi, a Houston native, recently appeared on “Make It Happen With David Lorms” on (Hear the podcast on

Naderi grew up in an Iranian family and was exposed to the food his family prepared, which was very time consuming, but definitely affected his style of cooking. His parents were a great influence on him and taught him the mantra that “Tomorrow the son is going to shine and what’s the worst that could happen?” and that there is nothing really that he needs to stress about. This has helped him move forward with his career.

Before becoming a Chef, Naderi attended Memorial High School and ended up in an Economics class, so he could “meet girls and eat free food”. As it turns out, his Economics Teacher, Lou Ann Farmer, ended up being one his mentors and remains a good friend.

A few months of Military School proved to be an advantage for Naderi and he learned respect and back to basic values. “You have to crawl before you walk”, Naderi quotes his good friend, Chef Randy Evans (Formerly of Brennans, Haven, and The Food Network)

After graduating high school, Naderi attended the world re known Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY. However, after short time, he left feeling it was not a good fit for him. He returned to Houston and with his parents support, he enrolled into The Art Institute of Houston. Soon after, he had stints in restaurants such NY, San Francisco, and then back to Houston at Brennans, Reef, and Soma. While at Brennans, he met Randy Evans, head chef and Author, and worked with Randy again at Haven. He loved their concept of “Farm to Table”, using fresh and quality ingredients. Evans taught Naderi many cooking styles and techniques, and that one should spend time at one restaurant to learn everything about the business versus jumping around restaurants, like Naderi had been doing.

After Haven closed, Naderi opened Roost in 2011 which took off, winning many awards and national recognition, and became well known for their special appetizer, Fried Cauliflower. Roost offers vegetarian options as well. After noticing that The Oak Forest/Garden Oaks/ Shady Acres lacked a nice place to eat and get a great cocktail, he decided to open LILLO & ELLA. The name “LILLO” was the nickname of the man who developed the area. With all the new homes going up, he thought the area could use a place with some unique food for families. Naderi has an asian twist on many good foods, such as crispy calamari, crushed cashews, pineapple, lime-chili sauce, puffed noodles, and general quang’s grilled quail tossed in a black bean and hoisin sauce with chinese broccoli, which I had. There is also a very nice bar, with specialty cocktails or any other made to order drink, with fresh squeezed juices available. They also have a great beer selection as well. You can even bring your dog with you on the patio! LILLO & ELLA is closed Mondays, Tuesday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m, Saturday/Sunday Weekend Brunch –11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Listen to the podcast for a special offer from Kevin Naderi.

David Lorms hosts Make It Happen With David Lorms, an internet radio show on live every Wednesday at noon about entrepreneurs, business owners, and successful people, their challenges and failures turned into success, and advise for people to better their lives and careers. Past episodes are available by podcast on or on Lorms’s web site and on iHeartRadio. He is also an Award Winning Insurance Expert, Best-Selling Author having won numerous media awards, and has appeared on “Local Channel 2 News”, The Brian Tracy” TV Show, “Money for Lunch” and The Rollet Report” Radio Shows. He’s been featured in Forbes Magazine, USA Today, The Brazosport Facts, Montrose Star, OutSmart Magazine, and The Leader Newspaper.


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