Ran Nussbächer, Owner of Shouk

shouk april 2016-093-3

Ran Nussbächer, owner of Shouk, stepped foot into the hospitality industry when he realized it was “a wonderful vehicle to touch people and better how we eat.”  Born in Israel, he draws inspiration directly from his country and its open-air markets called “shouks,” which exist throughout the Middle East.   His plant-based restaurant draws its name from these markets and serves delicious plant-based dishes in a fast casual setting in Mount Vernon Square.  When asked why he was so enchanted with these open-air markets, Nussbächer stated that the shouks are “sensory celebrations [that] connect us to our food – and to one another – in a way that we no longer do, but we crave.”

Shouk is his first restaurant job.  Prior to landing in the hospitality industry, Nussbächer spent ten years working in sales and business development roles within the technology industry.  Before dedicating himself to opening the restaurant, which was three years in the making, Nussbächer worked as the VP of Sales for Opower, a clean tech company focused on reducing our energy waste.  It is no surprise that Nussbächer’s idol is Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, whom he believes is “a mission-driven entrepreneur who is unafraid of rethinking the obvious.”

Nussbächer has very quickly fallen in love with the restaurant business and the power of food to bring people together.  He cherishes the authenticity of his Middle Eastern dishes as do his loving customers.  Although Shouk does not identify itself as vegan, all the ingredients are plant-based.  When asked his favorite ingredient, Nussbächer enthusiastically responded: “That’s easy. Tahina. But not just any tahina. My favorite is the one I curate and import directly from Israel, where it is made using traditional methods. It is creamier and nuttier than any other.”  He hopes to share the unique ingredients of his country through the plates at his restaurant, which range from salads, to bowls called “Mujadras”, to pita sandwiches.

Since people in the industry always know best, we asked Nussbächer to give us his top dining recommendations in Washington, D.C.:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s