Discover Food Festival Event


Attendees from all around Salt Lake City Valley and surrounding areas like Park City came out to support the International Rescue Committee‘s Spice Kitchen Incubator on June 7 at the Discover Food Festival sponsored by Creminelli, Traeger Grills and Harmons. Their mission is to help refugees and new Americans start local food businesses.

Invited by Cremenelli to attend the event, we were treated with amazing cuisines from ethnic food businesses that will surely shape Salt Lake City’s food landscape. Refugees behind these businesses were from Syria, Mexico, Russia-Armenia Venezuela and Africa.

Here are few global cuisines from the event:

Delicius: Venezuelan cuisine

Ahimara and Eliceo are from Valencia, the capital of the Carabobo state in Venezuela.  Ahimara learned to cook from her grandmother who taught her the art and balance of flavors. Before coming to the U.S. she had decades of baking and entrepreneurial experience in Venezuela where she was trained as a master pastry chef. She and Eliceo owned a culinary academy where they taught baking and cooking classes.

The Arepa is the fundamental pillar of the Venezuelan diet made from white corn flour. The arepa is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Namash Swahili: Sawhili + Somali cuisine

Born in Somalia, Najati came to the U.S. in 2008 from Kenya. She learned to cook at age 12 from her mother, who also owned her own food business. Najati spent her childhood selling her mother’s cooking and eventually her own on the streets in Kenya. She wanted to start her own business in Salt Lake City to share her experience of home.

Spudnik: Russian Armenian cuisine

Karine moved to Utah in 2011 and has dreamed of starting her own business since. She is originally from Armenia and also lived in Russia. Her business Spudnik was inspired by kiosks in Moscow that would sell hot potatoes to commuters near metro stations. Karine hopes to share her culinary traditions through traditional Russian and Armenian dishes.

Traditional Armenian pastry gata, or sweet bread.

Noor Al Sham: Syrian cuisine

Originally from Syria, Noor came to Utah in 2015 from Egypt. He learned to cook in Syria and became a chef when he was just 16 years old. Noor wanted to start his own business to make life better for his family. In addition to his business, he has also started a non-profit that helps newly arrived Syrians adjust to life in Salt Lake City.

Yasser and Chef Noor

100 percent of the ticket sales and event donations went to help fund the Spice Kitchen Incubator’s new facility, where these new businesses can continuing working to grow. If you missed the event, The Spice Kitchen Incubator will have more event information on their website or you can visit the new facility at 751 W. 800 S. Salt Lake City, Utah.


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