Category Archives: Immigrants’ stories

Kobani Kurdish restaurant: Defiant and delicious

I often write about food and culture to educate myself as well as my readers, but rarely is the culture in question in the midst of armed conflict as my post goes live. On July 20, 2015, the same day this piece first appeared on … Continue reading

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Mother & Daughter Realize Big Dreams at Vanessa’s Bistro

As a child and grandchild of immigrants, I notice that in writing about food and culture I am repeatedly drawn to the stories of immigrants, their struggles and triumphs. And every time someone shares their journey with me, I feel I have been given a precious … Continue reading

Posted in Berkeley, Immigrants' stories, Vietnamese food | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

On a Quest to Preserve Traditional Ethiopian Spices

It is hard to overstate the importance of spice blends in Ethiopian dishes. Far from adding a sprinkle of flavor at the end of cooking, they constitute the deep soul of the cuisine, and their creation is considered an art. Fetlework Tefferi of Oakland’s Cafe Colucci is on a quest to preserve and promote traditional spice harvesting in her native Ethiopia. Continue reading

Posted in Ethiopian food, Immigrants' stories | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

ZATAR – A Mediterranean Oasis Nurtures Diners with Homegrown Produce

Growing up near a fertile riverbank in Iraq, Waiel Majid’s family naturally enjoyed cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant and squash from their garden. Now the transplanted Majid and his wife serve their own homegrown vegetables on plates of Mediterranean delicacies at their Berkeley restaurant ZATAR. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, Morocco | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FuseBOX Electrifies West Oakland with Chef Chang’s Korean Small Plates

Chef Sunhui Chang combines innovative and traditional Korean cooking at FuseBOX, where his kimchi and pickles make use of every part of the vegetable. His tiny space on an industrial West Oakland street has already won rave reviews and awards. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Korean food | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Noriko Nurtures Berkeley Diners with Homey Japanese Dishes

Noriko Taniguchi cooks Japanese food “the way it used to be” at her cozy Berkeley restaurant, Norikonoko. Surrounded by tiny tea sets and origami cranes hardly bigger than a grain of rice, this nurturing grandmother will make you onigiri, oden or her special pork curry. Continue reading

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Palestinian Family Shares Treasured Dishes at Zaki Kabob House

You’ve had falafel, you’ve had shawarma, but have you tried spheeha, maklouba or mensaf? Zaki Kabob House in Albany is one of the few restaurants that serves these specialties of Palestinian cuisine. Family-owned and run by Fayza and Kameem Ayyad and their children, Zaki offers tastes of another world, plus warm hospitality. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, Palestinian cuisine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments