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New Spokane Restaurant Will Showcase Refugee and Immigrant Chefs

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A new dining option is coming to downtown Spokane this fall, but it’s no ordinary restaurant. Feast World Kitchen will feature a rotating menu of cuisine from around the world, prepared by refugee and immigrant chefs.

The idea was conceived by a group of local chefs and community-minded individuals including Daniel Todd who operates the popular takeout service, Inland Curry.

"I started this international dinner series." Todd says, "Basically, I recruit cooks from the former refugee and immigrant communities. And just sit down with them, we work out a menu. And the food's always amazing. It's so cool to give these people a chance to showcase their cuisine and their culture. To be proud of it. To be appreciated. So this idea of Feast came out of that because I was, from the beginning, looking for more opportunities to help these cooks bring their food to the community."

Feast World Kitchen will operate out of the former Sushi Yama building on third and Cedar in downtown Spokane. The format will be similar to Todd’s Inland Curry model.

"It's a limited menu, three or four main dishes per week, but that menu will rotate for them each week as well. Unless they have dishes that people just love. There's a man from Syria named Nabil, who I believe owned restaurant in Syria, a falafel restaurant. There's a man I just met named Bright, from Ghana. And there's a woman from Jordan. Her name is Maisa, and she makes amazing Mediterranean food. So she's going to be involved."

 

Maisa Abudayha is also a Feast board member and former refugee who came to Spokane with her family in 2013. In a video for the project, Maisa explains her vision for Feast.

"A lot of immigrants and refugees want to communicate with American culture, but most of them feel shy. They just need someone to push them to the right place," Abudayha says, "It's the first step to know another culture. By trying their food. So that's the idea."

 

Their hope is to begin serving food later this fall. In the meantime, Feast has formed a non-profit organization and launched an Indiegogo campaign to help raise money for renovations and start-up costs. You can find out more by searching for “Feast World Kitchen” on Facebook or on their Indegogo page.

Chris Maccini previously worked at SPR as Morning Edition host and producing arts and special programming such as The Bookshelf, Poetry Moment, Northwest Arts Review, special features and more.