Food has always been a universal language, bringing people together and fostering cultural exchange. It is through the exploration of different cuisines that we can truly appreciate the rich diversity of our world. Utah Global Diplomacy is a passionate believer in this. It is for this reason that international visitors that visit Utah through the US Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program spend an evening having dinner with a Utah family. By ‘breaking bread’ together, both the family and the visitors have the opportunity to talk, laugh, and build a connection over shared food. It is on this level that connections are made that impact international relationships in a long lasting way.
On July 12th, Utah Global Diplomacy highlighted this important and delicious aspect of diplomacy with a night of international cuisines called Dining Around the World. Serving as a fundraiser for youth leadership programs , this event offered attendees an opportunity to taste food from 10 different countries and in effect, ‘dine around the world’. The event was held at Salt Lake Culinary Education, a local culinary school with a gorgeous event space. Guests purchased their ticket and entered into a night rich with aromas, flavors, and textures.
Featured cuisines were selected from new and upcoming restaurants and food trucks in the Salt Lake area.
Belgium- Park City Creamery
Located in Park City, this award winning fromagerie and fromager Corrine Zinn, graciously donated samples of Belgian style brie cheeses. Made with traditional French techniques, the cheeses offered a delightful journey to Belgium.
Chef Chris Holbrook is an experienced chef and recipe creator. As the owner of Salt Lake Culinary Education with over 35 years of experience, Chef Chris took guests on a stop to costal Italy, serving crispy grilled octopus and a chorizo tomato Risotto.
Next, to the welcoming kitchens of Serbia, Chef Dalibor Blazic offered guests a taste of his traditional sweet crepes topped with chocolate hazelnut spread, fresh fruit, and a dusting of sweet powdered sugar.
After spending more than 2 decades in a Nepalese refugee camp, Bhutan House owners were excited to establish themselves in Utah and share their culture through aromatic foods. Guests were taken on a culinary stop to the mountains of Nepal with flavor packed momo dumplings and a signature spiced sauce for dipping.
Focusing on providing customers with fine chocolate that is fair trade, eco friendly, and fair priced, Deziria chocolate maker Oniz Birsoy took guests on a stop to the subtle flavors of Turkey with her creamy milk and silky dark chocolates.
Hailing from the Domocratic Republic of the Congo, Chef Cathy Tshilombo-Lokemba, affectionately known as "Mama Africa," served guests a taste of her home with sweet mouthfuls of Congalese beignets.
Established originally in Cusco Peru, INTI Specialty Coffee is a family owned and operated farm, coffee shop, and coffee importer. Guests were offered a taste of the Peruvian highlands to taste the rich artisan roasts of family grown coffee beans.
On a stop in the Atlantic, guests were treated to the savory rice and marinated meats of Papito Moe’s Puerto Rican food. Providing good food, good vibes, and good friends is integral to the Papito Moe’s way so guest had the full experience at their culinary stop in Puerto Rico.
Established by the talented chef Kaltum Mohamed, Mother of All restaurant took guests on a journey to the grassy land of Sudan with crispy sambusas bursting with vegetables and spices.
For a final culinary stop, guests were served traditional Ukranian dishes of Borscht, a hot soup of beets, meat, and vegetables, as well as flavorful Varenyky perogies. Cafe Mriya is a subset of the Ukranian Center in Utah where it promotes and supports Ukranian culture and people here in the United States.
In addition to the flavorful foods, guests had the opportunity to sip on mocktail mixers made from fruitpulp vinegars. Taste 117 is a chocolate shop and cafe that focuses on introducing guests to the world of fine food, chocolate, and desserts.
While you may be tired after just reading that, don’t go away yet, because the entertainment was not over. Guests were graced with a beautiful flute performance from the critically acclaimed musician, Nino Reyos. A member of the Ute and Pueblo Native American tribes, Mr. Reyos and his preforming company, two shields, have presented traditional Native American dances and music at three different Olympics and most recently at the 2020 World Exposition in Dubai. His talent and expertise of the flute were evident as the gentle sound topped off the night with culture and bravado.
If you are interested in hearing about future cultural events like this, be sure to sign up for the Utah Global Diplomacy Newsletter.