Specialty: Ethiopian fare offering a variety of vegan dishes like lentil salad and injera bread topped with a choice of “wots” (stews), spicy or mild spicy.
Her story: In the very traditional society where she was raised, creativity, particularly in the kitchen, was not really a thing. She was considered a lady, and ladies didn’t cook, but she didn’t have a problem getting her hands dirty. She says: “This sounds cliche, but I learned a lot from my grandmother. Perhaps not so much the details of recipes and such, but the resourcefulness, the innovative qualities. That’s who my hero is in this world and in the world of the cooking.”
She points out that what makes Ethiopian cuisine unique is how it is naturally accommodating to a variety of dietary restrictions – If the injera is made exclusively with teff, the entire meal is gluten free! Furthermore, there are no nuts in Ethiopian foods.
Culinary business dream: Meqdes has been wanting to introduce Ethiopian food to the mainstream market for a long time. She tells us, “Part of the reason I started [Adey Foods] was because I wanted Ethiopian food to be more out there, to be more readily available, for whoever wanted it – both at home and for eating out.” Meqdes started Adey Foods and sold at farmers’ markets and did catering and pop-up restaurants for a couple of years. After Adey Foods went into hiatus, Nibble offered her the opportunity to start teaching cooking classes. In the future, she wishes to continue growing her food business and to keep bringing her knowledge of flavor, ingredients and the overall food process to the greater community.