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Food Entrepreneurs

From established restaurateurs to budding kitchen creatives, these New American Food Entrepreneurs delight with their culinary gifts, while fueling the economic engine and adding to the cultural diversity of our communities. The New Americans, a story-telling project documenting the place of refugees, immigrants and the resettled, was created by photographer Nick Sokoloff. The project aims to combat negative rhetoric and scapegoating of New Americans and to highlight the character, courage and contributions that they add to our communities.



Noor Eddin Abdul Bari

Country of Origin: Syria

I was a chef for 28 years and had a restaurant in my country of Syria. I left with my family to escape the civil war. I love to share food with everyone. If you have money or no money, it's okay; everyone who comes to eat is welcome. If you have friends to share food with everyone is happy. I hope in the future to open a small restaurant and share Syrian cuisine with all people. It's good to share food from all countries and bring everyone together.


Anny Sooksri

Country of Origin: Thailand

Food is the pleasure of life, not just to keep you nourished, but to keep your mind open. When you exchange food and culture, you explore a different world. The food on the table is not your food or my food; it is our food.


Donovan Thompson

Country of Origin: Jamaica

'Wheel tha Pot!' means good food and hard work and captures the essence of Jamaica's Kitchen. In the summer of 2017, I opened Utah's first Jamaican food truck and catering business. My next dream is to open my own restaurant.


Emma More

Country of Origin: Venezuela

I learned to cook when I was very little; my food and cuisine is the food of my mother. Cooking is my love and passion. When I cook, I am focused and I forget my worries or troubles. When people eat my food, I want them to feel content and happy.

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Greeta and Kamaal Niroula

Country of Origin: Bhutan

In Bhutan and in the refugee camp your neighbors are your family. Everyone shares food and has companionship. Now every customer who comes to our restaurant, we try so hard to make them feel welcome, like they are going to their families house. It's coming from our heart.


Kaltum Mohamad

Country of Origin: Sudan

I cooked for 2000 people in the refugee camp. I know how to feed people. I named my food business Mother of All... I share my cuisine with all people. I like everybody to taste my food and smile. When I make a lot of money, I will open a restaurant for everyone. I like Utah; everyone is very nice and smiling. Everyone should come taste my food.


Moudi Sbeity

Country of Origin: Lebanon

America is a hodgepodge of cultures and people and flavors and the marriage of heritage and new interpretations. Laziz Kitchen is a reflection of Derek(husband) and myself and the values that we embody around community and food, organic and local, inclusion and acceptance... it's a place for everyone to feel welcome and included.


Jorge Fierro

Country of Origin: Mexico

Many of us from Third World countries have a strong and beautiful relationship with food. We come from places where people may not be able to welcome you with fancy things, but they always welcome you with a great plate of food; slow-cooked food for the body and soul.


Lavanya Mahate

Country of Origin: India

Food is a world language. Everybody speaks food. I'm fortunate to be able to speak to people and share the Indian culture through our food and restaurants. I'm a citizen of the world. That's how I think of myself. I love different cultures. I don't really label myself as an Indian or an American.