My name is Alganesh Michael. I live in South Burlington with my husband and two daughters. I’m a former nurse turned homemaker for the last 16 years. Although not a chef by trade, I love to cook and entertain my family and friends. Over the past 6 years, I have been working in collaboration with many local restaurants, as well as in schools and various communities, to introduce authentic Ethiopian & Eritrean cuisine to the Lake Champlain region of Vermont.
Ethiopia and Eritrea are countries in the horn of Africa. The two staple components of this authentic cuisine are injera and berbere. Injera is a staple food, usually made from teff flour, and it is unique to both countries. It is a fermented, sourdough flatbread served with variety of stews & curries of meats and veggies, also called wet, on top. Berbere is a traditional spice blend that is the backbone of Ethiopian & Eritrean cuisine. It’s used in many different dishes, including the national dish, Doro wet (chicken stew). Traditionally, the food is eaten by hand from a common platter, communal dining tradition; don’t be afraid to dig in!
I teach cooking classes, host parties for team building for educators, book club friends, birthday and retirement parties. Also, I cater private parties of any size. Post COVID I started offering weekly takeout dinner from a local store, The Mill Market & Deli in South Burlington.
I love to teach simple techniques to prepare ethnic food that is rich in flavor. Ethiopian & Eritrean cooking relies on a diverse range of herbs and roots to develop characteristics quintessential to the cuisine. I pride myself on cooking & serving food in a traditional way with authentic spices and serve on a large, family-style platter atop of Injera. Injera is unique staple food to both countries and also serves as an edible utensil. It’s best known for spongy sourdough flatbread; one can’t really have an authentic feast without it.
A Taste of Abyssinia is a semifinalist for the 2023 James Beard Award!
You can find Alganesh’s name here, in the Best Chef: Northeast category.
Alganesh featured on the Clemmon’s Family Farm 2023 Calendar: Artists on the Farm
Alganesh’s picture is featured in September.
You can learn about the Clemmon’s Family Farm, and order the calendar, here.
Photo Credit: SC Visuals, courtesy of Clemmon’s Family Farm
You can learn more about A Taste of Abyssinia in the following media.
- Seven Days article about the 2023 James Beard Award
- WCAX article & video about Alganesh
- VTDigger article about Alganesh
- VOA Tigrigna Video Interview
- SBS Tigrinya Radio (18:04)
- Letter from Peter Welch, Vermont state senator
- My talk on Vermont Edition, and my recipe for curry split lentils, here (16:45)
- My listing in Seven Days
- Burlington Free Press video on Instagram
- Article about the Rotary Club fundraiser