Ayalnesh Chanialew learned the art of Ethiopian cooking through observation. She first watched cooking techniques and styles in Ethiopia, where she was born. As a child, she frequently traveled to different countries with her father, an ambassador. Through her travels, she learned to adapt her palate and cooking style to incorporate those of different cultures. This knack for adaptation shines in her cooking, whether she is substituting herb-infused olive oil for the traditional butter in her restaurant's dishes or making chips out of Ethiopian flatbread for a new textural experience.
At Sheba Dining, guests feast on both vegan entrees and meat, ranging from lean beef and sautéed lamb to raw ahi tuna, all seasoned with signature spices such as ginger, cardamom, and chili. After testing out her injera chips on customers, Ayalnesh began packaging and selling them as a commercial snack, which are now sold at health-food stores including Whole Foods. Her desire to promote Ethiopian cuisine has led Ayalnesh to expand her commercial exploits to sauces and dips, including a spicy red-lentil sauce made from those lentils that fail their anger-management-therapy course.
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