Celebrating Diversity Through Food

by Reyne Athanas

The Bethel community came together during the third Taste of Bethel to celebrate and eat their way through 16 different ethnic and cultural food delights.

On August 31 at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center over 350 people sampled foods from Thailand, Korea, Germany, Mediterranean, Mexican, Salvadoran, Tundra Fusion, Vegan, Greek, Southern Americana, Cuban, Iranian, Turkish and Puerto Rican.

The hardest part was choosing what to pick. All dishes were $5 and all of the money went back to the Chef’s at the end of the event.

More than 1,200 dishes were served in 2 hours. Nancy Elliott, dessert chef, commented, “What a great time and lots of delicious food!”

There were many requests to repeat this event twice a year and many people commented that it was a wonderfully healthy way for the community to come together to visit, share stories and of course, eat lots a great food.

The Kuskokwim Campus and Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center hosts this event annually as a way to give back to the community. 

Reyne Athanas writes from the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, UAF Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel, Alaska.

2019 Taste of Bethel Food & Chefs

Vietnamese: Raina Antalan – Pho-Meatball Noodle

Tundra Fusion: Fannie Black – Agut Cake, Salmonberry & Blueberry Parfait, New York Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

Salvadorian: Sandra E. Lopez – Pupusas and Fried Yucca

Korean: Dyan Chung – Black Bean Noodles

Texan: Rosa McCabe – Texas BBQ Sandwich and Ranchero Bean Soup

Mexican: Andrew Gonzales – Elotes and Churros

Mediterranean: Mimoza Pellumbi – Pastiche, Corn Bread served with homemade pickled cabbage, Baklava, Rice Pudding, and Byrek

Americana: Nancy Elliot and Theresa Quiner – Four Layer Butterscotch, Chocolate/Peanut Butter Lasagna, Banana Split Dessert, Cherry Cake, and Eastern North Carolina BBQ Sandwiches

Cuban: Jess & Chris Schroeder – Cuban Sandwich

Mexican: Becky Trimble – Mexican-style Tamales

Greek & German: Reyne Athanas and Landon Burke – Traditional Greek Salad, Sauerkraut & Brats

Thai: Malada Vongsamath – Yellow Chicken Curry, Pad Thai

Korean: Michael Chung – Japchae & Kimbap

New Age: CJ McCormick and Pam Conrad – Black Bean Burgers, Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip, and Black Bean Brownies/Blondies

Iranian & Turkey: Akram Didari – Iranian: Dill & Lima Bean Rice with Meat & Saffron. Turkish: Sigara Borek-cheese and parsley

Mexican, New Orleans: Zuly Pitre and Phillip Moreno – Enchiladas & White Beans and Shrimp

Southern: Patricia Dallas – Reindeer Fried Rice and Curried Chicken

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