Sharing a Table: Recipes and Stories Without Borders

May 5, 2020 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Washington, DC
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The National Immigration Forum invites you to join us for our annual spring reception, an evening of cooking, eating, and storytelling in partnership with DC nonprofit Tables Without Borders.

Join Chef María, a refugee from El Salvador building her culinary skills in D.C. and Chef Christian, executive chef of the contemporary Mexican restaurant Amparo Fondita, opening in the spring, as they share their stories and their passion for food.

Event Details

The evening will include a cooking demo of a traditional dish from El Salvador and a sampling of flavors from both Mexico and El Salvador will be served alongside drinks.

Tickets will be $20 per person and all proceeds will go to Tables Without Borders to support their work providing opportunities for refugees and asylum-seekers in the D.C. area.

About the Chefs

Chef María del Carmen Guardado Martinez came to the U.S. through the Central American Minors program months before it was terminated in 2017. Now, she cooks to remember home and the tamales and pupusas her mother lovingly prepared. She has developed her culinary skills through participating in the La Cocina VA program as well as working with Tables Without Borders to showcase her skills at Espita Mezcaleria. 

Chef Christian Irabién, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, has dedicated his impressive cooking career to sharing his roots, notably spending the past five years working with Chef José Andrés and Chef Cathal Armstrong in the kitchens of Oyamel, Restaurant Eve and Virtue Feed & Grain. Now he’s starting his own restaurant, a contemporary exploration of the authentic flavors from across Mexico through dishes that rarely appear on the standard Mexican restaurant menu. When he’s not showing the value of immigration through his food, he’s advocating for Latin Americans near and far: developing the culinary education program for La Cocina VA, working with World Central Kitchen in Tijuana, BC, and mentoring and supporting career development in local immigrant communities through the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in DC.

About Tables Without Borders

Tables Without Borders (TWB) is a non-profit organization that helps refugees and asylum-seekers rebuild their lives through the power of food. TWB pairs emerging refugee and asylum-seeking chefs with local restaurants to participate in a paid culinary training program hosted by the restaurant. Each training program culminates in a TWB dinner led by the emerging chef showcasing the flavors of their homeland and often results in the host restaurant extending a job offer. If it does not, they engage in a comprehensive job search with the emerging chef that prioritizes their interests and leverages their partnerships.

If you would like to show support for refugees and asylum-seekers who are aspiring chefs in the D.C. community, please donate to Tables Without Borders by emailing