In response to guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and concern for the health and safety of our patrons and staff, we will be canceling our spring reception on May 5th.
Although this is a necessary decision, we believe that the stories of the featured chefs are incredibly valuable and once it is safe to do so, we will look to reschedule this event. In the meantime, please adhere to CDC guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure we are all back to normal as soon as possible.
Our annual spring reception is an evening of cooking, eating, and storytelling in partnership with and support of DC nonprofit Tables Without Borders.
This local nonprofit has partnered with refugees and asylum-seekers in our community with dreams of sharing the foods from home and their stories in the country that has sheltered them. One being Chef María Guardado, an aspiring chef and refugee from El Salvador. They then pair them with established chefs leading top D.C. restaurants, such as Chef Christian Irabién, the executive chef of the contemporary Mexican restaurant Amparo Fondita, who has dedicated his career to sharing a unique perspective on Mexican cuisine and advocating for our immigrant and Latinx communities. We will bring these two inspiring chefs together to share their stories and passion for food and to highlight the beauty immigration brings to our city and our country.
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.
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, Le Diplomate, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org