Only a couple days left to ‘dine around the world' downtown

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Fusion Dining
June 14-20
  • Alta Club - Burma - 100 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City
  • Café Trio - Burma - 680 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City
  • Café Madrid - Bhutan - 2080 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City
  • Liberty Heights Fresh - Iran - 1290 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City
  • Log Haven - Somalia - 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Rd., Salt Lake City
  • Lugano - Iraq - 3364 S. 2300 East, Salt Lake City
  • Metropolitan - Northern Sudan - 173 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City
  • Oasis Cafe - Bhutan - 151 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City
  • Sage's Café - Ethiopia - 473 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City
  • Squatters - Africa - 147 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City
  • Tony Caputo's Market and Deli - Eastern European - 314 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City
  • Wabi Sabi Japanese Fusion & Sushi - Burma - 11274 Kestrel Rise Rd., West Jordan/Daybreak

SALT LAKE CITY -- A downtown Salt Lake City dining program is giving you the chance to fill up while learning about Utah's Refugee population.

Cafe Trio is known for Italian dishes, but Thursday we found Chef de Cuisine Shaun Werth cooking a little off the menu.

"Totally Asian ingredients," he explained. "Lemongrass, ground chili peppers; I used rice noodles."

He came up with the creation -- a seafood Burmese stir fry -- after being inspired by refugees from Burma.

"I spoke to the refugees who came to the restaurant and got an idea of the seafood they use at home. And the two things that came up in the conversation were clams and tilapia," Werth said.

His dish will be part of a new dining program: Around the World in Seven Days.

Chefs at 11 restaurants teamed up with refugees from different countries to develop fusion dishes; some even went shopping together. Ukrainian refugee Irina Pierpont was paired with Tony Caputo's chef.

"We talk about spices we used in the Ukrainian kitchen, and dishes, and most popular dishes which every mother or wife makes for her family," Pierpont said.

Squatters Brewery and Pub came up with a balsamic-crusted pork loin with African couscous. So far, it's a hit.

"We generally have a couple of specials we run every day, and we've been running it alongside them, and it's been outselling three to four times," said Squatters manager Evan Tendick.

Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the Utah Refugee Coalition. But the real benefit may be educating diners about refugees living in Utah -- they represent 40 countries and regions.

"We have about 30,000 refugees in the state of Utah; 97 percent are in Salt Lake County," said Zemin Xiao, refugee services liaison for Salt Lake County.

The event ends Sunday, meaning the chance to fill both your stomach and your soul is almost over. For a list of the restaurants, and the countries that inspired their dishes, refer to the "Fusion Dining" box to the right.


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Sarah Dallof


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