Treasure Valley Refugee Restaurant Week is coming and it's a great way to try some new food and support the community. This year, because of COVID, the event is functioning a little differently but according to Idaho Office for Refugees Outreach and Partnership Manager Kara Fink, it should be just as delightful.
Usually, Refugee Restaurant Week involves local kitchens opening their kitchens to refugee chefs. The organization decided that to be safer, they will skip that part and focus on all of the restaurants owned by immigrants and refugees in the Treasure Valley. People can get more information at idahorefugees.org.
"We are really excited to partner with The STIL again, who will be working with their team member and guest Chef Najlaa to create two Syrian-inspired ice cream flavors," wrote Fink in an email. "Najlaa has been with The STIL for four years, and the community looks forward to her Syrian creations during Refugee Restaurant Week every year. This year we are really promoting refugee- and immigrant-owned restaurants in the valley as well. The Treasure Valley has so many delicious restaurants to try, and each chef has a story. We’ll be uploading bios, photos, and favorite dishes to our website so you can grab dinner or take-out, then stop by for ice cream at The STIL."
BW got an email interview with Najlaa about her ice cream and how she came up with the ideas. One of the flavors is called "After the Rain" and has almonds, dried apricots and raisins. The other flavor will debut the week of the event.
Please tell us about your background as a chef — and how long have you worked at the STIL?
I was not a chef before I started working at The STIL, the love for this job grew on me with The STIL growing year after year. I have been with the STIL for about four years and two months and many years to come.
What is your favorite food to make?
My favorite thing to make at the STIL is the Déjà Vu (almond cream with Oreo's and waffle cone pieces).
How did you come up with the flavor combinations?
One day I felt nostalgic and I used flavors that we used to use in our dishes back in Syria.
Can you tell us about any new ideas for flavors people may see from you in the future?
It is a surprise! You have to come to the STIL to see or taste it in the near future.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
The STIL is a great place to be around to work, hangout or even work and study. The STIL is a very family-oriented place and I love being there as much as I possibly can.