“I have two homes—here, and Ethiopia,” says Alemayehu Abebe, owner of Chercher restaurant near Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle restaurant. Abebe, a native of Eastern Ethiopia, specifically the mountainous region in which the restaurant derives its name from, grew up in a family of cooks—his calling came at an early age.
“Ethiopia has over 100 million people, so every region they have their own food,” he says. At Chercher, guests can expect authentic dishes native to the culturally rich region officially known as the West Harargie zone. “Traditionally people eat with their hand—it’s easier, simple…here in America to learn to eat with [their] hands is to eat with Ethiopian injera.”
Chercher opened in June 2012 as a 10-seat restaurant. “Chercher means quality for everything—that’s why I picked the name Chercher.” It received Bib Gourmand status in the first edition of the D.C. Guide. “The neighborhood called me and they congratulate me—and I’d never heard about Michelin before…and I’m surprised when I go to my computer and check and it’s a big deal, and I’m very happy to have it.”
Photo by Kathryn M. Sheldon.
We explore where and what celebrated chefs eat outside their kitchens.