“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.
The many different food trends in Zagreb, as showcased in the 14 restaurants selected by the MICHELIN Guide, bear witness to the importance of Mediterranean and market-inspired cuisine, both of which reflect the geography, historical changes and cultural influences in the Croatian capital over the centuries.
A city which has expanded over the centuries between the plain, the Sava river and Mount Medvednica and which has been moulded by a diversity of cultural influences, Zagreb and its historical, architectural and culinary attractions (chosen by the 2020 MICHELIN Guide) holds particular appeal for visitors during the Christian festival of Advent.