Dine and Celebrate Like a Global Boss!

One of the most glorious ways to get to know new people and cultures is through the sharing of great food.  That’s why Refugees Northwest’s Taste of the World event is one of our favorites all year.  We bring together our resettled refugee neighbors, our staff, and supporters—long-time and brand new alike—for a night of global cuisine and colorful entertainment, along with inspiring speakers and honorees. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 2, so mark your calendar for May 4 this year, come hungry, and prepare to open your heart to the world!


We don’t want to make you wait to at least taste with your eyes!  Wonder what this deliciousness is all about? It’s called Shfta, a traditional Kurdish beef entrée. And yes, it’s as wonderful as it looks!


This absolutely scrumptious dish has been served at many past Taste of the World gatherings, prepared by our Clinical Program Manager Avan Shwany, a native of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region.  Like sixty percent of our staff, Avan came to the U.S. as an immigrant or refugee.  In fact, Avan arrived as a SIV holder, a designation for people who’ve worked on behalf of the United States while overseas.   Her long journey to America in 2012 was marked by perilous times and courageous service, as chronicled by the Seattle Times in a major recent article.


Our staff is comprised of truly remarkable individuals whose own life experiences prepare them to render support to others as they arrive to our country.  People might arrive with the ‘refugee’ designation, but that is just a temporary status.  They are so much more: teachers, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs, adventurers, heroes.  Each has their own story.  And all have our admiration for their resilience and persistence in restarting their lives.  Over time and with just a bit of help, they become our trusted neighbors, our friends, fellow citizens and strong members of our communities.  So, please come join us on May 4, and get ready to be inspired and renewed by the people you meet and the future we share!

And, by the way, Avan wants to heighten your interest in RSVPing right away by sharing her Shfta recipe! Enjoy! And remember that Taste of the World tickets go on sale Monday, April 2! See you soon!

Avan’s Special Shfta (Kurdish Beef Patties)
– 1.5 lb. Ground meat (it’s usually beef but ground chicken breast could be used, or Mexican Squash as a vegetarian option)
– 1 small finely chopped onion
– 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
– 1 small bunch chopped celery leaves (the good green leaves of the celery is a tradition ingredient)
– 1 small bunch chopped parsley
– Salt & black pepper
– Pinch of cumin
– 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
– Few tablespoons flour
– Oil for frying

Knead the meat with all the chopped vegetables until it’s like a dough, add the flour and knead. When you’re able to form a patty and it sticks and does not fall apart, then you’re good to go.

Form little patties, usually they are longish and not thick like burgers but flat. Begin frying them in batches, flipping in the oil until browned all over and crispy.

Serve with lots of fresh greens, tomatoes and fresh bread!