Ethiopia’s gourmet guru seeks to spread love for the country’s cuisine.
Although Ethiopian cuisine continues to gain attention from foodies across the globe, few of its native cooks have yet achieved culinary star status. Sure, there’s Ethiopian-Swedish megachef Marcus Samuelsson, but what about those seeking to elevate dishes of their homeland? That’s exactly the mission that’s driving Yohanis Gebreyesus Hailemariam — an Addis Ababa–raised chef with vast ambitions and a talent for media.
Chef Yohanis was raised in Ethiopia and later traveled to California, USA, and Lyon, France, to study cooking. After returning to Addis several years ago, he launched into numerous ventures, including serving as the head chef of local restaurant Antica and hosting a popular television show on the EBS network. Yohanis is passionate about finding new ways to use traditional Ethiopian ingredients, such as making Parisian-style desserts from teff, the grain that is used to make the highland staple injera. He also launched a line of spice products and has been featured on CNN, BBC World Service and several other international media outlets.
According to his website, Chef Yohanis’ goal is to develop a “mission-driven healthy lifestyle brand” that will celebrate Ethiopia’s unique “terroirs” and make the health benefits of Ethiopian food globally available. Toward that end, Chef Yohanis recently partnered with Ethiopian Airlines to offer consultative services to our award-winning catering department. His introduction to the dishes being served in our business class can be found on the first page of the Cloud Nine Menu.