For this issue, we met our monthly guest just as ELLE CAFÉ introduced its delicious new summer menu. Vegetable curry, petit rolled cakes, parfaits – you’re sure to find something new every time you visit. Hiwot Haileselassie Weldegebreal hails from Ethiopia. She worked as a chef until she came to Japan in 2008 to attend the opening of an Ethiopian restaurant in Fukuoka. It was her first experience of living in Japan and, although initially nervous, she was positive enough to tough it out. “It’ll work out!” she told herself – and, sure enough, it did!
At home in Ethiopia, Hiwot enjoys visiting cafés to meet friends or to just relax over a cup of latte in her spare time. “It’s a more modern style of socialising,” she explains. She was pleased to visit ELLE CAFÉ, with its wide range of quality items for sale, including imported cooking ingredients.
We recommended Japanese sweets to Hiwot who is more accustomed to the strong, spicy flavors of Ethiopian food. The five bean parfait consists of maccha ice cream topped with five different kinds of bean, which are first stewed with quality white coarse sugar for ten hours. She was pleasantly surprised to find that the sugar had soaked through the beans and later asked a member of the café staff how they made the dessert.
Although not working as a chef at the moment, Hiwot continues to cook Ethiopian food for her friends and at small events. She wants to continue cooking and making people happy with her dishes.
Five bean parfait ¥924
Three French sweets & beverage ¥1,239
ELLE CAFÉ Fukuoka Hakata
4F Hakata Hankyu, 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 10:00 ~ 21:00
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn152 Aug. 2011)