Beyond the Bio

The Multicultural Food Festival Returns

The Multicultural Food Festival Returns

This year the festival features a digital cookbook made up of recipes submitted from RumbergerKirk team members.

One of the more unique ways RumbergerKirk celebrates the diverse heritage of RumbergerKirk employees is through the Multicultural Food Festival. Last year, the festival took a hiatus thanks to COVID-19. While the festival returned on July 20 this year, it was a little different than the celebrations of the past. Instead of a potluck, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee invited the RK family to submit their favorite family/cultural recipes and created a digital recipe book to share. In place of the potluck, employees nominated their favorite local restaurant to cater lunch for the festival.

The Birmingham lunch was catered by Yo Mama’s, a local favorite that was recently featured on Netflix’s new show, ‘Fresh, Fried & Crispy.’ Yo Mama’s features fresh meals from scratch, “a taste of home, everyday.”

In Miami, the team enjoyed Valencia Paella from El Rey de La Paella and Cuban-style roast pork and grilled chicken breast served with white rice, black beans, sweet plantains, garden salad, and rolls & butter from Exquisite Catering by Robert. They also had a plethora of desserts including flan and, of course, key lime pie.

The Tallahassee office lunch included a sampling of Greek and Lebanese food from Sahara Café, a family-owned and operated restaurant. The owner, Mama Sophia, has brought her recipes from the Mediterranean to give her gift of cooking to the people of Florida for 15 years.

The Tampa office enjoyed lunch from Columbia Restaurant–Florida’s oldest restaurant which opened in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. To this day, 115 years since it first opened, the Columbia remains in the same family.

The Orlando Office enjoyed food from three different restaurants including P&D Soul Food Kitchen, Nikki’s Place Restaurant and Viet-Nomz.

Orlando Receptionist Tiy Lewis nominated P&D Soul Food Kitchen because “soul food is the diet of my ancestors,” she shared. “During the transatlantic slave trade, enslaved Africans were given meager food rations that were low in quality and nutritional value. With these rations and with available resources, enslaved people preserved African food traditions and adapted traditional recipes. Over time, these recipes and techniques became the soul food dishes that are familiar today. This food genre, now associated with comfort and decadence, was born out of struggle and survival. P&D Soul Food Kitchen is a great way for our office to sample foods that define Black culinary traditions,” she wrote.

Nikki’s Place Restaurant, nominated by Associate Attorney Kathleen Shea, has been serving up traditional flavor soul food in Orlando since 1999. Kathleen watched the Netflix documentary “High on the Hog” that tracked how a lot of the southern cuisine we know today was brought over from West Africa.

Viet-Nomz introduces a modern street-fare concept to traditional Vietnamese cuisine.  Nominated by Summer Associate Meghan Kennedy in honor of her mom, Partner Lan Kennedy-Davis who came to the U.S. as a refugee during the Vietnam war. “Since I grew up in America, eating Vietnamese food was the number one way for me to indulge in our culture,” shared Meghan.

Sharing our diverse backgrounds and cultures in this unique and tasty way has become a favorite of each of the RumbergerKirk offices. We’re all looking forward to the return of the potluck next year so we can taste even more of the diversity that makes up our team.

The Miami office getting ready to dig in. Dessert first, anyone?