Elevation Station Preview: Sara Adkisson-Joyner, Sara Jacobson, Allyson Gibbs and Alex Bodell

May 30th, 2012 : : : :

Inspired by the rich cultural heritage of South Omaha, it’s long history of facilitating transportation networks of people and food, this team seeks to celebrate the culinary contribution of immigrant and refugee populations that have built and shaped the landscape of today’s Omaha. Our elevATE experience is both mobile and celebratory.

Once coined “The Magic City” due to it’s seemingly magical overnight population explosion, South Omaha has been the gateway to Omaha for people from around the globe. Built around the meat packing industry, stockyards, and railroads, distinctly ethnic enclaves fostered restaurants and groceries that specialized in food from foreign lands. These small communities within the larger city of South Omaha each brought with them the knowledge and cultural history of food from their home cities and countries. The combination of recipes people from abroad and the utilization of ingredients available locally created a new culinary “fusion”. This is represented both by the adaptation of recipes to fit the available ingredients, and the transportation of seeds and plants that could be grown in Nebraska soil. During the past century, the food legacy of these ethnic food enclaves has spread in successive waves to influence not only the dynamic food landscape of South Omaha, but of the entire city of Omaha today. This exchange of culinary traditions continues to build a bridge across divides of language and race, creating connections between people though food.

With our mobile food carts, we celebrate this journey of food from home to new home and back again. With so many different immigrant and refugee groups that now call Omaha home, it was difficult to choose which food traditions to highlight. The menu was shaped and customized to be easily prepared on the mobile carts. Each cart contains its own cooking implement specific to the needs of the food being prepared. We also wanted the food itself to be mobile. We considered what menu items would be both delicious and easily transportable. Whether taken along on a journey, or savored in the company of fellow diners, this is food that can be easily shared with others. Each guest to our station will be asked to exchange food items in a symbolic gesture of how people continue to connect through food and eating experiences.

We look forward to sharing our food with you!!!