Bosnian Dinner at the International Institute This Wednesday

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Traditional Bosnian cuisine will be celebrated this Wednesday at the International Institute of St. Louis. - COURTESY OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE
  • COURTESY OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE
  • Traditional Bosnian cuisine will be celebrated this Wednesday at the International Institute of St. Louis.

This Wednesday, the International Institute of St. Louis is launching a new initiative aimed at supporting the city's immigrant and refugee communities. Dubbed "International Pop-Up Dinners," the series hopes to generate revenue for immigrant and refugee caterers who have seen their businesses decimated by the pandemic.

The dinners, which will run every Wednesday through October, are meant to be physically-distanced versions of the Institute's popular Wednesday lunches, which feature cuisine from a different country each week. Because of the pandemic, those events have been put on hold, prompting the Institute to look for another way to help the members of the community it serves.



Taste of Bosnia is one of those hit hard by the events of the past year. After moving to the United States (after five years in Germany) as a refugee in 1997, owner Elvira Ahmetspahic dreamed of opening a restaurant of her own one day. She took the first steps toward realizing that dream in February of 2020, only to have her plans thwarted just weeks later when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down events and gatherings where her food would normally be served.

For the inaugural event, diners will finally have a chance to experience Taste of Bosnia and Ahmetspahic's traditional cuisine, which she likens to "food made by grandmas with a twist." For $20, guests will be treated to a four-course meal, including an appetizer, salad, main course and dessert. Both a meat version and a vegetarian option will be available.



To participate, diners will order their food online before 5 p.m. on March 22, and will pick up their meals on the date of the event between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Institute's cafeteria entrance on St. Elizabeth Drive. This is a contactless, curbside-only event, and patrons are encouraged to pull up masked, give their names to a volunteer and pop their trunks so that the food can be placed inside to minimize risk.

For more information on the International Pop-Up Dinners, visit www.iistl.org.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

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