1,001 Ideas for Remodeling and Decorating – Everything for the Home – Inside & Out!
with tips, demonstrations and your chance to taste
Saturday, September 24
11:00 AM – “Fresh Lemonade and Tabouleh Salad” presented by Chef Nina Sodji of Okra African Grill
Your chance to taste and find the recipe for fresh lemonade and Tabouleh Salad with unique African flavors
Opening a restaurant right before a pandemic hits would be enough to discourage anyone. But for Nina Sodji, 44, this isn’t the first time she’s encountered an overwhelming obstacle.
“I have owned an African market and restaurant before in Omaha, 10 years ago. I moved location and the recession of 2008 happened,” she said. “I filed for bankruptcy and went back to school.”
She received a culinary degree from Metropolitan Community College, and a bachelor’s in business management from Bellevue University. She worked as a dietary manager for the last four years while waiting for the opportunity to become a restaurant owner again.
Sodji said she discovered that African food in America wasn’t like other cuisines, such as Mexican, Chinese, or Indian, “even though we have a fusion of great flavor and variety of ingredients. So, my mission is to educate about people it.”
“My biggest reward is how I make people feel after they eat,” she said. “I love talking to people, I know a lot of them through family ties and just growing up with them and knowing about their lives.”
The coronavirus hit hard for Sodji’s restaurant. They opened on March 14, and two days later had to shut down. She had quit her other job just two weeks prior. “I have an ill parent at home and two children that depend on me,” she said. “I have employees who are looking at me for some answers…I don’t know.”
2:00 PM – “Nutritious Baking Tips ” presented by Chef Cedric Fichepain of Le Petit Paris Bakery and Flour Innovations
Cedric Fichepain (CEC) has been in the restaurant industry for more 23 years and the bakery business for more than 7. He recently created a new company with co-owner Richard Charpentier (MB) Flour Innovation. Their brand Hemp N’ Seeds Bread mix are available on Amazon and the website www.HempNSeeds.com.
Cedric Fichepain was voted “Restaurateur Of the Year” 2007 by the Omaha Restaurant Association. He was inducted in The Omaha Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in October 2015. He is a Chef Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Arts at Metro College in Omaha, and volunteer for Share Our Strength trough the program “Cooking Matters”. He sold Le Voltaire to his Chef de Cuisine Wilson Calixte in August 2020.
Cedric Fichepain is a Certified Executive Chef and owns Le Petit Paris French Bakery since 2013.
Sunday, September 25
1:00 PM – “ Amazing Homemade Treats” CupCake Wars Champion Bill Jones of Jones Brothers Cupcake
The idea behind Jones Bros. has always been to provide the Omaha community with delicious, homemade cupcakes, French macarons, and more. “You can make great cupcakes at home, but nobody has time to do that anymore,” Jones says. “I get it—I’m busy, too. We take the time to make the highest quality cupcakes so you don’t have to; I made it for you.” It’s a formula that has prompted multiple awards and plenty of love from the community. Jones represented Omaha and Jones Bros. on national television multiple times on Food Network’s wildly popular show Cupcake Wars, showing the nation that Omaha boasts some of the best cupcakes around. Jones Bros. was also recently recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as No. 3 Best Cupcakes in the United States.
The cupcakes served by Jones Bros. are welcome treats in a busy world—Omahans love taking breaks to enjoy delicious cupcakes, and the cupcake of choice is Jones Bros.