I AM ETHIOPIA: The fusion flavors of chef Mulugeta Abate

When you think of an Ethiopian Chef you probably imagine someone who solely cooks traditional Ethiopian dishes — injera, doro wat, or kitfo.

Well Chef Mulugeta Abate brings much more than just his Ethiopian background to the kitchen of his new downtown restaurant Lovage.

Blending traditional dishes from around the world, Abate has created his own line of fusion entrees that bring the flavors of distant cultures together.

Growing up in the restaurant business since he was 12 years old, Abate had always been exposed to traditional Ethiopian food. But after emigrating from Ethiopia, he followed his passion to learn about other cultures by immersing himself into the savory world of the culinary arts.

Self-described as a businessman, Abate has run several successful restaurants and cafes that have built his reputation in the Northwest as a fusion chef.

One of his most successful endeavors, Pan Africa Grill, blended his experience with Ethiopian dishes with his passion to master other African cuisines.

With his current restaurant, Lovage — specializing in raw and gluten-free bowls, Abate hopes to spin off a line of dishes that people can prepare within the comfort of their own homes.

As he redefines what it means to be an Ethiopian chef, he has come to the conclusion that food is to be reinvented and shared among friends and family. He says he hopes that others will learn from his methods and explore the world, one bite at a time.


“I AM ETHIOPIA” is a three part series that focuses on Ethiopian Americans in Seattle who are subverting misconceptions of Ethiopia and its people, and forming their own colorful and groundbreaking identities.

The series is part of a movement started by YMG (Yonie Media Group) in association with the upcoming film, “An Ethiopian Love.”

Please check out the other videos in the “I AM ETHIOPIA” series, about hip-hop artist Gabriel Teodros and photographer Mintwab Zemeadim.

Mulugeta Abate, chef at Lovage restaurant on 1st Avenue. (Video still by Aida Solomon)
Mulugeta Abate, chef at Lovage restaurant on 1st Avenue. (Video still by Aida Solomon)


  1. ~Thanks ~ Now I know where to go when I visit Seattle!
    Seattle being the HQ of Starbucks, the Ethiopians should bring their traditional “jebena” coffee ceremony and test if they can beat Starbucks! Starbucks doesn’t have Jebena , no Rekebot, no spices (like qibe) in the coffee, they donot have the incense, no buna Qurs(ambasha, fendisha), they donot have the ambience at all :-). They donot have coffee #1 (abol), #2(tona),#3(bereka)! They only drink coffee with small, big, and giant coffee mugs! lol! U guys have a serious chance of indenting into the huge coffee market there ~ and perhaps even beyond!

  2. Good job! that is what every Ethiopian has to do to promote its mother land. proud of you, proud o being Ethiopian!!!!

  3. Aida, you have done a great job on bringing the blending traditional Ethiopian dish to our attention. I have had a delicious dish at the same restaurant used to be called, PanAfrican Gril near the pike place market a few years ago. Not sure if Chef Mulugeta is at the same place. But I kinda agree Mulugeta is creative on how to blend Ethiopian test with American background dish. Keep up the good blending and the creative way of serving your community Mulugeta. I also would like to thank you Aida for bringing such an excellent news about our motherland Ethiopia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.