Take your tastebuds on an international tour, in Veazie
VEAZIE, Maine (WABI) - Korean Dad in Veazie has been a popular spot for folks in the Bangor area to find kimchi and other favorites.
Now, the restaurant owner, Changsu Kristopher Lee, or ‘Kris’ is expanding the restaurant, but in a different way.
“When I just stared to open this restaurant, I knew that if I didn’t do this, I would be regretting for the rest of my life,” said Lee.
Five styles of food, representing five different countries will be prepared and served right here under one roof.
Kris is sharing the space and giving others the opportunity to share their culture and cuisine by offering Korean, Cajun, African, Cuban, and Filipino food in one spot.
Each chef also has a separate full-time job.
Stephen Cousineau, a branch manager for a pest control company is bringing Cajun cooking to the area.
“Gumbo is a soup, but for it to be put together really well it it takes a lot of love it takes time it takes it takes knowledge and to see somebody taste it and you look in their eyes and they’re like transported back to New Orleans in the 70s when they went there like ‘this is so good’. It’s absolutely amazing,” said Cousineau.
Joy Dudley is already a known name in the area. Her baked goods, ‘Baked by Joy’ can be found at Bangor’s European Market and around in Bangor.
Dudley said, “I always have this dream to have, you know, a Filipino restaurant, but I couldn’t do it. It’s it’s hard so I started with a baked goods have a home license with my baked goods and I started doing that at home, and it’s been very successful. And I said, let’s do it let’s, let’s take another step. Bringing Filipino food in the community.”
Florida native, Taylor Ashley, works at the Maine Business School at the University of Maine and is thrilled to share the flare of Cuban heritage.
He says that this culinary combination is more than just food.
“It’s inspirational to others that are coming and going and for them to connect with somebody here and to hear the story of how barriers to entry were able to be reduced through collaboration and a space that’s been provided. Others can take that home with them and realize that there are barriers to opening restaurants but there are sometimes opportunities to overcome those,” said Ashley.
Hope Moneke is Registered Nurse at Northern Light Health.
When she moved to Maine from Nigeria, she and her family had a difficult time adjusting, because there were no food offerings in the area that was similar to what they were accustomed to.
I asked, “How does that make you feel that you are really, you’re really making a difference and you’re bringing your cuisine here?”
Moneke replied, “It makes me feel so happy, so proud of myself, because it’s like I am so like, I’ve been doing this. It’s my dream like I’m living. living my dream life. I’m living my dream life now. I’m so happy that I’m able to help others. It has been my passion to help people one way or the other. Yes. So I help them through making food I help them at the hospital too. That is my passion. I’m happy.”
Collaboration, creativity, and community: ingredients that are blending together to make the American Dream.
“It’s opening up people’s mind so they can taste Cuban food, real Cuban food and Filipino, Nigerian and Korean and that’s... I think of America. There’s no such thing as an American cuisine because it’s all the people who have come here and kind of come together to taste all these cuisines and learn about those things, but learn about America too. So, I I feel very lucky to have this this place,” added Cousineau.
For more details, you can go to the Korean Dad Facebook page.
You can find more information about Lilia’s Cuban Café here.
You can also check out Baked By Joy/ Kusina here.
Information about Ca C’est Bon can be found here.
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