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Fi2W on the Radio: A Korean Restaurant in Brooklyn via Uzbekistan

Elza Kan. Photo by Mia Warren

Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood has earned the nickname “Little Odessa” because of its concentration of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Among the Russian shops and cafes, one restaurant serves Korean cuisine with an Uzbek twist.

Mia Warren grew up eating Korean food, thanks to her Korean mother.  But she’d never eaten food like the the dishes prepared by Elza Kan at Cafe at Your Mother-In-Law.  Elza is ethnically Korean but was born and raised in Uzbekistan; she speaks mostly Russian and some Korean.  Mia tells her story of getting to know Elza, her family, and her food on PRI’s The World.  She discovers the little-known history of the Korean diaspora to Central Asia.

Listen to Mia’s story on PRI’s The World.

Mia developed this story as a participant in our Telling Immigrant Food Stories journalism workshop.  Funding for the workshop came from The International Association of Culinary Professionals’ foundation, The Culinary Trust, and its Growing Leaders Food Writing program.









Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, an anonymous donor and readers like you.

AboutMia Warren
Mia Warren (she/her) is an independent audio producer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-creator and executive producer of Feeling My Flo, a podcast for tweens and teens all about menstruation. Previously, Mia was an Editing Fellow for Feet in 2 Worlds. She's produced podcasts with the Mash-Up Americans and spent five years making radio at StoryCorps, the national oral history project. Mia got her start in audio storytelling in Lima, Peru, where she documented stories in the Japanese Peruvian community on a Fulbright fellowship.