Solomon Abebe spent his childhood experimenting with food - meat recipes primarily. As a teenager, he paid close attention to his family’s cooking in Addis Ababa and perfected his craft over time.
In 1985, Solomon fled to Sudan where he, as a refugee, kick-started his cooking career in the Embassy of the United States of America. His hard work and yearning for culinary training at the consulate helped him diversify his kitchen wonder by working alongside American chefs.
Eventually, Solomon became a master chef at the embassy until his arrival in the United States where he drove a taxi and cooked only at the comfort of his home. Of course, that is until he, together with wife Selamawit "Selam" Abebe, started Selam Market in 2009.
Tucked away in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago, Selam Market served as the community's Ethiopian store, offering Tiré Siga, Goden Tibs, injera and Ethiopian spices. This entrepreneurial beginning proved Solomon's culinary expertise, earning him the nickname "Tiré Siga" (Raw Meat)—one of the most popular Ethiopian dishes.
As their customer base grew over the years, the Abebes decided to grow into a restaurant. They closed the market in mid-2016 and started renovating the current facility located a few blocks south of their previous shop.
In January 2017, Solomon expanded his small market into a full-blown restaurant—Selam Ethiopian Kitchen. Ever since its opening, Selam has been a feasting ground, especially for Ethiopian expats who have been craving for an authentic Ethiopian cuisine.