Oregon couple creates ‘Cafe Quarantine’ at home, tours the world through food

AM Extra

Katherine and Angelo Carella can't travel the world right now, so they are bringing some of the tasty wonders of the world to them

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Angelo and Katherine Carella have always had a passion for travel, but once the coronavirus pandemic hit, their ways of jet-setting changed. For them, that meant getting creative.

“We decided early on to go into lockdown and since we are in the ‘at-risk’ age category … we needed to make every single day count,” Carella said.

Stuck in Southwest Portland, the couple cooked up the idea of “Cafe Quarantine” to help fulfill their quarantine-induced wanderlust.

“I thought my gosh we’re not going to survive very well if we’re always in lockdown, so I thought well heck with it we’ll just travel, have fun and do a lot of cooking,” Katherine Carella said.

“Cafe Quarantine,” otherwise known as the Carellas’ dining or living room, is where the couple enjoys meals from countries they’ve visited and relive their past travels.

So far, they’ve dined in Mexico for enchiladas, India to enjoy chicken tikka masala and Ireland for a serving (or two) of Shepard’s pie.

“I research recipes, research the country, dig out artifacts from past travels… we try to decorate the table, try to get dressed and enjoy a meal with a little imagination,” Carella said.

Carella adds that “Cafe Quarantine” has been a great way to also stay connected with family and friends, near and far. Pulling up a seat at the table has to be done virtually for now, but the couple says it’s more about the time spent together, conversations said, and new memories being made that brings them pure joy during these challenging times.

“Thinking of what’s going on in our country and world, I just think ‘Well I think it’s time I go someplace today,'” Carella added. “Maybe it’ll be Goa, India. Maybe it’ll be Greece or Amsterdam or Scotland or England.” 

The Carellas told AM Extra at the end of each dinner they have one rule: To share with each other a fond memory or something nice that happened that day. The couple says it’s just another way to help them focus on the good things in life.

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