Yebralem was born in the fishing town of Assab, Eritrea. This is where she learned to cook, working side by side with her mother, a local restauranteur in Assab. Yebralem’s best memories are cooking in her family's restaurant. She and her family left her home country due to the political instability and the desire to provide a better life for her husband and teenage son. Their journey brought them to South Africa, then to the United States just two years ago as refugees. Yebralem says that cooking for many people is rewarding as it gives her great joy to cook for others.