Exotic vegetarian, vegan and meat dishes will be part of the Celebrate India fundraising dinner for KZMU on Saturday, Feb. 22. [Courtesy photo]

Love of food and the support of the Moab community have brought together Celebrate India, a KZMU benefit dinner, with dancing, entertainment and, of course, food,

Lara and Rani Derasary were raised in Oakland, Calif., by their east Indian father and Dutch mother. They’ve done extensive traveling throughout many regions of India, exploring the different tastes they have to offer. Along with other food enthusiasts Kaye Davis, Jessica Turquette and Susette Weisheit, they began trying to recreate the flavors in their own kitchens and the idea of doing Indian benefit dinners was born.

“Supporting KZMU was a natural choice for the group, all very committed to free speech and alternative radio,” Weisheit said. “It helped too that in the group were DJs and board members that have supported this local community radio station with their time and money for years.”

Weisheit said the group of eclectic-food enthusiasts are “solidly behind the KZMU mission to inform, educate, engage, entertain and delight Moab and its surrounding area.”

“As a grassroots, free form community radio station with over 80 volunteers, it serves up a dish of delectable air waves in the same eclectic fashion as these multi-cultured foodies,” Weisheit said.

Turquette said she is excited to offer the community’s taste buds a new adventure.

“Moab is the most eclectic and diverse small town in Utah, maybe even the west,” she said. “The people here are always open to new and exotic adventures, especially with food. Since there is little ethnic diversity in our restaurants, it will be a fantastic new and exciting adventure for your pallet.”

Just smelling the food makes Turquette feel as if she’s in India herself.

“Flavors and smells that are rich, pungent and robust take me straight to a New Dehli market, with street vendors pitching their Naan and meat as the best,” she said.

Celebrate India takes place at a private residence 4 miles from downtown on Saturday, Feb. 22, with a Sunset Social at 5:30 p.m. before the dinner itself at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the Moab BARKery, 82 N. Main Street, for $50 per person. Directions to the residence will be given upon ticket purchase. Vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes will be served.

“I have been a part of a DJ duo at KZMU for over 5 years, and I love to bring some laughs as well as good Friday-night dance music to Moab,” said Turquette, also known as DJ Anastacia. “We wanted to bring something new and fun for our fundraising, so why not some excellent ethnic food. Each bite supports free speech in Utah, keep it alive Moab.”

“Celebrate India” dinner will support KZMU

“The people here are always open to new and exotic adventures, especially with food… It will be a fantastic new and exciting adventure for your pallet.”

If you have questions, or to purchase tickets for the Celebrate India, A KZMU benefit dinner, visit the Moab BARKery, 82 N. Main St., or call 435-259-8080