Love food and cooking? Passionate about Africa? This is for you! Plan now to leave the winter cold behind and join the West African Research Association and famous Senegalese chef, Pierre Thiam, on an unforgettable culinary sojourn in Senegal, West Africa. Trade in the cold winter weather for sunshine and the warmth of Senegalese teranga. We’ll spend a sun-filled week exploring markets; meeting the people who grow, harvest and prepare foods; and learning to cook some fabulous African dishes.
You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Chef Pierre Thiam! Featured in a recent Wall Street Journal article, and on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode in Senegal, Chef Thiam is an accomplished chef and is known the world over as a formidable ambassador for West African cuisine. He is the author of two cookbooks, Yolele!, Recipes from the Heart of Senegal, and Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Chef Thiam has a deep interest in how foods are produced, who produces them, and the cultural meanings of the foods we eat.
Pierre Thiam is a chef with his fingers in many pies: To name just a few, in 2015, after having run two restaurants in New York, he opened the award winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the co-founder of Yolele! , a purpose-driven food company, specializing in the ancient grain, fonio. (You can learn more about this highly nutritious West African grain in Chef Thiam’s 2017 TED talk.) Chef Thiam has served as a judge in a Joloff rice cook-off at the African food Festival in Brooklyn, and joined Chef Massimo Boturra and other world-renowned chefs in Brazil to turn left over food from the 2016 summer Olympics into gourmet meals for the poorest of Rio’s residents. Learn more about his many activities by visiting his website and Facebook page.
Tastes of West Africa will not only be an opportunity to learn to prepare signature West African dishes under the tutelage of an internationally acclaimed chef, it will be a great way to increase your knowledge of this important world region. Leave your cares behind and come join us for a week of discovery, relaxation, and sunshine.
Each of the dishes we will be preparing is representative of a different West African culinary tradition. This is an exciting way to learn about the rich cultures of West Africa. You’ll come home with a whole new repertoire of succulent dishes with which to delight and amaze your friends and family.
This culinary sojourn will leave you with a broad understanding of the cultures and history of West Africa, its religions, economies, and esthetics—and an appreciation of the biodiversity that creates the striking abundance of fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, grains and meats from which we will draw our ingredients.
Each dish will be an adventure, as we explore recipes and ingredients, how they are produced and marketed, and culinary technique. For our ingredients, we will visit various specialized food markets in Dakar and environs, and we will learn about the customs and practices surrounding food and eating. This is a hands-on institute; experts will guide us in preparing each of the dishes, and we will enjoy the celebration of eating together the wonders we create.