Friday, November 30, 2012

Plating Africa's cuisines

Was delighted to open my mailbox today to find the November/December issue of plate magazine there. Each issue of this award-winning industry magazine is devoted to shining a spotlight on a single topic. For the current issue, that means "undiscovered AFRICA." I was pleased to have been able to contribute, and to be included with such luminaries as Pierre Thiam and Marcus Samuelsson (as well as being introduced to several others). I was even more thrilled about the attention focused on the continent's cuisines, and the encouragement to U.S. chefs to embrace them. 

Even if you cannot obtain a copy of this beautiful magazine, you can at least sign up at their online site to view recipes, including one of mine for groundnut soup.

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Among other things, I was happy that the article in plate recognizes Penn State's pioneering course on African food culture.The course is swiftly drawing to a close: just 2 more weeks, and the students are preparing their final presentations: on food themes in selected West African novels, on kola nuts, injera, indigenous red rice, fermentation, and the social and culinary challenges facing pastoral peoples . . . It has been a privilege to teach these young people, and we're all looking forward to the end of course pot-luck celebration where everyone selects an African recipe to research and prepare (with promises that the quality of the cooking is not going to compromise anyone's grade in the course). Commensality and hospitality are important components of sub-Saharan African food cultures, and it seems only fitting to end on that note. I am very proud of the students who've followed me on this journey of discovery.


Jeanette said...

Congratulations! I just came across your blog tonight as I was searching for Ghanian recipes for a friend that I cooking for. I am new to this cuisine but love to cook, so hoping to make a few dishes for my friend from Ghana who has cancer.

Fran said...

Jeanette, thank you for all your comments. I'm touched by your support of your friend. Also, by your broader interest in healthy cooking for special needs. I've replied privately, and would love to have further conversations.