African cuisine has grown from home favorites to a culinary delight worldwide, thanks to the African chefs determined to highlight traditional spices and taste. From Nigerian jollof to South African Braai, here are ten African chefs cooking up a storm internationally.
Marcus Samuelsson – Ethiopian- Swedish
Arguably one of the most prominent chefs of African origin, Samuelsson has been featured on The Food Network’s Chopped and The Next Iron Chef. The Ethiopian-Swedish chef has written six books, all detailing his culinary journey from Ethiopian, Swedish, French, Mexican, and Scandinavian cuisine. Samuelsson also owns eleven restaurants around the world, including New York and Norway, and has also cooked for President Barrack Obama.
Pierre Thiam – Senegalese
Previously featured in Ayiba Magazine, Thiam has risen to new culinary heights including a recent feature on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. He owns two restaurants, Yolele in Brooklyn and Le Grand-Dakar Restaurant, as well as a catering company, Pierre Thiam Catering. As if that wasn’t enough, he has authored two books, including the best seller Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Additionally, Thiam also runs culinary tours and teaches at the French Culinary Institute.
Siba Mtongana – South African
Mtongana, most notably from her show, Siba’s Table on The Food Network, serves up African recipes with a dose of ‘va-va-voom’ (as she often states in her show). She is also a judge on Chopped South Africa and has written her bestselling cookbook, My Table. Mtongana was also just included in Tropics Magazine list of 40 Most Influential Africans Shaping the Future of Africa.
Loïc Dablé – Franco-Ivorian
Considering that Dable has his own cooking show the Pan Star Chef, which aims to ‘revolutionize African cuisine,’ it comes as no surprise that he was featured on the cover of Inspire Afrika Magazine as one of the 50 African personalities that will make 2016. He also owns and runs a gourmet restaurant, the Café Dapper Loïc Dable in Paris and runs culinary workshops on African food. Furthermore, he is the CEO of Groupe Loïc Dablé Paris, which provides culinary consultancy services.
Rougui Dia- Franco-Senegalese
As head chef of several French restaurants including Vraymonde at the Buddha Bar Hotel Paris, Dia has defied the odds as a black woman in a male dominated industry. The recipient of the Michelin star, Dia has been featured in magazines worldwide from Elle to Marie Claire. In her biography, Le Chef est une Femme (The Chef is a Woman), she details her family life and journey to culinary excellence.
Tunde Wey – Nigerian
Wey launched his unapologetically frank dinner series, ‘Blackness in America,’ in March 2016 where diners share food and stories of black identity and experiences. The dinners highlighted Nigerian cuisine while guests enjoyed remarks from distinguished speakers including Director of the Contemporary Arts Center, Neil Barclay. Wey has hosted pop-up dinners during his culinary tours across America, aptly named Lagos, in an aim to change the way the world views Nigerian food.
Fafa Gilbert – Ghanaian
London-based Gilbert names her cuisine “Creative Afro and Caribbean Food,” and has made a name for herself by creating recipes that are a blend of African and Western food on her YouTube channel. She was also featured on her own cooking show, ‘Ndudu by Fafa.’
Mourad Lahlou – Moroccan
Lahlou’s San Francisco restaurant, Aziza, opened last year and soon became the first Moroccan restaurant in the United States to receive a Michelin star. The chef is a previous winner of Chef America and has written a cookbook, Mourad: New Moroccan.
Ali “L’artiste” Mandhry – Kenyan
Mandhry is a chef who hosts two cooking shows, Food Time and Celebrity Kitchen Raid. Despite being a popular pastry chef in Kenya, he also works to elevate the rich, diverse cuisine of the Swahili coast. Mandhry is a part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in Kenya, and has been ranked one of Africa’s best male chefs by DSTV.
Reuben Riffel– South African
Riffel has opened five successful restaurants, including Reuben’s, which won him the title of Chef of the Year, and Restaurant of the Year at the Eat Out Restaurant awards. He has also featured on shows such as Masterchef South Africa as a judge. Riffel has written three cookbooks, including his latest, Braai: Reuben on Fire, and won the Unilever Chef of the Year award in 2007.