Yeti Ezeanii has a passion for flavor, particularly as it relates to African cuisine. She loves it so much that she founded AfroFood to raise awareness about “all things epicuriously African.” This includes AfroFood Spices, her spice line which carries “popular spices from the four corners of the continent enabling home chefs to bring the intense flavors and aromas of African cuisine to their own dishes,” and, a website featuring recipes, video tutorials, and a blog.

Launched in 2006, was started to help fill the African culinary void in the west. There were no cookbooks featuring African cuisine in Yeti’s local bookstores, and what was on the internet proved insufficient. In addition, mainstream media outlets refused to change the status quo perception of Africa by not airing African food and culture programing because they believed that it was too much of a niche market. The result? The cuisine of an entire continent was misrepresented, misunderstood, or completely forgotten. The biggest challenge in trying to establish her venture was “the lack of knowledge about African food and cultures that many non-Africans have. There unfortunately has been a lot of misinformation out there about the role of food in African culture,” Yeti says. However, her perseverance and desire to share the flavors of her continent has led to success. “It is my hope that every person will be able to try African food and see just how good and healthy it is,” she says.

Tomato stew is the Texas-born, Nigerian-raised foodie’s favorite dish to cook. “My recipe is a mix of traditional (what was passed down to me) and contemporary (a couple of new ingredients I have picked up along the way).” When asked to share her recipe for success with aspiring young entrepreneurs, Yeti said this: “My advice would be to check fear at the door and follow your dreams. You get to live only one life and fear has a big way of wasting it.”