Few Contemporary Cookbooks Feature African Food. Hawa Hassan Is Changing That.

Hawa Hassan has never been all that interested in trends. That might be surprising for a former model turned founder of a cult-favorite condiment company, who has been featured in the likes of Vogue, Forbes, and The New York Times. After just a short c…

Hawa Hassan has never been all that interested in trends. That might be surprising for a former model turned founder of a cult-favorite condiment company, who has been featured in the likes of Vogue, Forbes, and The New York Times. After just a short conversation with Hassan, however, it all makes sense.

The video personality and CEO of Basbaas Somali Foods released her first cookbook last week: In Bibi’s Kitchen, coauthored with Julia Turshen. The book shares recipes and stories from bibis, or grandmothers, hailing from eight African countries—Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, Comoros, and Hassan’s native Somalia—that border the Indian Ocean (plus additional recipes developed by the authors). But this volume is more than just a collection of inviting dishes: It’s a vibrant document of intergenerational cooking.

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Little Africa Paris Crowdfunding Project with Live Cooking Demonstration & French Cooking Class

I was surprised the first time I met Jacqueline Ngo Ppii, who by sheer coincidence, I’d contacted a few weeks earlier when I learned about her company, Little Africa Paris. I wanted to sign up for one of their culinary tours of the African neighborhoods and markets of Paris. I’ve visited some of them a few times on my own, but I wanted to learn…

I was surprised the first time I met Jacqueline Ngo Ppii, who by sheer coincidence, I’d contacted a few weeks earlier when I learned about her company, Little Africa Paris. I wanted to sign up for one of their culinary tours of the African neighborhoods and markets of Paris. I’ve visited some of them a few times on my own, but I wanted to learn more about the foods, ingredients, and preparations from someone with close knowledge of them. The owner wrote back that they started culinary tours yet, and I’d be notified when they did. But I was surprised when I was at a book event and found myself seated right next to her!

We exchanged books and kept in touch. I later found out that Little Africa Paris was looking to move into its own dedicated space in the Goutte d’Or neighborhood, considered the heart of the African community in Paris. The idea is to create Little Africa: A Parisian Village, a place that will host art and cultural events, as well as being a permanent space dedicated to educational tourism, and a venue to highlight Afro-entrepreneurs and artisans. Another goal of her project is to create conversions about race and identity in France, which aren’t often discussed. Jacqueline and I had a wonderful conversation about that on Instagram Live. (And I’m still completely floored by the lovely words she wrote about me on her Little Africa Travel Instagram post.)

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How One Chef Proves Vegan Cooking Is for Everyone

Anyone familiar with Bryant Terry’s work as a James Beard award–winning educator, chef, and author knows his M.O.: He’s been teaching the importance of eating whole foods, and working to create a healthful, just food system since his beginning as a gra…

Anyone familiar with Bryant Terry’s work as a James Beard award–winning educator, chef, and author knows his M.O.: He’s been teaching the importance of eating whole foods, and working to create a healthful, just food system since his beginning as a grassroots activist almost 20 years ago. Terry was inspired by how food has been used throughout history as an expression of Black agency: From the rice that African women stealthily wove in their hair before embarking on the Middle Passage; to the proliferation of watermelon as a symbol of Black freedom; to the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast for Schoolchildren, which fed children from low-income neighborhoods in the 1960s and 1970s across America.

It’s with this celebration of Black culture and foodways that Terry's new book, Vegetable Kingdom, opens. He is playful in his approach to recipes, thinking "as a collagist—curating, cutting, pasting, and remixing staple ingredients, cooking techniques, and traditional Black dishes popular throughout the world to make [my] own signature recipes.” And the diverse mix of dishes proves Terry's deftness with African, Asian, Caribbean, and American Southern flavors—Haricot Vert and Mushroom Stew, Dry Yardlong Beans with Broken Rice, and Jerk Tofu Wrapped in Collard Greens, to name a few—plus, his eagerness to fuse them in fascinating ways.

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