As I leave Africa, I am still in a reflective mood – the smell of grilled maize; a freshly lit charcoal stove; the pungent smell of fish drying in the baking sun; meat skewers from a roadside stall; the sticky skins of a perfectly ripe mango or the salty and the spicy perfection of berbere pepper. These sights, smells and tastes are all synonymous with my version of Africa.
Alongside the physical food experiences, there are some bloggers and projects I have also discovered over the last year. These are people who are sharing their love for African food and the rich and interesting food cultures from across the continent. They’re helping to get African food and cooks on the map and it’s thanks to people like them that Afro-fusion cooking is tipped to be the next big food trend.
My favourite blogger from the past year is Sophie from ‘A Kitchen in Uganda’. Sophie posts weekly recipes that are inspired by her Ugandan roots. They’re especially good because they use a good balance of African ingredients that are easy to get your hands on. The post that best encapsulates her blog is the rolex, a classic Ugandan street snack that has been remixed to heighten the amazing food from the country.
It’s safe to say that Nigerian and West African food is having a moment right now. Look up ‘African food’ on most social media platforms and the majority of the results will be Nigerian food and the never-ending #JollofWars between Nigeria and Ghana on who does it best. Ozoz’s blog is refreshingly different and informative. Not only does she share recipes, but there’s some really interesting stuff about the history and culture of Nigerian food, her blog on the origins of stockfish being one.
Dieuveil is a Congolese chef who is trying to show the culinary world that Afro-fusion food can be fine dining, and the chefs from within the continent are world class too. He has set-up academies to train young African chefs and he also promotes high-end restaurants. The website has a blog featuring recipes from different chefs and also a database of top quality restaurants from across the continent.
Hands down the coolest website on this list, Eden is ‘on a mission to expose the world to the amazing food and cuisine that comes from the African diaspora’. She’s a lover of berbere spice (I hear ya!) and there’s lots about Ethiopian food, like this one on the history of buna coffee. Her Instagram account is pretty cool too.
Maria is a photographer who has been travelling through Africa collecting 50 stories and recipes from across the continent. In her words, the recipes are from normal people prepared in the privacy of their own kitchens. I like it because the essence is very similar to what ‘People I Meet and Food They Eat’ is about. Her Instagram is also good.