On Our Shelves Now
Experience the vibrant cuisines of West Africa any night of the week with 80 easy, accessible recipes
“Chef Pierre Thiam offers an entry point into the cooking of a region that has been ignored by the mainstream food culture for way too long.”—Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian and author of High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
A BEST COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Epicurious, Smithsonian
This is West African food for every kitchen, a generous, warm welcome to its delicious, irresistible culinary mainstays and rhythms. If you already cook with ingredients like hearty greens, yams, black-eyed peas, and okra, or have enjoyed Southern staples like jambalaya and gumbo, you have tasted the deep culinary influences of this interconnected region that spans Senegal, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, and more.
Now, in Simply West African, celebrated chef and West African cooking authority Pierre Thiam unlocks the region’s essential tastes for the everyday home cook. With helpful tips and tricks that teach readers the basics of the cuisine, Pierre shows how seamlessly these flavorful, easy-to-execute dishes can become weeknight staples or the star of your table for weekend gatherings. Introduce family and friends to:
· Familiar dishes with a distinctly West African vibe: Chicken Yassa Tacos; Saucy Shrimp and Fonio Grits; Maman’s Crispy Herb-Crusted Chicken; Blackened Salmon with Moyo Sauce
· One-pot crowd pleasers: Root Vegetable Mafe; Chicken Stew with Eggplant; Tomato, and Ginger; Braised Beef and Collard Greens
· Hearty vegetables and starchy soak-em-ups: Roasted Eggplant in Peanut Sauce; Double Coconut Rice and Peas; Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Mash
With this book, you too will fill your kitchen with the comforting, irresistible flavors and beautiful spirit of West Africa.
About the Author
Chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Pierre Thiam was raised in Dakar, Senegal. He is the executive chef of the award-winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria and the Signature Chef of the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal as well as the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, in New York City. He lives in El Cerrito, California with his wife Lisa, their daughter Na’ia, and dog Malcolm. Lisa Katayama is a Tokyo-born writer who has been featured in Wired and The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan.
“Chef Pierre has a tender and intimate relationship with West African food that he shares with others generously. His passion seeps into his creations in such a way that when you take a bite of his food, that passion transfuses into you. While cooking is an art with a complex language, Chef Pierre has translated it simply in his new book, Simply West African. Now, we all get to generate that passion for ourselves. His recipe book is as welcoming as Senegal itself!”—Lupita Nyong’o
“A sprawling work of adoration for the cooking and cultures of West Africa condensed into 80 recipes that feel both accessible and penetratingly sincere. . . . The book’s wealth of information is an achievement in itself. But its greatest success lies in its constant reminders that no matter how far removed from the rest of the globe your kitchen may be, you’re never truly far from a new world of inspiration.”—Eater, “16 Best Cookbooks of Fall”
“Every American owes it to themselves to become acquainted with the cookery of those who were tasked with not only building this country but contributing mightily to its most exalted cooking—Southern cuisine. Start to understand your true American culinary history by beginning with this beautiful book.”—Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota chef and founder of the Sioux Chef, NATIFS, Indigenous Food Lab, Owamni by the Sioux chef, and the BIPOC Foodways Alliance
“I’m honored to celebrate this new work that explores how simple it is to incorporate West African flavors into everyday home cooking as many of these components have influenced global cuisines.”—Marcus Samuelsson, chef, author, and restaurateur
“Chef Pierre beautifully presents the diaspora in totality here. Not only does he showcase its rich cuisine but he shows us that these imaginary lines that border us weren’t here that long ago. You should have this book in your repertoire.”—Kwame Onwuachi, chef, author, and restaurateur
“Pierre shows off the vibrancy of West African cuisine in an approachable way that demystifies West African spices, ingredients, and techniques to make delicious wholesome food. This book has so much heart.”—Maneet Chauhan, chef, restaurateur, author, and TV personality
“Thank you, Pierre, for sharing your generous storytelling and wonderful recipes with the world.”—Mashama Bailey, chef and cofounder of Grey Spaces
“Pierre Thiam has created a culinary language and narrative, translating his exciting cultural history into a potpourri of heritage and flavors for the modern table. This book is a gift to the world.”—Alexander Smalls, James Beard Award–winning chef, restaurateur, author, activist, and owner of Alkebulan, Dubai
“Cookbooks have been evolving to touch on a variety of subject matters like the environment, farming, and cultural authenticity. In Simply West African, Pierre fully leans into the power of food to address some of the most perplexing issues of our time—and then uses simple deliciousness to unite us through a ‘radically inclusive, perpetual cycle of joy.’ How divine!”—Michel Nischan, chef, author, and Food Equity Advocate