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A mother is a treasure, more precious than gold...for love shared is Priceless and never grows old.             


- Author Unkown

Mother’s Day is May 10th and your plans for the day may have been thwarted due to current COVID-19 related circumstances. We would like to help by providing you with access to a unique gift of “A Taste of Senegal.” We have selected a few videos of our friend, Senegalese Chef, Cookbook Author, Restaurateur, Pierre Thiam preparing a few of his delicious dishes (from a simple salad to more complex dishes). Below you will learn of his journey from Senegal to the U.S. and learn how to prepare a delicious Senegalese dish. His presentation is wrapped in a cultural and historical context of Senegal and other West African countries.

This meal preparation may be an activity the family may want to prepare together for mom or with mom. If you cannot be with your mother due to social distancing regulations we still invite you to participate by preparing a dish as a special treat for yourself. However, another option for social distancing with food is sharing this experience via Zoom with those you cannot celebrate with! Either way, I think you will enjoy this taste of Senegal and this unique Mother’s Day celebration.


Should you desire to explore other recipes of Chef Thiam, his 2 other cookbooks, “Yolele! Recipes From the Heart of Senegal,” and “Senegal – Modern Senegalese Recipes,” are available for purchase online. 


Chef  Pierre Thiam

Chef, Restaurant Owner, and Cookbook Author

born in Dakar. He has climbed the culinary ladder from the ground up.

By 2001 he opened his first restaurant, Yolele, a visionary African bistro in Brooklyn. His second one followed three years later.


The author of two groundbreaking cookbooks, his first, Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal, was a nominated finalist of the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award and a Special Jury Award Winner at The Gourmand World Cookbook in Paris, France. It is currently featured in the Cultural Expressions section at the Smithsonian’s New Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).


His second book, SENEGAL: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl was a finalist for the James Beard award for Best International Cookbook.

Thiam has been featured on numerous TV programs including Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, CNN's Inside Africa and the Food Network's Iron Chef.

He has also spoken on various prominent radio shows including NPR’s "Leonard Lopate Show", “The Splendid Table” and "Here and Now" as well as Martha Stewart Living Radio. His life, career and contribution to African cooking has also been highlighted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, The Village Voice, Boston Globe, Saveur Magazine, Essence Magazine and many others.

He is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Teranga at The Africa Center in New York, the Executive Chef of Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Signature Chef of Teranga Lounge at the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal.

His website Yolélé is changing conditions for rural West African smallholder farmers. Thiam's primary purpose with Yolélé is to invest in rural West African communities because, for many, the pathway out of extreme poverty is challenging. They are creating an export market for ingredients grown by rural West Africans and removing the obstacles that stand between those smallholder farmers and an American market that’s hungry for new and exciting sources of nutrition.

How do you cook Senegalese dishes? 

Chef Pierre Thiam's Recipes 

Chef Pierre Thiam has provided several dishes, for all times of the day, that you can prepare at home with the ancient grain Fonio. Below you will find the link to the recipes. 

While you are trying out some of the delicious recipes we hope that you will share with us what you have made via facebook, instagram, or email.


Let's Get Cooking!

(c) All photos used above are courtesy of Chef Pierre Thiam

Record Your Recipe!

Below you can download our free blank recipe card to write down your recipe from the workshop, or use it to write down family recipes. We are giving this to our museum family as something to remember their virtual workshop. 

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