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Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen: Bringing food to the world

'I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution' - The remarkable story of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.

Zoe Adjonyoh

At Mambo we are always on the lookout for African excellence in the UK and our culinary explorations brought Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen to our attention.

This year she was considered a ‘standard bearer for West African cuisine’ in The Observer’s Rising Star list for 2017. We saw Zoe’s food mentioned on social media, saw her book in Foyles bookshop, she was at festivals and on television. Taku Mukiwa just had to hear the remarkable story of Zoe Adjonyoh and her fabulous Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.

Who is Zoe?

Zoe is from south east London and was born to a Ghanaian father and Irish mother. She’s a writer by trade who completed an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmith’s University. So how does a writer become a chef? Interestingly, Zoe insists she is not a chef in the usual ‘chef’ sort of way but is more focused on homemade favourites and traditional flavours.

In 2010, after selling her peanut butter stew from the front of her house during Hackney Wicked Arts Festival, some of her customers and friends suggested that she should cook some more. This led to a Supper Club, hosted in her living room. She sharpened her skills in Ghana in her grandmother’s kitchen and at the famous Kaneshi street market, where she met with cooks who shared their own takes on traditional recipes.

Zoe Adjonyoh lamb cutlets - credit Matthew Lee

Image credit: Matthew Lee

So what’s the all excitement about?

You may be asking what all the fuss is about if, like lots of us, she makes homemade favourites and uses traditional flavours. Now here is the deal. Zoe is bringing Ghanaian food to the masses, not just Ghanaians. As such, this is about inviting everyone to enjoy Ghanaian cuisine.

Zoe explains: ‘I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution. There is a longing to try something that is actually new, not just re-spun, and African cuisines are filling that gap. It’s the last continent of relatively unexplored food in the mainstream domain. For too long Africans have kept this incredible food a greedy secret.’

Since she started out, Zoe has travelled to festivals across Europe and taught people how to cook Ghanaian food. This is a journey we are keen to keep watching as African cuisines continue to get the attention and appreciation they deserve.

Find out more about Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

Zoe’s book, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, is available to buy on Amazon now.

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Taku works at Terrence Higgins Trust as a Health Improvement Specialist. Originally from Zimbabwe, he has a keen interest in African affairs.

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