About Me

My vision for this website is one of a virtual cafe allowing us the opportunity to exchange ideas and information surrounding the influence of Africa on food, culture, history and art. Your travel experiences, recipes, book recommendations, restaurant recommendations, etc. are all welcome.

542While I grew up in a working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; I’ve had the opportunity to meet and make friends with folks from all over the world. My travels have taken me to France, Spain, North and West Africa, several Caribbean Islands; the southeast US cities of Savannah, New Orleans, Charleston, Miami and so on. What I’ve discovered over time is a similarity among so many foods that I love to prepare and eat.  The common thread…MAMA AFRICA.

1065                          491

The food ways and flavors of North Africa, the Middle East, and Mediterranean countries have intertwined to make some of the most flavorful and sophisticated cuisines on the planet.  Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, to name a few of the countries in South America, share food traditions and flavors as well that bear witness to the influence of Africa.

My food education started with my mother-in-law from Puerto Rico.  Sitting in her kitchen for hours, watching her prepare delicious meals, was the beginning of my introduction to Caribbean cuisine. Later, I met my now dear friend, who introduced me to the flavors and spices of north and east Africa and a few Middle Eastern countries as well. My recipes are from friends, family members, my cookbook collection as well as my own creations.  My daughter-in-law from Zambia, my son-in-law’s Liberian family, and my nephew’s wife from Panama have all contributed to the further expansion of my food experiences.

2127        959

Cooking; preparing and sharing delicious food with family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues has created the community that connects me to the world.  It allows me to re-live the pleasure I experienced as I traveled…the people, the culture, the smells and the tastes.  Cooking allows me to bring to life the flavors and fragrances of the places I have yet to experience first hand.

Let me hear from you and share your experiences and your recipes with me and your fellow readers.

Thank you for visiting my website.  I hope to hear from you.

Denise