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Africa’s Culinary Diaspora in the Americas

Follow that food! See how African foodways, culture, and ingredients have dispersed throughout America and into today’s kitchen.

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Overview

In Africa’s Culinary Diaspora in the Americas, embark on a culinary journey with The Culinary Institute of America’s Alumni Network that will introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) you to the foods of the African-Atlantic world. Over the span of nine virtual lessons, explore the tastes, recipes, cooking techniques, and food history of places like Senegal, Ethiopia, Cuba, Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti, and the American South.

About

Multiple Chefs for The Culinary Institute of America

The CIA has always been on the forefront of everything to do with food.

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education since its founding in 1946. With campuses in New York, California, and Texas, and an additional location in Singapore, the CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in applied food studies, culinary science, food business management, and hospitality management; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; executive education; certificate programs; and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. In addition, CIA conferences and consulting services have made them the think tank of the food industry.

By This Expert

Africa’s Culinary Diaspora in the Americas
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Africa’s Culinary Diaspora in the Americas

Trailer

Culinary Connections from Africa to the Americas

01: Culinary Connections from Africa to the Americas

Dr. Jessica B. Harris kicks off this series with an overview of the diaspora of African cuisine in the Americas. You’ll be introduced to the spices, chilis, and hot sauces that became synonymous with Creole dishes, as well as cooking techniques and recipes that have traditionally been considered thoroughly “American,” like Philadelphia’s Pepper Pot.

42 min
On the Continent: West Africa

02: On the Continent: West Africa

Chef, author, and social activist Chef Pierre Thiam focuses on the cuisines of West Africa, and particularly Senegal. You’ll be introduced to grains such as rice, millet, fonio, and sorghum. You’ll also learn how proteins, including chicken and fish, are mixed with flavor profiles from sweet potato, yuca, plantain, and pumpkin.

33 min
Staples of Culture: Exploring Fufu and Injera

03: Staples of Culture: Exploring Fufu and Injera

Join self-described food nerd Peter J. Kim and two special guests on a culinary journey that covers two staples found in many culinary cultures throughout Africa: fufu, a dough-like mash of boiled cassava and other starchy foods, and injera, a fermented flatbread made from only teff flour and water.

41 min
Continuities and Transformations: Latin America

04: Continuities and Transformations: Latin America

Dr. Maricel Presilla, an award-winning author, culinary historian, chef, and restauranteur, takes you on a tour of Latin America to show you the influence of the African diaspora on Latin American food and culture. You’ll cover delightful dishes including Colombian-style rice with pumpkin, Cuban green plantain mash, and Costa Rican hibiscus wine.

29 min
Sacred and Secular: Afro-Brazilian Cuisine

05: Sacred and Secular: Afro-Brazilian Cuisine

Many of the African traditions regarding food preparation for the gods manifest in Brazilian cuisine. In this lesson, Dr. Scott Alves Barton gives you a broad historical overview of Brazil and the African diaspora, before diving into the country’s sacred and secular foodways—and the dishes they embody.

30 min
The Spanish-Speaking Caribbean

06: The Spanish-Speaking Caribbean

Join journalist and storyteller Von Diaz on an adventure through the tastes and traditions of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. You’ll focus on shared cooking techniques indebted to enslaved Africans in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, including fritando (deep frying) and guisando (stewing).

30 min
Jamaica, Haiti, and the French-Speaking Caribbean

07: Jamaica, Haiti, and the French-Speaking Caribbean

Chef Devon Francis invites you to learn about everything from how roast pork relates to the Maroons of Jamaican culture to the connections between rum cake and colonization. Then, Chef Stefan Duran guides you through the incredible variety of Haitian gastronomy, including the northern region’s iconic cashew chicken dish and breadfruit croquettes.

28 min
Overview of the Antebellum South

08: Overview of the Antebellum South

After an overview of the Antebellum South period in America, Chef Kevin Mitchell offers a chef’s point of view on specific ingredients from the great culinary heritage of this region and time in US history. You’ll explore African peppers, African runner peanuts (for Virginia peanut soup), and the most important ingredient: rice.

29 min
Postbellum South and the Great Migration

09: Postbellum South and the Great Migration

What foodways spread into the northern parts of the United States in the decades after the Civil War? Join Chef Thérèse Nelson on a journey from Reconstruction to the Great Migration to the era of prohibition. You’ll see how Black chefs, farmers, and bartenders helped shape everything from box lunches to craft cocktails.

28 min