African Flavors Lab

We had another special Friday afternoon lab for the Natural Epicurean students and this time it involved African recipes and flavors. I don’t think anyone realized just how much we would enjoy the food, which is saying a lot because a few of us already had a very positive view of African food. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a cuisine that I had ever attempted cooking (okay, I did once, but it was during the development of this very lab) so I was appreciative of the chance to do this. One of my classmates, Todd Heyman, with whom I also cook once a week, was the driving force behind setting up this lab in partnership with Chef Rosa, one of our main instructors. They worked together to test and perfect the recipes that we ended up cooking.

African food, based on my very limited exposure, makes heavy use of garlic, ginger, lentils, root vegetables and tubers such as sweet potatoes and cassava, and greens. The food is aromatic and delicious with bold flavors that are reminiscent of India and even Italy.

Below: A bean salad (below) and a cassava mash (top).

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