Hello! and welcome to Pinch Of West Africa!
My name is Richard and I have always had a love affair with food. As a child every time I saw food I would be running up and down the place with excitement! (I still do that today but with less jumping).
They called me ‘ezibanwura’ Meaning “food lover/lover of Food”. However experimenting or should I say practising to cook West African food was unintentional. My mother worked long hours and from the age of thirteen I wanted her to enjoy her favourite Ghanaian dishes when she got home from a hard day’s work. My mother’s profession before migrating to England was a professional caterer in Ghana. So you could say it runs in the blood.
Over the years I have adopted techniques in cooking West African food from my mother and started adding my own touches as I grew more confident. You may think ‘but it’s just food’ but in west Africa food preparation is a big deal – it's a way of life, it is a part of the African culture and that was evident at home growing up. I always say I have had the best of both worlds.
I was born and raised in Ghana and migrated to England when I was 12 years old. I regularly enjoyed the flavoursome Ghanaian street foods like Waakye (steamed black eye beans with rice) wrapped in a leaf with some Shito (traditional black chilli sauce), A Rich Tomato meat stew, Gari (dried cassava) and spaghetti-this is all still wrapped and served in a large banana leaf if you are wondering. ‘Sunday special’ was always traditionally Omotuo and Abenkwan (Rice Balls and Palmnut Soup) at a local spot in cape Coast, my home town. Meanwhile London hosts a metropolis of worldwide food influencers. This is where pinch of West Africa comes to play.
“Influenced by Ghana, inspired by world”
I have drawn from these inspirations growing up to start pop-up and supper club events across London. My aim is to bring West African fusion food to the masses and influence the growth of West African food. West African food or should I say African food in general lacks exposure. Maybe it has been kept a secret for far too long? Whatever it is, African food is amazing; rich in taste and texture, Diverse in spices, flavours and aroma. African food truly
belongs on the world stage and should be made more readily available to be enjoyed by everyone.