The Contemporary African Kitchen: Home Cooking Recipes from the Leading Chefs of AfricaAlexander Smalls with Nina Oduro

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Experience Africa’s vibrant food culture with 120 recipes from the continent’s most exciting culinary voices

Meet the culinarians who are setting the new African table. James Beard Award-winning author Alexander Smalls presents a vibrant library of home cooking recipes and texts contributed by 33 chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, cooks, and writers at the heart of Africa’s food movement.

Organized geographically into five regions, The Contemporary African Kitchen presents 120 warm and delicious dishes, each beautifully photographed and brought to life through historical notes, personal anecdotes, and serving suggestions.

Home cooks will discover a bounty of diverse, delicious dishes ranging from beloved classics to newer creations, all rooted in a shared language of ingredients, spices, and cooking traditions. Learn to make Northern Africa’s famed couscous and grilled meats; Eastern Africa’s aromatic curries; Central Africa’s Peanut Sauce Stew and Cocoyam Dumplings; Southern Africa’s fresh seafood and street food; and Western Africa’s renowned Chicken Yassa.

With text contributions from experts including Pierre Thiam, Selassie Atadika, Anto Cocagne, Coco Reinarhz, and Michael Adé Elégbèdé, the essay and recipe contributors to this ground-breaking survey are at the heart of the food movement of Africa, making it an essential addition to every cook and food lover’s library.

Inviting, instructive, accessible, and exciting, The Contemporary African Kitchen brings the conversation about Africa’s cuisine into homes around the world.

Chefs and countries featured: Zein Abdallah (Uganda); Agatha Achindu (Cameroon); Eric Adjepong (Ghana); Ikenna Akwuebue Bobmanuel (Nigeria); Clara Kapelembe Bwali (Zambia); Akram Cherif (Tunisia); Agness Colley (Togo);  Moustafa Elrefaey (Egypt); Arnaud Gwaga (Burundi); Mohamed Kamal (Egypt); Kudakwashe Makoni (Zimbabwe); Dieuveil Malonga (Republic of Congo); O’miel Moundounga (Gabon); Mwaka Mwiimbu (Zambia); Joseph Odoom (Ghana); Forster Oben Oru (Cameroon); Thabo Phake (South Africa); Mostafa Seif (Egypt); Mogau Seshoene (South Africa); Sifo Sinoyolo (South Africa); Mame Sow (Senegal); Sophia Teshome (Ethiopia); Pierre Thiam (Senegal); Roze Traore (Côte d’Ivoire); Matse Uwatse (Nigeria); Alfonso Videira (Angola); Nana Araba Wilmot (Ghana); Rubia Zablon (Kenya).


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 270 × 205 mm (10 5/8 × 8 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 288 pp
  • Illustrations: 120 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838668457

Alexander Smalls is a James Beard Award-winning chef, author, and restaurateur. He was the co-owner of Harlem restaurants The Cecil and Minton’s, and the founder of the world’s first African food hall, Alkebulan in Dubai, which showcases the food and culture of Africa. He is also a world-renowned opera singer and the winner of both a Grammy and Tony Award. He lives in New York City.

Nina Oduro is an entrepreneur, writer, and inclusion strategist. As co-founder and CEO of Dine Diaspora, she connects people and brands to African diaspora food culture. She was named a 2020 Change-maker in Washington, D.C.’s Food System by Washington City Paper, and ‘Top 30 under 30’ honoree by Future of Ghana.

Praise for Alexander Smalls:

‘Smalls throws some of the city’s most mythologized dinner parties, positioning him as a grandfather of New York’s Black culture.’ – Eater

‘Over a career in food surpassing 25 years, Smalls has garnered accolades and a loyal following for his genre-defining (and -defying) restaurants and cookbooks.’ – Food & Wine