Chef and Restauratuer Pierre Thiam

Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam
Photo credit: Evan Sung

Chef and Restaurateur Pierre Thiam

Chef Pierre is known around the world for his work in championing West African ingredients and cuisines as well as introducing the ancient grain fonio to Western palates. 

Guest host Madalena Pedro Miala is joining Diaspora Food Stories for this special episode with world renown chef Pierre Thiam. Born and raised in Senegal, watching his mom go to the market every day for fresh fruits and vegetables was simply a part of life. His mom was also his first culinary teaching sharing all she could about Senegalese cuisine.

When look back at this journey into the kitchen, surprisingly he says, “I stumbled into the kitchen. It was never a plan. I studied physics and chemistry when I left Senegal. I was studying physics and chemistry at Dakar University and then left because the school was closed. They year we had some student movements that led the government to shut the university down.” He later got a student visa to attend school in Cleveland, Ohio and on the way there, what should have been a stop over in New York, turned into his final stop. This is where his culinary journey began.

Today, Chef Pierre is restauratuer, fierce advocate of African culture and foodways and author of more than 3 cookbooks. He recently released his latest, “Simply West African” which continues to introduce the world to the amazing flavors and depth of West African cuisine.

If you are not familiar with Chef Pierre’s story, you’re in for an amazing conversation. Afterwards, be sure to connect with him on Instagram and TikTok.

This conversation is also available in French.

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