A Taste of Foutta Djallon, a collaboration between esSense 13 & Fulani dishes, is a worldwide food tour featuring the cuisine of the Fulani people of Western Africa. Chef Binta, Chef de Cuisine and owner of Fulani Kitchen; and esSense 13, an African culinary experience company, are on a mission to raise the profile of Fulani cuisine through stories, events and experiences.
Their goal is to shine a spotlight, illuminating the stories and nuances of flavors and techniques that span regions, countries, cities and even homes.
There is no single story to African food. No lone narrative. No hallmark dish that represents the 54 kingdoms that comprise the continent. In fact, to say African food is diverse might in itself be an understatement. The risk here is that the word diverse might border on trite and may not capture the absolute depth and breadth of what food is and what it means to the endless permutation of people and traditions that make up Africa.
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What is consistently true, is that African food represents much more than nutrition. Many dishes can be traced back to an origin that tells the story of resourcefulness, struggle, boundless innovation, triumphs, conflict and love. Even still, African food is traditionally under-looked, under-appreciated and misunderstood in the western context.
The Fulani people are one of the largest and culturally diverse groups in all of Africa, spread across many countries in West, Central and Eastern Africa. The Fulani are most known for their nomadic lifestyle; and are lauded for the pride they take in herding cattle, goats and sheep, traveling from one region to the next looking for good pastures. But even there, there is no single story – the Fulani people are artisans – hand crafting baskets and mats, musicians, beauticians, entrepreneurs and more.
For the Fulani people, the way forward is the way through. And so, for the Fulani people with nomadic customs, so also is a meal not just food on a plate– it represents a moment of reprieve, of pause, of reflection and togetherness. A reminder of what truly matters in the hustle of the day whether guiding a mass of cattle through the fields or selling at a market. At every stop, they gather, commune, honoring the local context while preserving their rich culture.
For Fulani Kitchen and esSense 13, this food tour is a culmination of years of work, training, focus and dedication, yet it also honors and aims to preserve generations Fulani culture and traditions anchored around love and community. Like the Fulani people, they will move through cities, sharing the traditions, the meals and bringing people together to gather, to reflect, to connect.
The team invites you to come and experience the community, love and culture of the Fulani people as part of A Taste of Foutta Djallon. Enjoy vibrant seasonal dishes inspired by Fulani roots, using gourmet techniques. Intimate conversations, cooking classes, family style dining and a traditional ‘Dine on a Mat’ experience are included in this tour which will take place in New York City, Washington, D.C, Toronto.
The N. America leg of the tour is being held in partnership with Yolélé Fonio, Bosuo Global, Ginjan Bros, Inc., Amatte Coffee, Black Foodie Co, Taco Africana, The Kscope and Tastemakers Africa.
Written by Utibe Bassey, Founder, Sense & Soul CX