The list of 10 participating establishments includes La Caye, a Brooklyn-based Haitian restaurant
Feet in 2 Worlds reports on the first New York African Restaurant Week
NEW YORK, NY – The Senegalese street vendors who once crowded 125th Street in Manhattan can no longer be found on the main thoroughfare. But along a nearby commercial strip, in the heart of what is now known as Little Senegal, West
African restaurants have moved in. Restaurants such as Les Ambassades and African Kine serve loyal African patrons, as well as a diverse clientele from across the city.
In Brooklyn, established restaurants including Jollof – named for the distinctive Senegalese yellow rice dish—offer menus inspired by West Africa’s culinary heritage. The restaurant, located in Bedford- Stuyvesant maintains a steady business serving Muslim, West African, and African-American patrons as well as curious newcomers to this traditionally black, working class neighborhood.
For the podcast and full story, visit Feet in 2 Worlds.
This year, Akinsanya decided to launch the city’s first New York African Restaurant Week, a “Food, Wine, Music, Dance, Networking” series scheduled for October 13 – 20 that seeks to raise the profile of African cuisine and culture in the city. A culinary festival was chosen, he said, because he had worked with some of New York’s most
renowned chefs and caterers, and felt that the theme of food would resonate in a city as diverse as New York.
During the week, diners can take advantage of special, discounted prix fix menus at eight participating restaurants. Because many New Yorkers are unfamiliar with African food, the promoters also promise a schedule of networking events complete with celebrity African DJ’s, book readings, wine and food tastings and dance performances.
Akinsanya’s company, Panla, started as an online African supermarket and began to incorporate catering events. Today, the company continues to “do anything related to Africa,” he explained.
“How do we make our food? It’s part of the logical narrative of culture, community. That’s why I’m really excited about pushing our food, culinary arts,” said Akinsanya.
• Africa & Food on Wednesday, October 16, from 6PM until 10:30PM, at LeSouk Harem (http://www.lesoukny.com/
• African Food and Wine meets Brooklyn on Thursday, October 17, from 5PM until 10PM at Bedvyne (http://www.bed-
• African Cuisine & Culture Party on Friday, October 18, from 10PM until 2AM, at Buka located at: 945 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY;
• A Taste of Senegal on Saturday, October 19, from 2PM until 7PM, at Jollof (http://www.joloffjoloff.com)
• Pan-African Literature Salon, a reading event featuring three renowned African and Haitian literary authors, on Sunday, October 20, from 4PM until 7PM, at La Caye (http://www.lacayebk.com)