Fatama Binta, a Sierra Leonean chef based in Accra, Ghana, was adjudged winner of the ‘Rising Star Award’, at The Best Chef Awards 2021, which was held on September 15, 2021, in Amsterdam.
Chef Binta was given this award in recognition of her talent and progress in the world of gastronomy.
‘The Best Chef’ is a vibrant world community of passionate food lovers; and a project dedicated to celebrating the talented chefs that create the best food experiences around the world, as well as being a global family of like-minded individuals that share culinary experiences.
Chef Binta after receiving the award dedicated it to all Africans including African-based chefs.
“This is for Africa, this is for West Africa, this for Sierra Leone – where I come from, this is for Ghana for hosting me, this is for Guinea Conakry – my ancestral home where my family is from for inspiring me, and this is for all the chefs in Africa,” she said.
Born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to first-generation Sierra Leonean Fulanis of Guinean descent, Binta self describes herself as a modern nomadic chef.
She has travelled to several continents and has been fortunate to work with many renowned African chefs. She is currently based in Accra, Ghana, where she is building a rich culinary experience through her Fulani traditional dining pop-ups.
Her vision is to promote Fulani culture through food, bring people closer and promote African cuisine to the world.
At Fulani Kitchen, she combines her nomadic Fulani roots, classical training and love for rural life and nature. Her dishes and pop up diners are authentic, modern and environmentally engaged.
Binta has her roots in Fulani culture – a group of people that stretch across borders and cover the width of the African continent.
She has spent years studying the cultural history of food, spices and agricultural products from West Africa, including millet, dawadawa and fonio.
These ingredients form part of the region’s identity and have a history that connects not just to the culture of its inhabitants, but to migration and trade with other parts of the continent.
Fonio is of particular interest to Binta. This ancient grain not only tethers the plate to a geographic location but will also forms the foundation block for Fulani Kitchen’s menus.
By creating a traditional setting, sharing various aspects of Fulani culture and serving ancient grains, indigenous spices and other exciting West-African ingredients in an interactive way, Binta triggers all senses and takes her customers to an extraordinary world.
Chef Binta, draws on her heritage for inspiration. “Community is very important as food goes from farm to the mat, where people eat the food, and that means a lot,” she told The Best Chef.
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