I founded Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen in July 2010 with the intention start an African food revolution by bringing ‘African food’ to the masses.
I wanted to change the narrative around ‘African food’ and dispel stereotypes and limiting beliefs of what ‘African’ or ‘West African’ food was and could be.
I’ve spent 10 years realising this in a very literal way – through supperclubs, kitchen residencies, mobile catering, a restaurant space in Brixton and my highly successful cookbook Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. Through building a new narrative I have inspired and supported a new generation of African food entrepreneurs and – along with a good number of cooks and chefs from around the continent and in the diaspora – have helped establish a new gastronomy, New African Cuisine. I am proud of my contribution, and there is still more to do.
I work at the intersection of food, culture, identity and politics and I have been driven by the need to create space for change in the food landscape. I still hope for an equal balance in the representation of global cuisines on the high street and in supermarkets. I had been working to push African cuisine into the mainstream so that Jollof is as readily desirable and available as ‘curry’ is in the minds of diners and we are getting there… Africa remains the final frontier in relatively unexplored gastronomy for me and I continue to push innovation in this area through my R&D Consultancy & Private Dining Concept Sankofa.
That said – this queer black woman is turning a new page and expanding the mission!
Since COVID-19 pretty much wiped out the catering and streetfood side of what we do at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, it has helped push me towards an idea that has been gestating for a number of years. I have been evaluating our work, our product offerings and thinking about our community’s needs. I have made the decision to focus on helping people take back control of the ingredients used in their food and reimagine ‘healthy eating’ through an African lens.
I am now focussed on educating our fans, followers and clients on how to get great taste and flavour from the active healthy ingredients available from the African continent while also de-colonising the farming and agriculture systems that produce them. It’s an old story being re-told again – Large Multi National (white owned and led) have been busily buying up land and crops of these ‘superfoods’ and delicious ingredients to the cost of local farmers and exporters – we want to be part of the solution here and encourage our customers to buy the spices and ingredients I promote from Black owned businesses and African farmers and producers directly so that the wealth goes back to Africa.
As a mixed-race, Black lesbian from a working class immigrant background I sit at a number of marginalised intersections and therefore want to support and care for these communities as a priority. As we grow at-least 50% of our workforce will be from marginalised communities and vulnerable people at a London living wage or better and we will tithe 10% of our profits from the online shop to organisations supporting causes we all care about such as BLM.
Through highlighting the incredibly tasty and actively healthy ingredients Africa has to offer, we can build equitable supply chains and increase the wealth of the producers who work so hard to deliver such great flavours. We will be decolonising the ingredients and spices from the continent in order to bring you the taste trip you deserve.
I aspire to the standards and example of Diaspora Co who have created the perfect model based on Indian Spices and one I wish to replicate and inspire for African spices, ingredients, agriculture and farming. Thank you Sana Javeri Kadri for your vision and inspiration.
This is a new journey and it’s a new direction for us – please bear with us in the first few months as it’s just myself and my wife Sara making, packing and shipping until we get investment to grow
Over the next ten years we will be working directly with farmers and producers on the continent to source the freshest, heirloom and single-origin spices and ingredients that will bring BIG flavours and through my original recipes and suggested applications and my specialised house blends, bring an easy culinary flair to your kitchen and cooking.
I believe your wealth is your health; join me in dismantling, disrupting and decolonising food systems one ingredient and one recipe at a time while supporting marginalised communities and building a more equitable food system.
“The future of food is led by BIPOC, is equitable AF and decolonising every step of the way. Get on board.”
Everything we do is led by love, joy, bliss and harmony, which will be felt in every order you receive.
Love and light