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I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution. There is a longing to try something that is actually new, not just re-spun, and African cuisines are filling that gap. It's the last continent of relatively unexplored food in the mainstream domain. For too long Africans have kept this incredible food a greedy secret.
Since childhood I've been having a love affair with food from across Africa. My Ghanaian father used to bring home strange and exotic ingredients such as Kenkey, Shito, Tilapia, Smoked fishes of all varieties and he would cook them - mostly for himself, to get that comforting taste of home. I used to hang around him in the kitchen, quizzing him on the names of the ingredients and where they were from, picking from his plate. Partly to connect with him, partly I realised over time, cooking and eating Ghanaian food was a way for me to connect with his home too. Without any extended Ghanaian family in London this part of my mixed heritage (my mother is Irish) was foreign to me. Food was my entry point to exploring this side of my identity and I fell in love with Dad's version of Groundnut Soup - which later became my Peanut Butter Stew, now a signature dish on my menu.
All my life I've cooked this dish when I needed nourishment, comfort and a taste of home - also cooking it for friends who would continuously pester "when are you going to cook that peanut butter stew again?" This passion for cooking for people and sharing the flavours of Ghana led to the creation of the West African food adventure which has become Zoe's Ghana Kitchen.
Since 2010 I've established a successful casual dining restaurant, a busy Streetfood & Event Catering business and I have been lucky enough to write a cookbook of traditional recipes I have re-mixed for the modern kitchen, enabling more people than ever to join the African food adventure with me and explore flavours from Ghana in a way they can incorporate into every day cooking. My mission has been to enable as many people as possible to have access to this amazing food and culture and I hope you find this cookbook delivers that opportunity.
From Pan-roasted Cod with Grains of Paradise and Nkruma (Okra) Tempura to Coconut & Cassava Cake and Cubeb Spiced Shortbread, this is contemporary African food for simply everyone. If you're already familiar with good home-cooked Ghanaian food, you'll find new ways to incorporate typical flavours - such as plenty of fresh fish and seafood, hearty salads and spices with a kick. If you're new to it, you'll no doubt be surprised and delighted at the relative ease of cooking these tempting dishes. Most of the ingredients are easy to come by at supermarkets or local shops, and the recipes are super flexible - you can take the basic principles and adapt them easily to what you have available in your cupboard or fridge. Zoe's Ghana Kitchen will help you bring something truly exciting and flavour-packed to the kitchen. Get ready to be a part of bringing African food to the masses.