Regenerating the Sahel and Rediscovering Forgotten Foods, with Chef Pierre Thiam

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In this episode, Chef Pierre Thiam takes us on a journey from a boy growing up in coastal Senegal dreaming of becoming a scientist to a young man, who finds himself in downtown Manhattan in the early 90’s. As his story unfolds, we see how sometimes “the fates” have a way of putting us on a path that is very different to what we had envisioned.

Chef Pierre’s story is fascinating and he shares how these experiences shaped his world view today. He is now a restaurateur and co-founder of Yolele foods, a food brand that brings us the flavors of west Africa and the superfood grain Fonio. We learn how this ancient, superfood grain has been overlooked and almost even forgotten in the urban areas of West Africa following the adoption of French influenced, colonial food systems. Chef Pierre explains the cultural significance of Fonio as well as its incredible nutritional profile and agricultural impact potential. Fonio is called the "seed of the universe" by the Dogon people of Mali, try it and you will see why!

Building a new category involves developing all the parts in the middle (harvesting and processing) for this new ingredient to scale. Chef Pierre describes the leading-edge innovation and advancements in manufacturing that he and his team has made to bring this new grain to global markets. These advancements are a "big deal" in the world of climate-impact small cereals and nutrition. His brand Yolele foods is making a big impact on the global palate and awareness about climate-impact, superfood grains.

Pierre tells us about his upbringing and how he was raised with the understanding of regeneration. This included a culture of eating seasonally and understanding how crops need to be planted together to help eachother grow and to combat the advancement of the Sahara desert. He invites us to think about our food in a new way.

Join us on this heartfelt recording that will have you on the edge of your seat hearing about those early days in the kitchens of NYC to his explorations of the rural deserts of the Sahel. You will feel Pierre’s sincere passion for impacting the people and the land of his youth.

Join us on this heartfelt recording that which will have you on the edge of your seat hearing about those early days in the kitchens of NYC to his explorations of the rural deserts of the Sahel. You you will feel Pierre’s sincere passion for impacting the people and the land of his youth.

Learn more about Yolélé,

https://yolele.com/

https://www.instagram.com/yolelefoods/?hl=en

Lear more about Chef Pierre:

https://www.pierrethiam.com/

https://twitter.com/chefpierrethiam

TED Talk with Chef Pierre: https://youtu.be/yjtCDgjxRAw

29 episodes