Episode 123
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Zoe Adjonyoh on African cuisines, pop-up dinners, and her debut cookbook

"I always want to know that when I'm looking at a book that the person whose name is on the front has had a good amount of time involved in making it. I feel like you can tell when somebody's in the book and when they're not in the book‚ÄĒ

This week, we're excited to welcome Zoe Adjonyoh to Salt + Spine, the podcast on stories behind cookbooks.

Zoe Adjonyoh is the chef and founder of Zoe‚Äôs Ghana Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant/supper club that‚Äôs taken place in various places around the world‚ÄĒfrom London, where Zoe lives, to Berlin and New York. Zoe‚Äôs Ghana Kitchen has grown into a distributor of African ingredients and spices.

In 2014, Zoe gathered her work as a writer and chef together, bringing recipes from her experiences in Ghana and running her supper club together in her debut cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. The book was recently re-issued and adapted for an American audience.

Zoe’s well-received pop-up first started out as a way to fund her masters in writing from Goldsmiths, University of London, but the supper club took of and ultimately helped inspire her to find more exciting recipes and to learn more about Ghanaian cuisine that she was cooking. In 2014, Zoe visited Ghana where she set out to learn more about the local cuisine and the ingredients that inspire it. While there, she found the recipes and stories that later came to make up her cookbook and deepened her knowledge of Ghanaian food and culinary traditions.

Zoe includes soundtracks with her recipes to invoke a sense of place and flesh out the experience of Ghanaian cuisine. The book includes an extensive guide to ingredients, educating readers about the spices and flavors that are central to Ghanaian food. From cover to cover, the cookbook is filled with colorful pictures of mouthwatering dishes and insightful tips scrawled on each recipe. The book, as Zoe says, is an invitation to learn more about Ghanaian food and to bring the ingredients of West Africa into our day-to-day cooking.

Zoe joined us remotely for this week’s show to #TalkCookbooks, including our signature culinary game.

VOICES featured in this episode:

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Episode Transcript: