A Taste of Senegal

Chef Pierre Thiam

On October 27th 2016, the greater University of Massachusetts Dartmouth community will be treated to a taste of Senegal.  At 6:30 PM, at Plate by Plate at the University Campus Center, the celebrated chef, restaurateur and cookbook author , Pierre Thiam, will be making his mango fonio salad for the audience to savor.  The event sponsored by the Boivin Center for French Language and Culture will also feature an elaborate and copious hors d’oeuvres reception  which will highlight six of Chef Thiam’s recipes including coconut rice pudding, beef suya, black-eyed pea fritters, salmon and cassava croquettes with tamarind glaze, spicy fried plantain and baked pastel with mackerel.

Pierre Thiam was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal.  When the government shut down the universities in his country, Pierre secured a student visa to continue his study of chemistry in Ohio.  On his way to school, he stopped in New York to visit a friend.  Three days later, his hotel room was robbed.  He faced two choices-return to Senegal or try to support himself in the United States.  He chose the latter. His first job was in a restaurant which reawakened his love of cooking first fostered by a French cookbook that his mother often experimented with when he was a child. He worked his way up the restaurant business eventually opening and running two very successful restaurants in Brooklyn, New York.  Yolele and Le Grand Dakar not only served Senegalese food but also became a source of introducing the community to Senegalese culture. He currently operates Pierre Thiam Catering and serves as a consultant to several New York Restaurants.

In 2010, Chef Thiam wrote Yolele:  Recipes from the Heart of Senegal.  This is the first Senegalese cookbook written in English.  That year, it was awarded the Jury Award at the Paris Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  This year, he published Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Pierre has also appeared on Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, the Martha Stewart Show and most recently on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

Tickets for this event are $50 and includes two beverages of your choice.  Space is limited.  Make your reservations by contacting Maria Sanguinetti at 508-991-5096 or by e-mailing her at msanguinetti@umassd.edu.  Reservations need to be made befor October 20th. Parking is available in lot 7 on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus. Signs will be posted directing you to the venue.

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