Born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to first generation Sierra Leonean Fulanis of Guinean descent, Binta describes herself as a modern nomadic chef. Like her ancestors she has travelling in her blood and has been fortunate to work with renowned African chefs.
At Fulani Kitchen she combines her nomadic Fulani roots, classical training at the Kenyan Culinary institute and love for rural life and nature. Her dishes and pop up diners are authentic, modern en environmentally engaged. By creating a traditional setting, telling you about Fulani culture and serving ancient grains, indigenous spices and other exciting West-African ingredients in an interactive way, Binta triggers all senses and takes you to a whole new world.
Food for sustenance
Her passion to share African nomadic cuisine is based on her experiences as a child growing up during the darkest period of Sierra Leone’s history, the civil war. She experienced first hand how food can bring people together and bring down walls. Many times during the conflict no one could go out to buy food or food was simply not available. She saw neighbors from different backgrounds contribute, share and prepare meals together to make something out of nothing. The rice they could afford had loads of cockroaches which they had to hand pick, repeatedly wash and blend with bulgur in order to get enough to share for everyone. What she calls creating food for sustenance; learning to create totally new dishes with just a handful of ingredients, sharing and working together, was not only a life saving skill in a war zone, it has actually made her the chef she is today.
Chef Binta is an ambassador for fonio, an ancient and super grain, traditionally grown and consumed in West Africa, gaining more attention. And rightfully so, it’s gluten free, extremely nutritious, needs less water to grow, has a shorter life cycle, is more disease and drought resilient and gives back more nutrients to the soil than staple crops like rice and maize. Therefore, this little grain might possibly be one of the answers to food security and climate challenges to come. Binta’s menu almost always features this super grain, fonio.