The Taste of Tomorrow
  • The Rick Bayless of Sub-Saharan African Foods?

Sub-Saharan African food needs a Rick Bayless-figure.  Bayless, the celebrity chef, founder of Frontera Grill, PBS star, host of the series Mexico: One Plate at a Time, helped introduce millions of gringos to the vast range of possibilities of traditional Mexican foods – and how they could be interpreted.

Wilbert Jones

Who will be the maverick culinary mind who helps introduce North Americans to the vast possibilities of sub-Saharan African cuisines and ingredients? One of the most promising candidates for Rick Bayless of African food is based here in Chicago, and he’s giving a public talk on March 23 at Kendall College titled “The Flavor of Africa.”

Wilbert Jones, chef, author of two books, and president of a food product development company, is currently working on cable television series, titled a “A Taste of Africa.” You can watch a clip here. Jones has had a long fascination with African cuisine — he’s written about African foods for the trade Prepared Foods — here’s an interesting piece on street foods of Africa. also gave a fascinating-sounding lecture series at Kendall College last year that looked at several African cuisines.

His March 23rd talk “The Flavor of Africa” hosted by the Culinary Historians of Chicago will cover a lot of ground —he’ll talk about the daily diets of the ancient Egyptians and will introduce folks to the national dishes of several countries, Jones will also showcase some of the current food and beverage trends emerging out of Africa  and talk about how they might manifest themselves in American cuisines.

We are very excited about the event. There will be tastings, including samples of sauces from Bim’s Kitchen. Here are the details from the Culinary Historians Site:

“The Flavor of Africa” – Wilbert Jones 

Saturday, March 23, 2013 — 10 a.m. to Noon

Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts, 900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago(Located just north of W. Chicago Ave. at N. Halsted St.)

Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members and Kendall students and faculty.

To reserve, please e-mail your reservation to: Culinary.Historians@gmail.com.

We’re also very excited to have a chance to sit down with Wilbert for a talk about his thoughts on African cuisines.  We’ll obviously post an update as soon as that’s schedule.