Smashing the Food Hierarchy: Re-Evaluating the World’s Foods

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  • From £5 – £10 Concessions available

With Fatmata Binta, Maria Bradford and Denai Moore.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The online version of this event will be live captioned.

Part of the African Caribbean Food Ways Day. To book a day pass or an online day ticket click herePlease note that the online version of this event is only available as part of the online day pass.

Africa has led the way in agriculture since its earliest days, with many of our cultivars having their roots in the continent. And many food cultures celebrated by the global majority – including plant-based eating, sustainability and nose-to-tail cookery – have been practiced on the African continent for generations. 

Yet for too long the narrative around food excellence has elevated French and European cuisine above all others. From the Michelin system to Italian food being crowned ‘healthiest’ in the world, the language and framing has done a disservice to global cuisines that have long set the standards that many celebrate today. Why is that the case, and how do we look beyond Escoffier to give global cuisines the credit they rightfully deserve? 

This event is part of the British Library Food Season 2023

Fatmata Binta is a chef and storyteller based in Accra, Ghana. She was born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone to first-generation Fulanis of Guinean descent. She describes herself as a ‘modern nomadic chef’, having trained in culinary school in Kenya studying French cuisine, before turning to her roots and celebrating Fulani cuisine through Dine on a Mat, a nomadic supperclub she founded. Her Fulani Kitchen foundation works to empower Fulani women through the growth of fonio, an ancient grain she believes has the potential to address several problems in food including shortages due to climate change. In 2022 she won the Basque Culinary Prize, becoming the first African to do so. 

Maria Bradford is an award-winning chef, writer and founder of Shwen Shwen catering company, meaning ‘fancy’ in the Krio language. Born and raised in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, her love of food was cemented in the fresh local ingredients she was surrounded by in her youth. She moved to the UK, settled in Kent and enrolled at Leiths School of Food and Wine. In July, her debut book Sweet Salone will be published, the first Sierra Leonean cookbook to be published by a mainstream publisher in the UK. In 2022 she was listed in The Observer’s Top 50 in Food, and has written for and been featured in BBC Good Food, Olive Magazine, Women and Home and many more.

Denai Moore is an acclaimed chef and author. She started her pop-up restaurant Dee's Table in 2017 to connect her nostalgia of Jamaican flavours from her childhood home. Inspired by her travels around the world and growing up in London, Dee’s Table is an intimate dining experience exploring a unique take on Jamaican food. Denai has also traded at prestigious London food markets while her work has been featured in Metro, Vice, Dojo. Dee has written for the Guardian, Leon, Tesco and more. Her new cookbook, Plentiful, is published this year with Hardie Grant.

If you’re attending in person, please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. We are committed to the safety of our event bookers. Find out how we are welcoming you to the Library safely.

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Name: Smashing the Food Hierarchy: Re-Evaluating the World’s Foods
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £5 – £10
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.