Africa Rising is the theme for the new 2023-2024 Cuisine Noir print issue, honoring everything about the continent. “It’s truly a celebration of Africa and its people of African descent and how amazing we are all over the world,” owner V. Sheree Williams says.
“Over the last few years, I’ve been truly excited about the rumblings going on towards changing the narrative from the negative images that have been representing the continent for years; a lot of it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
The issue focuses on those reclaiming African stories by incorporating history from food to entrepreneurship. “I wanted to celebrate it because Cuisine Noir is truly about connecting the African diaspora through food, drink, and travel.”
What’s Inside Africa Rise
Celebrity chef and host Eric Adjepong represents the issue’s theme as the cover star and feature. “We’ve been following his career since ‘Top Chef’,” Williams says. “And since then, we’ve watched him grow and blossom.”
Adjepong is a first-generation Ghanaian-American, and during his runs on “Top Chef: Kentucky” and “Top Chef: All-Stars,” he incorporated Ghanaian cuisine into the food challenges.
“I credit him as the one chef who decided on national TV ‘I’m going to cook food that represents me,’” Williams says. “Whenever I’m talking or giving interviews, I always mention him for that because he was the one I truly felt took a stand and said, ‘Here I am, this is me on a plate.’ As a result, he’s gone on to do so well.”
While the issue focuses on Africa, the stories within come from around the globe. “There are narratives from France, Italy, Africa, Nova Scotia and the United States, and it all traces back to the motherland.”
In addition, Cuisine Noir worked with various Black food creators who were tasked with creating recipes embracing African ingredients, history and culture. “They definitely knocked it out of the park,” Williams says. “From the Brazilian couscous to the plantain fritters, the banana leaves steamed prawns, and one of my favorites, the curry goat empanadas.”
The issue also features Dr. Wanida Lewis, an American food scientist who moved to Ghana and founded Crescendo Foods. “She works with everyone, from the food producers to up-and-coming food entrepreneurs, to food scientists, to marketing,” Williams says. “We’re sharing the work that she’s doing over there.”
Other highlights in the issue features eight different wine producers, spirit makers, and Black-owned food and product producers who are offering a little bit of everything. “We’ve got Caribbean-inspired cookies, family recipes, black garlic butter, West African chili sauce, vegan pancake mix, tea, I mean, we got some great items in this issue,” Williams says.
And, for those with the travel bug, Cuisine Noir has something for that. “This is my personal favorite,” Williams says. “There’s a platform called Sleep in Africa that showcases Black accommodations on the continent. This is a wonderful story for anyone who wants to visit Africa and stay and frequent Black-owned businesses.”
Finally, the issue also shines a light on a lesser-known topic, Garifuna. “This is a culture I’ve followed for a long time,” Williams says. “Isha Gutierrez -Sumner is working to bring Garifuna cuisine to the forefront in an upcoming cookbook.”
With the Africa Rising issue completed Williams, along with the dedication from her team. “This issue has been in me for over two years,” she says. “And to be able to bring it all together as well as my team and I did is just beyond amazing. I’m so proud of this and know our readers will enjoy it.”
The current issue is available for purchase and in-home delivery for $5.99 + shipping. It is also available for download via ISSUU for $5.99 as well. GFDI has partnered with various locations around the country for in-store distribution. To purchase or see partner locations, visit Cuisine Noir online.