The Afro Foodie Pop-Up will serve up Ghanaian cuisine this month

May 3 2022, 7:47 pm

One of the best things about food is being able to reach people across cultures – dining with others is a way to bridge the gap, to share an experience, and to understand a bit more about a culture other than your own.

The Afro Foodie Pop-Up, a one-day event celebrating Ghanian food, is a chance for Vancouverites to enjoy a cuisine that is not prominently represented in the city.

Organized by Delali Adiamah of Dehls Gourmet, a catering and delivery service that serves up “Afrocentric Delicacies,” the pop-up will take place on Saturday, May 21.

It will be serving up dishes like Kelewele (spicy fried plantain with peanuts), Banku (a steamed corn and cassava dough dumpling) and okra soup, grilled tilapia fish with hot pepper sauce, Jollof rice, as well as some sweets and beverages.

Dished talked to Adiamah about what we can expect from the event and how it might help to create a community of African food lovers in this city.

“Growing up in a Ghanaian household, we always ate together, be it from the same big bowl or around the same table. For some reason, it always tasted better eating with others than by oneself,” Adiamah shared.

“Just about everyone knows how isolating and socially disconnected Vancouver is and can be, especially for immigrants and international students.”

Adiamah, who studied at Simon Fraser University, was lucky enough to be able to enjoy her mother’s cooking while a student and took joy in being able to share this home-cooked cuisine with other Canadian and international students.

“The joys they expressed after eating the food I shared helped me understand how truly there was a need for authentic African food in the city and building community around that.

“The idea with this pop-up is to create an inviting and nostalgic atmosphere where guests will be introduced to Ghanaian cuisines or, for those already familiar with it, to bring them sweet memories of the food they enjoyed growing up in Ghana,” she said.

For those not familiar with Ghanaian cuisine and may not know what to expect, Adiamah says, “Ghanaian cuisine is downright delicious, hearty, cooked with intricate ingredients and skillful techniques.”

Before the pandemic hit, Adiamah was working small catering gigs for private events and dinners, serving a “fusion of Ghanaian rice dishes and other Western-inspired dishes.”

“However, once social gatherings came to a halt, there were no events to cater for,” she said.

This is when she started an Instagram page for her food, sharing her dishes with both friends and strangers. The huge show of interest in her Ghanaian dishes led her to pursue her passion of cooking full time and to establish a custom meal prep service – this soon grew to become Dehls Gourmet.

afro foodie pop-up

Banku and Tilapia | Courtesy Delali Adiamah

Now, with the Afro Foodie Pop-Up happening this month, Adiamah hopes to “create a community of African food lovers who will connect and empower each other even beyond the walls of our pop-up venue.”

It’s especially important, she says, that this event helps people to feel connected and alleviates some of the isolation that the pandemic has caused.

“I hope to work alongside other African chefs and to showcase their foods at future pop-ups so we can make African food as popular as can be in British Columbia,” she shared.

The Afro Foodie Pop-Up will take place on Saturday, May 21 with two different time slots:  12 to 2 pm and 4 to 7 pm.

Afro Foodie Pop-Up

When: Saturday, May 21 from 12 to 2 pm and from 4 to 7 pm
Where: 228 East 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: From $69

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