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The Aga Concept African Inspired Cooking Utensils And Accessories

The newsletter of textile designer Eva Sonaike introduced me to a stylish range of African inspired cooking utensils by The Aga Concept, a design and lifestyle brand that is inspired by culture and everyday living in Africa. For a lot of Zimbabweans living abroad, and most likely for a lot of Africans in general, cooking traditional food is simply not the authentic experience we crave without the traditional utensils from home, usually brought back on every trip, because buying and using that wooden spoon or pestle and mortar from your local store is somehow just not the same. Our traditional […]

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Aduna Championing The Health Benefits Of Baobab Superfood Powder

Health, beauty and social brand, Aduna, has recently launched #MakeBaobabFamous, a nationwide campaign to help increase awareness of baobab the African superfood. Found in 32 countries across the continent the baobab tree has been revered throughout Africa for its longevity and natural well-being properties. Baobab fruit has many health benefits as it is rich in fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C, which contributes to normal immune function, energy release and skin health. Yet, despite growing abundantly, baobab fruit mainly goes to waste due to a lack of demand and global awareness of the benefits, but with an estimated worth of $1 billion to rural Africa, as a superfood, […]

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Modern African Food And Recipes From The Groundnut Cookbook

Whilst passing through Waterstones Piccadilly, my eye was drawn to a colourful book display positioned in front of the elevators. Stopping to get a better a look I was introduced to The Groundnut Cookbook, exploring modern African food. The Groundnut Cookbook was written by Duval Timothy, Jacob Fodio Todd, and Folayemi Brown three friends who run a bi-monthly London supper club called The Groundnut, hence the name of the book.

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Modern African Food Colourful Cooking With Siba Mtongana

Viewers of the Africa Channel will be familiar with cooking show, ‘Cooking with Siba’, presented by food editor and writer, Siba Mtongana. Siba’s vivacious personality won her many fans, not just in her home country South Africa, but also across the Continent. In October Siba brought her fusion of modern African food and international cooking styles to a global audience with the premiere of her new show, ‘Siba’s Table’ on the Food Network UK cable channel. Siba becomes the second South African TV Chef to get a Food Network show after her mentor Jenny Morris. I did not manage to catch […]

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African Food Made Easy Pepper & Stew Cooking Sauces

Sky Living TV channel in the UK is currently running a series called Cooks to Market. The concept of the show is to get budding cooks and food brands onto retail shelves, and see two different brands going up against each other and selling their product in food market and win the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of leading food UK experts. Of the two episodes I have managed to catch, both featured African food brands who  both outsold their rivals to go on and make impassioned pitches, which has landed both brands shelf space in Partridges, one of the […]

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Modern Artisanal Honest Chocolate Made In South Africa

Experimentation using raw cacao to produce a healthy treat led to the creation of Honest Chocolate; a small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company’s founder, Anthony Gird began teaching himself the art of chocolate making and was soon joined by Michael de Klerk who had also been experimenting with raw chocolate whilst in London. Using ‘traditional, old school chocolate making methods’ small batches are handmade by a team of four that includes Anthony and Michael. The Honest Chocolate made in South Africa uses raw organic cacao hat comes from Ecuador. [Image credits: clockwise from top left, […]

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Modern Mauritian Food Shelina Permalloo Master Chef UK Winner

A chef who brings ‘…bring[s] sunshine to a plate’ is how Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the judges of Masterchef UK described 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo’s cooking of modern Mauritian food. British-born of Mauritian descent Shelina was inspired to cook by her mum and aunty, developing a love of food at a young age as she helped her Mum with the cooking. Having grown-up in the UK Shelina also credits food with helping her to better understand her Mauritian heritage and culture, saying it makes her feel closer to Mauritius, her heritage and her family. Throughout the competition Shelina brought her Mauritian heritage into her […]

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Modern African Food Kitchens Of Africa Cooking Sauces

There is nothing wrong with slow cooking, in fact it can be an enjoyable experience as you mix, stir, season and simmer in anticipation of savouring your culinary efforts. Unfortunately in the face of hectic schedules, reality bites and slow cooking is just not possible night after night with so many other things competing for your time prompting the turn to convenience food. Convenience food has its pros, meals in minutes and it’s cons, a reputation of nasty additives, flavour enhancers and preservatives. However, the availability of pre-prepared foods like sauces can be an introduction to the tastes of other […]

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Ndali Intense Fairtrade Vanilla Extract From Uganda

I love the taste and smell of vanilla; and find creamy vanilla ice-cream, the kind where you can just see the bean flecks, and light fluffy sponges made with real vanilla extract irresistible and comforting. Good quality vanilla bean pod sticks, extract and paste is valued by bakers and chefs looking to add that familiar rich flavour and intense aroma to their culinary creations. One brand favoured by some of the UK’s leading chefs is Ndali fairtrade vanilla, which comes from a 1000-acre farm located in the midst of the explosion craters of the Ndali Volcanic Field in Western Uganda; and is a […]

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Prestat Single Origin African Cocoa Chocolate Buttons

You’d have thought I’d have had my fill of chocolate over Christmas, and given I’m still making my way through the leftovers I now have my eye on some chocolate buttons, a particular favourite, I do like the way they melt in your mouth one drop at a time…makes them a very moreish treat. The targets currently in mind are some African cocoa Single Origin Chocolate Buttons from Prestat, the quintessential London-based chocolatier whose confections I came across when I took a detour through Liberty of London’s Chocolate Shop, in search of a gift. The African cocoa used to make the […]

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Modern African Food Ghalia Alia Mahmoud Egyptian Celebrity Chef

A year ago the Arab nations of North Africa were on the verge of momentous change and amidst the uncertainty of a post-revolutionary Egypt emerged a symbol of the new nation in the form of Ghalia Alia Mahmoud, a former maid and cook turned celebrity chef. Ghalia’s warm personality and humble beginnings inspired ordinary everyday Egyptians, instilling a sense of hope in the future of their nation. Thanks to a 60 minute cooking show aired three times a week on the newly launched 25TV – a revitalised Egyptian television station that was capturing and reflecting on life and issues in the new Egypt […]

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Akhaya Cookery School Modern African Cooking And Food

New to African cooking or simply want to try your hand at creating dishes from another part of the continent, then look to Akhaya Cookery School to help you on your way. I was watching a recent episode of CNN’s Inside Africa when I saw a profile on young Nigerian entrepreneur Jennifer Okpapi and the African cooking classes she runs in Tottenham, North London based on her love for African food.

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Madécasse Luxury Single Source African Made Chocolate

Pink pepper and citrus, exotic pepper, and sea salt and nibs are just some of the rather interesting flavour combinations you will find in a Madécasse African made chocolate bar. Recently named ‘one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies’ by Fast Company magazine, Madécasse is on a mission to revolutionise the African chocolate industry by becoming one of the few fine chocolate companies to produce a bar that is not only grown in Africa, but is also produced in Africa. The stats on the website highlight the fact that although Africa produces 70% of the world’s cocoa, actual African made chocolate production amounts […]

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cctreats Award-Winning Cupcakes Include African Inspired Flavours

Yesterday in the heart of London’s West End, a cupcake inspired by Africa wowed some of the UK’s top bakery and patisserie chefs to be awarded the National Cupcake Awards title of ‘Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year 2011’. Beating of competition from bakers drawn across the UK, the African inspired flavours of the stylishly titled ‘Midnight Safari Cupcake’ was the creation of cctreats, whom African Daydreams profiled about a month ago. [Image credit: Mignight Safari Cupcake – cctreats]

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cctreats A Delectable Range Of Freshly Baked Cakes

Today has been a day of celebration; the culmination of an intense, but thoroughly rewarding year of study as I attended my graduation in the company of my family and was formally awarded my Master of Arts degree. I enjoyed my MA; so involved was I in the areas I was exploring that I wasn’t ready to let go when it ended and this was one of the reasons I started African Daydreams; I’m still learning! For me a celebration is incomplete without some form of delicious goodies from CocktailCouture, a London based events company that recently launched cctreats; a delectable range […]

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Modern African Food Moroccan Chef Hassan M’Souli

Moroccan chef, Hassan M’Souli has been tantalising the taste buds of Australians in New South Wales, since arriving on the shores of Sydney from Casablanca in 1985. Opening the door of his award winning restaurant ‘Out of Africa’ in 1995, Hassan cites being in his mother’s kitchen from a young age as the source of his passion about cooking and creating modern African food; and Sydney provided the opportunity to introduce a new and unique taste to the local dining experience. [Image credit: Argan Oil – Out of Africa]

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Original Beans Chocolate Blending Rare African Cacao

Spent a rather indulgent, calorie-busting afternoon with family at the London Chocolate Festival yesterday. Although smaller than I anticipated the Festival, held over three days on London’s Southbank, brought together some of the finest chocolatiers, along with the opportunity to try before you buy – a chocolate lover’s dream. We were fortunate enough to have another gloriously hot spring day which brought out the crowds; not only to the Festival but right along the stretch of the Southbank from Tower Bridge to the London Eye. Southbank is one of my favourite places in London, with so much going on you’re always bound […]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive