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Celebrating the Food of West Africa, Vegan-Style                             

In the process of gaining a foothold abroad, West African cuisine has often become associated with being very meat-centric, but some prominent chefs are looking to change that narrative. Looking to traditional plant-based recipes and indigenous ingredients, they are refining and redefining West African cooking. In January 2023, over 50 African restaurants in different countries celebrated the continent’s first Vegan Restaurant Week. Vegan West Africans draw on the plant-based recipes of the past and spotlight native African ingredients that have declined in popularity. As Africa grapples with climate change and the growing risk of food insecurity, vegan West African food represents decolonization and honoring tradition, as well as a model of sustainability that looks to the example of the past for a brighter future.