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Congolese Chef Brings Secrets of African Cuisine to Dining Table

Congolese chef Dieuveil Malonga senses a global awakening of interest in African cuisine, and it’s due in good part to the efforts of adventurous chefs like himself. From his restaurant, Meza Malonga in Kigali, Rwanda, he delights guests with his experiments that fuse African tradition with modern technique. The 30-year-old from Congo-Brazzaville has visited 38 of Africa’s 54 countries, bringing back fermentation and other techniques, as well as ingredients that add texture and flavour to the dishes served at his restaurant in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The treasures sourced during his trips are everywhere in Meza Malonga (“Malonga’s Table” in Kiswahili). Bins holding tiny chilli peppers from the Ivory Coast, pebe nuts from Cameroon and dried mbinzo caterpillars from the Congo fill an entire wall of the establishment. Food experts have largely ignored the continent’s culinary heritage, with not a single Michelin-starred restaurant to be found on the continent. But that may soon change, thanks to the efforts of chefs like Malonga, who co-founded Chefs in Africa – a website devoted to promoting the region’s rising stars.