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How a Community of Chefs is Reinventing West African Food in Toronto

Thanks to some enterprising chefs, African cuisine is finally beginning to establish a foothold in Toronto. While it’s been there for decades, new chefs are experimenting with different methods of attracting non-Africans to their tables, and they’re making huge inroads. Toronto is known for its rich and diverse foods, but it’s taken until recently for West African food to get its moment in the spotlight. The chefs and entrepreneurs involved in its rise have various theories about why. Racist stigmas, ingredient sourcing and lack of accessibility are just some of the barriers it faces. Now, dishes like ayamase, a hearty stew made with green peppers, are easier to find in downtown neighbourhoods at spots like Skcookks, the Suya Spot, Calabar Grill and ID Love.