Skip to content

Top Chef’s Eric Adjepong Brings West African Dishes to the Grocery Store

Rising to prominence as a contestant on Top Chef, Ghanaian-American chef Eric Adjepong was the first to use the platform to tout West African cuisine, and he’s been a champion of it ever since. As part of his mission to bring this style of cooking to the world, he has now partnered with Ayo Foods to produce a line of West African dishes that will be sold in Whole Foods and Krogers supermarkets. It felt serendipitous for Adjepong when he connected with Fred and Petreet Spencer, who are the husband-and-wife duo behind AYO, which means “joy” in Yoruba. “We’re at a point in our careers where we’re channeling the same thing, which is really trying to share and spread awareness about African foods and foods in the Diaspora,” Adjepong says. Part of what drew him to AYO was the idea that a line of frozen meals allows them to share West African foods with the masses. He developed two dishes for the brand’s recipe collection: Waakye and Chicken Yassa. Waakye is a flavorful Ghanaian rice and beans dish, and Chicken Yassa is a Senegalese dish consisting of tender chicken and caramelized onions usually served over rice.