Day: June 26, 2008

Africa Food

Outarra And Samuelsson Bring the Spice


Ivory Coast native Morou Outtara and Ethiopian-born Marcuss Samuelsson are the latest culinary artists infusing the American palate with bold flavors from Africa.

Outtara peppers the food at his Virginia restaurant, Farrah Olivia, with flavors from his West African homeland and thinks America is ready for the new tastes.

“For six, seven years now people are playing with the idea of African food, and people are now starting to accept it,” Outtara said in an interview with Philly.com.

“It’s been gradually happening,” said Samuelsson, who opened the New York pan-African restaurant Merkato 55. “You are now seeing those [North African and Arab spices] like harissa, za’atar and dukka showing up on menus.”

And to help the spices make their way into the American kitchen, Samuelsson launched Afrikya, a line of African spices. The North African and Middle Eastern spice combination of poppy seeds and rose was even named one of the Top 10 flavor pairings for 2008 by McCormick & Co.

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Accolades James Blake Sports Venus & Serena Williams

Blake, Williams Sisters Heading to China

James Blake and Venus and Serena Williams are among the nine players named to the U.S. Olympic tennis team. In August, they will be heading to China to represent America at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

The Olympic tennis tournament will be staged from August 10-17 at Beijing’s Olympic Green Tennis Center, with Blake and Venus playing singles and doubles, and Serena playing doubles.

At the 2000 Games, the Williams sisters became the first siblings to combine for an Olympic gold medal in doubles. Venus also won the gold in singles.

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Europe Race Matters

‘Deracinated Coloured People’ on BBC

Samir Shah, a member of the BBC’s board of directors, is criticizing network execs for “cloning” themselves offscreen, while “flickering” minorities onscreen, according to the Guardian.

In many of the UK networks’ television shows (including the popular soap, EastEnders), Shah says execs are hiring those like them behind the scenes to call the shots, but are overcompensating for their lack of executive diversity by putting minority actors onscreen—even if the roles they play have nothing to do with their race.

Shah says this had led to a “world of deracinated coloured people flickering across our screens—to the irritation of many viewers and the embarrassment of the very people such actions are meant to appease.”

PHOTO: Courtesy of BBC

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