Fulani Kitchen – Fatmata Binta – FMS21
“We have a very sustainable way of living. Because we are always on the move, we are minimalists. This is reflected in our cooking, as well.” said Fatmata Binta about the Fulani kitchen.
Fatmata Binta was a guest at this year’s edition of the Food Meets Science 2021 conference in Amsterdam. She describes herself as a Fulani chef, a classic Nomad. Fatmata Binta has been traveling around the world and working with a lot of African chefs. She shared with us her rich culinary experience through her Fulani traditional dining pop-ups.
Fulani – the largest nomadic tribe in Africa
Fatmata Binta translates her culture into dining experiences. She is the owner of a Nomadic restaurant – Fulani Kitchen and promotes a cuisine called Fulani cuisine. Fulani is the largest nomadic tribe in Africa. They are around the west and central Africa. As Fatmanta Binta said, their culture, their tradition is very much Nomadic. They moved from one place to another. Therefore, Fulani cuisine is influenced by their lifestyle.
Where do her recipes come from?
Fatmata Binta began her journey by traveling across Africa. She went from one community to another. She was cooking with the locals and documenting their recipes. Then she returned to where she lived and hosted dinners inspired by those different communities, for example, dinners inspired by Ghana, Nigeria, and Guinea. She had been doing this for 4 years.
Fatmata Binta said many people didn’t know about all the amazing ingredients they had in Africa. She has started promoting these ingredients as superfoods in her menu. She showed Food Meets Science’s guests millet and fonio, which are ancient grains. Fatmata also showed Dawa Dawa, moringa – another flavoring ingredient from Africa. People believe Moringa powder is highly medicinal. It heals many symptoms such as headache, pressure, and diabetes. In turn, Dawa Dawa is an ingredient with the highest amount of umami in the world.
During the presentation, Fatmata Binta said:
We have a very sustainable way of living. Because we are always on the move, we are minimalists. This is reflected in our cooking, as well. We don’t waste food. We try to preserve a lot of our ingredients.”
After the Fulani slaughter, they sell most of the meat to locals and they feed on the offals. Most of the time they dry all their ingredients in the sun, including beef. Then, when it’s time to move to another community, they take it with them. Fatmata pointed out that living sustainably, preserving, and just cutting down could have a good effect on our planet.
Fulani Kitchen Foundation
A year ago, during Covid 19, she started working with a university in Spain. As a result, she registered a foundation called “Fulani Kitchen Foundation”. Their main goal, which they are currently working on, is to create space for women to grow their crops. Above all, a place where women could develop their skills and be treated fairly. Fatmata said she felt farmers weren’t rewarded enough for what they were doing. The main aim of cooperation with the university is to fix the value chain – it should be proper. If you want to know the whole story of Fatmata and see how she prepared the wonderful fonio salad, watch the whole interview recording.