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Providing primarily plant-based West African food to Central New York through pop-ups, catering, and cooking classes.

Curious to experience the culinary adventure of West African cuisine?

Asempe Kitchen In the News


Meet Chef Kuukua

Akwaaba! Welcome! My name is Kuukua. I arrived in the United States 28 years ago. Since then I’ve tried to make a home for myself no matter where I am. Creating community is one of my passions, and a big part of that is food making and eating. I’ve decided to take this passion out of my kitchen and into my city. This is where you come in!

I’d love to help you create or sustain community through food.  Let’s talk about your team, your upcoming event, or even your neighborhood – and dream up ways we can use Asempe Kitchen’s cuisine to connect cultures, and communicate with each other.


Our Values


Asempe loosely translates to “Curiosity” in Fante, the mother tongue of Chef Kuukua Yomekpe. Asempe Kitchen offers traditional Ghanaian dishes, adapted for the western palate. Asempe cooks in olive oil instead of Palm oil, bringing a fresh approach to West African cuisine.


Asempe flirts with tradition by creating dips, curries, and stir-fries that spin off of the Ghanaian froyi (stews) and nkwan (soups) Chef Kuukua was raised on. For the more adventurous palate, Asempe offers Moko, their signature hot sauce of habeneros and serranos blended with garlic, ginger, onions and spices.


Asempe Kitchen caters parties, receptions, corporate, team-building and other events. Join Chef Kuukua in her kitchen, or invite her to infuse your kitchen with Asempe! Let us feed you lunch at your office luncheon or dinner in the comfort of your home.


Tony W

“Asempe was kind enough to provide an appetizer for one of my networking events. Not only was it a hit with the guests but everyone wanted some to take home. Alas, there was very little left. Wonderful spinach appetizer!”

Mz M

I had a private cooking lesson from Kuukua on how to make a traditional Ghanaian meal — pepper soup with goat and fufu. My teacher was very good at breaking down the steps and encouraged the lesson to be hands-on. While I enjoyed this process, I cannot leave out the feasting part. More than yummy! Hands down, slap the table, suck the bone, lick the bowl dry, good!

Saydeah H

Working with Kuukua is as great as eating her food. Her ability to create delicious bites on time and on budget was greatly appreciated. I highly recommend her and Asempe Kitchen for any catering or personal chef needs.

Em G

Kuukua makes some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had! If you haven’t been lucky enough to try Ghanaian food, then it’s your lucky day. Kuukua will give you that chance, and man oh man, you should take her up on it. Her food’s delicious! You won’t be disappointed.

“When we break bread with others/strangers, we begin to cross boundaries, which in turn creates a bond that removes ‘Other’ from our lexicon even if momentarily. My family and I have been inviting others into our kitchen and to our table since I moved to the U.S. some twenty-eight years ago.”