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Afihyia Pa O!

You say Afi nko nbo to hen when I say Afihyia Pa!

chef kuukua and assistant in teaching kitchen

Dear New Epicures and Asempe Family

I hope this blog finds you well. Happy Holidays! In my mother tongue (Fante) we say: "Afihyia pa!" People respond: "Afi nko nbo to hen." Sometimes they add: "Afi sisei dem na..." The three dots are a fill in the blank situation. The sentence basically says "next year by this time..." (fill in the blank). For years family and friends just wished me a good man and lots of children. Now most of them have given up not because they accept my queerness but mostly because they think I am stubborn and not wishing it right along with them so it won't work, lol. In any case, I digress. I came to give you an update on the biz.

It has been busy on this end. We will be working on Christmas. Due to some really shady dealings I had to step down from my full-time position at the college. At first I was very upset but as the weeks went by, I realized that this actually gave me more time to focus on the business and really watch it take off. Their loss!

COVID-19 shut us down in February 2020 right when we were just getting our feet wet in the Syracuse market after withdrawing from the Salt City Market competition. We went dormant for months while I worked my college job. In May this year, as a gift for a friend, a close friend asked me to give my first cooking class in 15 months. I was vaccinated and at that time we were thinking we were in the clear before Delta surfaced. In any case, it was with a family of four and it just made my heart sing. I knew I had to get back into it so I went ahead and spoke to Salt City Market and the West Africa on a Plate series was born. We will offer classes the last Sunday of each month in their teaching kitchen. Tickets will be available in January for the quarter.

We made a successful debut in Ithaca for the Press Bay Alley Holiday Market. It was so much fun, cold, but fun, and we were well received and sold out in about 2 hours. We hope to make our way into Ithaca in the spring.

This year we also had our first college Culinary Experience with the student leaders of the Days-Massolo Center at Hamilton College. What a blast. Most of the students were able to share stories of growing up and stories of foodways in their own families. All in all, that's what I want to be doing with my life: sharing stories while breaking bread or instructing. 

We are grateful to all of you for following, joining, booking, or messaging us this year. We look forward to an even more exciting 2022. 

Blessings on your holiday season!

Afi sesei dem na ye shia mo biom.

(Hope to meet again next year)

Ndaase pii,

Chef Kuukua



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