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Yolele! Recipes From the Heart of Senegal Hardcover – August 25, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Thiam, who was born in Dakar, now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he owns two restaurants, Yolele and Grand Dakar, and a catering business. He explains that the expression Yolele! is similar to the Creole saying, "Laissez les bon temps rouler" (Let the good times roll) and that in many ways Louisiana's Creole culture and cuisine are similar to those of his native western Africa. The food and ambiance of Dakar, the capital of Senegal, reflect both African and foreign influences, including the early Portuguese colonists and Vietnamese immigrants. Thiam, who also teaches cooking, presents 75 Senegalese recipes, including favorite street foods. The chapter "The Middle Passage" focuses on African dishes that became the basis of American Southern specialties, originally prepared by slave cooks. One of few books on the topic, this is recommended for all collections on African cookery.
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Review

"We would have to be grateful for almost any new contribution to the too-sparse literature of African food. But restaurateur Piere Thiam's book on the richly appealing food of his native Senegal is beyond the call. Fresh, lively, and intelligent, Thiam's Yolele documents, through good strong recipes, fine writing, and much marvelous photography, a fascinating food tradition and the culture in which it is embedded. Reflecting warmth and pride, this highly personal book connects us to those who know, make, and love this food. A most welcome addition to the kitchen shelf! --Nach Waxman, Kitchen Arts & Letters
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Isle Press (August 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891105388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891105388
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am married to a beautiful Dakarois and have visited this magical city, met and lived among its wonderful people, and eaten its extraordinary food. My wife and I have been looking for a great cookbook that will allow her (and me) to revisit the comfort food of her home. This is that cookbook, filled with great recipes that put us right back in Dakar and photos by the super-talented Adam Bartos that will make you feel as if you are there. I've told many people that the colors in West Africa seem more alive -- this book, the food shots and the shots of life in Senegal fully capture those vibrant, eye-dazzling colors. Virtually everything is here one could want, from a simple lamb/venison recipe cooked like the small stands in Dakar that specialize in the dishes to the everyday beverages such as bissap (called sorrel in many places) that nearly everyone drinks. My wife is a very good cook and insists on a few things I want to mention to those who buy this book: if you want to spice your food like the Dakarois look for a bouillion cube by the brand name "Jumbo" at African/International markets. Pierre Thiam only asks for chicken bouillion cubes but every West African I know keeps the Jumbo cubes in their pantry and uses them for everything. Bissap, like tea, can be made and served many different ways but my wife claims that she has never known anyone to sweeten the drink with anything other than sugar. Thiam calls for honey. At any rate GET THIS BOOK! It will introduce you to a wonderful cuisine and people. The photos are award quality and Thiam has a snappy prose style that is fun to read. His stories are engrossing as well. All in all, one of the great cookbooks!
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Format: Hardcover
I was compelled to order this book after eating at Monsieur Thiam's restaurant, Dakar, in Brooklyn, NY. His recipes fuse traditional West African ingredients and flavors with elements of French cuisine to amazing, simple and delicious effect. The dishes are bold, new, sophisticated and yet accessible and familiar. Moreover, the author imbues his dishes with a rare generosity and joy; he clearly loves to create and share great food with friends and family.
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By Lizzy D. on January 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We bought this for a family member who enjoyed my Senegalese husband's cooking. However, once we received it, my husband couldn't bear to give it up; we kept it, and bought a different cook-book for my brother, for Christmas.

The book is well organized and the background enjoyable. My husband complained that in the pictures, the food isn't "pretty" enough. It looks good to me, though!

I can't wait to try some of the recipes out WITHOUT his help. I may post again on "userability" at a later date. For now, I'm just enjoying reading and learning about my husband's culture and food of origin!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book after living in Senegal West Africa for a year. Many of the recipes I learned were called something different so it was hard to recognize and find specific recipes. The photos are fantastic. What recipes I did recognize are slightly variated from how I learned them, which makes perfect sense, but tasty and easy to follow. I do wish there were more photos of the food itself, that would make the identification process much easier.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been hooked on traditional Senegalese cuisine since 1995 when I experienced the very simple yet utterly delectable yassa, a dish of grilled chicken or fish with coarsely-sliced onions and fresh lime. As I explore the pages (and recipes like fonio taboule and oyster elinkine) of this beautifully written cookbook with stunning photographs, I get transported back to my beloved Casamance in Southern Senegal. I'll take great pleasure in cooking it into my world.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been living in Seattle for 22 years but never forgot the wonderful flavors of my Senegalese upbringing. When I saw the author on CNN's "Inside Africa", I ordered the book and was transported home to Senegal once I opened the pages.
The recipes are great and easy to follow, the photos are gorgeous and the dishes taste just like my mother's
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband is Senegalese, and we really enjoy this book. The recipes are more "inspired by" traditional Senegalese dishes, Thiam's interpretations, than strictly authentic. There are a few recipes that call for a pork product or some alcohol, which you'd basically never see in Senegal (a vastly Muslim society), so that's a little odd, but overall it provides fun ideas and information.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a professional chef with no background in African cooking this book was transformative. Thiam has great recipes as he should, but his explanations of food culture really paint a complete picture of the food traditions of Senegal and Northern Africa
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