Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

February 20, 6:00 P.M. Talk: The Vibrant Cuisines of West Africa with Pierre Thiam and Anne McBride

February 20, 2024 06:00 PM

Q&A and Signing of Simply West African by Celebrated Chef and Author Pierre Thiam 

25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Pierre Thiam is an internationally acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and ambassador of West African cuisine. Author of the James Beard award–nominated Senegal and the groundbreaking The Fonio Cookbook, chef Thiam’s latest work, Simply West African, celebrates, as Dr. Jessica B. Harris described, “the cooking of a region that has been ignored by the mainstream food culture for way too long.” Joining chef Thiam in conversation is James Beard Foundation vice president of Programs, Dr. Anne E. McBride. Please join us for this unique opportunity to hear chef Thiam speak about the cuisine that he has spent his culinary career championing.  

Copies of Simply West African: Easy, Joyful Recipes for Every Kitchen by Pierre Thiam will be available for purchase and signing at the event from BEM| books & more

General Admission: $25

Purchase Now

About Pierre Thiam: 
Pierre Thiam is a renowned chef, author, and social activist recognized for introducing West African cuisine to the global fine-dining scene. Serving as the executive chef at the award-winning Nok by Alara restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria, and as the signature chef of the 5-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, he has made significant culinary contributions. Thiam is also the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, a notable fast-casual food chain in New York City. His company, Yolele Foods, champions the cause of smallholder farmers in the Sahel by creating new markets for African-grown crops. Their signature product, Yolele Fonio, is available in major retailers like Whole Foods and Amazon across America. Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, Thiam's culinary style blends modernity and eclecticism while staying rooted in West African culinary traditions. He has authored four cookbooks, with Simply West African and The Fonio Cookbook being the latest additions. As a culinary ambassador, he advocates for West African cooking worldwide, delivering a widely viewed TEDTalk and serving on the boards of organizations like and SOS Sahel, among others.

About Anne McBride: 
Anne McBride is vice president of Programs at the James Beard Foundation. In that capacity, she oversees JBF’s initiatives around industry support, women’s leadership, policy advocacy, sustainability, education, and scholarships. She holds a PhD in Food Studies from New York University, with research focusing on the changing role of the chef in the 21st century.
Previously, Anne was deputy director of the Torribera Mediterranean Center, a joint project of the University of Barcelona and the Culinary Institute of America that offered curricula, conferences, and editorial material at the intersection of health, sustainability, and flavor. She remains a member of its culinary and food studies advisory council, and is also a member of the Menus of Change scientific and technical advisory council and the CIA’s master’s in food systems and sustainability advisory council. As programs director for the CIA’s Strategic Initiatives Group, she was responsible for the acclaimed Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival, among other industry leadership programs.
A native of Switzerland, Anne is the past chair of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards and a past board member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, and Culinary Trust; she is the treasurer of the North Plainfield Library Advisory Council. She is the co-author of seven books and is a frequent presenter and moderator at academic and professional conferences around the world. 


Tickets to events held at Platform at Pier 57 by the James Beard Foundation cover the cost of food, education and a unique dining experience. Meals are prepared by culinary masters from all regions of the United States and around the world. Unless otherwise stated, alcoholic beverages are provided on a complimentary basis and are not included in the ticket price.

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served.

Event Policy

Reservation Policy:

All reservations are non-refundable and must be made in advance. Should the event be cancelled due to any unforeseen circumstances, including COVID-19, JBF will offer a range of options, including ticket exchanges, the option to donate tickets, or a full refund. For more information, contact

Alcohol Disclaimer:

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served. 

Dietary/Food Restrictions Policy:

Events at Platform by JBF are special one-night-only menus and we do not offer a la carte menus. If you have serious food allergies, we will work with the visiting chef team to do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee that alternate options will be available for every course.

Purchase Now