"Pierre Thiam reminds us of why gastronomy, when it’s as rich as this, is really a form of intimate anthropology.”
- Adam gopnik
Touted as “The King of New African Cuisine”, Pierre Thiam (pronounced CHEE-AM) is a world-renowned chef, restaurateur and celebrated cookbook author.
Currently the Executive Chef at the celebrated Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria, his pan-African fine dining menu brings an elevated experience of the African diaspora onto the table. Clientele includes the Who's Who of Africa including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the Emir of Kano and the King of Morocco.
Based in New York City, Pierre Thiam Catering introduces contemporary interpretations of ethnic flavors to a diverse, savvy clientele including UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon and NBA basketball player Joakim Noah.
Thiam is a leading advocate for responsible tourism, as well as a spokesperson for the rich culinary history of Africa and its Diaspora.
He has authored two groundbreaking cookbooks. His first book, Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal was a nominated finalist of the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award as well as a Special Jury Award Winner at The Gourmand World Cookbook in Paris. It is currently featured in Cultural Expressions section at the Smithsonian’s New Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington DC.
His second book, SENEGAL: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl was nominated James Beard Award for Best International Cookbook.
"PIERRE THIAM'S MAGICAL AND MOVING SENEGAL GIVES VOICE TO A CULTURE THAT MANY IN THE WEST HAVE LITTLE CONCEPT OF. THIS BOOK STANDS AS A TESTAMENT TO THE BEAUTY AND RICHNESS THAT AWAITS ANY CURIOUS EATER ON THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA."
Thiam has been featured on numerous TV programs including Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, CNN's Inside Africa and the Food Network's Iron Chef. He has also spoken on various prominent radio shows including NPR’s "Leonard Lopate Show", “The Splendid Table” and "Here and Now" as well as Martha Stewart Living Radio. His life, career and contribution to African cooking has also been highlighted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, The Village Voice, Boston Globe, Saveur Magazine, Essence Magazine and many others.
Among many of his civic-minded engagements and accolades include:
- Receiving the African Travel Association’s Development of Responsible Tourism Award in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (Southern Africa) in June 2012
- Being the Spokesperson for the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) “Recipes for Change” video campaign in preparation for the Paris Climate Change conference in October 2015.
- Receiving the Zimbabwe Chef Associations' Medal