Jamie Oliver selects Eastbourne chef’s work as his cookbook of the month
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Africana from Eastbourne resident Lerato Umah-Shaylor was released back in September and has already been named in The Telegraph’s ‘best cookbooks to buy in autumn 2022’, was Waitrose’s book of the week, and hit the ‘best-sellers’ list on Amazon in the food history and African food categories.
Mrs Umah-Shaylor’s African cookbook was chosen last month as part of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook club, which has around 60,000 members.
The Eastbourne chef said on her newsletter: “With such an amazing introduction and review from the man himself, we began a month-long adventure of cooking Africana that I could have never anticipated would be such a success. The amazing members of the club started cooking the book, and boy, did you cook! Many are now here as part of our community.
"I was absolutely blown away by your incredible photos and adventures while you cooked through Africana. You have not only been so supportive, sharing your photos and guiding one another, but also so inspiring, going beyond my pairing suggestions and making my recipes part of your repertoire, often alongside many other cuisines. This was my great dream for the diverse recipes and personal stories in Africana, that you would embrace and enjoy them, wholeheartedly bringing the magic and flavours of the continent to your own kitchen.
"It was also eye-opening reading from those who previously had no knowledge, and in some cases no interest at all, in recipes from Africa, yet felt compelled and inspired to cook with us. What a wonderful group of people and one of the most memorable and enriching experiences I have enjoyed. I didn’t want it to stop, and so I have decided to start something rather exciting to keep the momentum. More to come.”
On Jamie Oliver’s website it says Mrs Umah-Shaylor’s cookbook celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of African cooking.
It continues: “Combining recipes passed down from generations with her creative and modern style, this debut cookbook is rich in flavour, diverse in culture and steeped in tradition. Choose from more than 100 inspiring and accessible recipes to bring the taste of the continent into your kitchen.”