Highlight: WARC Public Lectures: Cheffe Vallery D. Lomas: New Culinary Traditions Inspired by African Americans.

As part of the celebration of Black History Month, the US Embassy called on the West African Research Center (WARC) to host a public lecture offered on african american culinary traditions by the renowned american cheffe Vallery D. Lomas. The author of « Life is What You Bake It : Recipes, Stories and Inspiration to Bake your Way to the Top » ( Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, 2021) is also the winner of the « Great American Baking Show » and the first african american to receive the award of the franchise « Great British Bake Off ». She runs a virtual program « Vallery Bakes Your Questions » on the Food Network site and has participated in many TV shows such as CNN « Today Show ».

Initially registered in a law faculty in Los Angeles and set to be a lawyer after graduation, Vallery ultimately changed the course of her life and career in Paris where she visited to improve her french and develop more skills in bakery. Indeed, her family life and experience as she grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, could not be resisted and ended up carrying the day with Vallery’s fond childhood remembrances of strawberries picked in the field with her father and her initiation in cooking by her grandmother.

Vallery fielded many questions from the audience of 37 (in-person and virtual) who were eager to learn more about african american cooking traditions and their remote relations with West African cuisine.