Midunu Chocolates CEO recognized among top 50 innovative chefs in the world
The owner of Midunu Chocolates, Accra, Selassie Atadika, has been named as one of the 50 most innovative chefs in the world. The Culinary Institute of America and the EAT Foundation released the list of vegetarian-friendly chefs in June.
Chef Atadika is the only African chef on the prestigious list. Midunu is a key player in Ghana’s new creative scene with international recognition. Atadika prepares food for European and North American embassies, United Nations agencies, banks, and other corporations.
Midunu is a lifestyle business that celebrates Africa’s cultural and culinary heritage. Midunu is the Ewe word for “let us eat.”
She uses local ingredients and traditional vegetables, grains, and proteins – and works to create demand for those ingredients, thereby supporting local producers. She draws from the continent’s culinary roots to create New African cuisine, including little-known and forgotten ingredients, such as fonio and grains of paradise.
And Atadika believes, how people eat is just as important as what they eat. “I want to take things back to a time when meals brought people to the table,” Atadika says,” when meals encouraged communication, even a communion of sorts.”
Atadika was born in Ghana and raised in the United States. She showed an early interest in food and cooking, using her imaginary mortar and pestle to mimic her mother grinding “pepe” and later baking bread for her parents’ work lunches.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in geographical and environmental studies from Dartmouth College and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University, Atadika did humanitarian work for the U.N. throughout the world and learned from a vast array of food ways, techniques, and traditions.
In 2011, she cofounded Trio Toque, a nomadic dining venture in Dakar, Senegal. Inspired to take her cooking skills further, she completed course work at the Culinary Institute of America. When she returned to Ghana in 2014, she began a lifelong dream of highlighting the diversity, succulence, and adaptability of African cuisine.