Pierre Thiam is a chef, author, and social activist best known for bringing West African cuisine to the global fine dining world.
He is the executive chef and co-founder of Teranga, a fine-casual food chain from New York City that introduces healthy, casual fare directly sourced from farmers in West Africa.
Pierre is also the Executive Chef of the award-winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria and the Signature Chef of the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal.
His company Yolele advocates for smallholder farmers in the Sahel by opening new markets for crops grown in Africa. The company’s signature product, Yolélé Fonio, a resilient and nutritious grain, is found in Whole Foods, Target, Amazon, and other retailers across America.
Pierre has cooked for numerous government officials including the King of Morocco, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Through his devotion to advocacy, combined with his many media appearances, he has become known as a culinary ambassador. His mission is to promote West African cooking throughout the world. His TEDTalk, given at TEDGlobal 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania, has been viewed over one million times.
He has authored three cookbooks, including: The Fonio Cookbook: An Ancient Grain Rediscovered (2019), Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl (2015), and Yolele! Recipes From the Heart of Senegal (2008). He has won numerous awards and accolades for his cooking and advocacy.
Pierre Thiam serves on the Board of Directors for IDEO, SOS Sahel, CorpsAfrica, as well as on the African Cuisine Advisory Board from the Culinary Institute of America.