The Taste of Longing: A Nigerian Chef in Brooklyn Couldn’t Go Home, So She Cooked Her Way There

“The second the puree hit the oil, I remember that sound of the little balls of akara bobbing up and the smell of fried bean fritter…There’s nothing I know that I’ve eaten here that could transport me that far back.” Yewande Komolafe

(This story was originally published on Feet in 2 Worlds podcast)

Yewande Komolafe came to the U.S. to pursue her dream of becoming a chef.  But after an administrative error by the culinary school she attended, Yewande lost her student visa and her legal immigration status.  Suddenly she was an undocumented immigrant, unable to leave the U.S. for fear that she would not be allowed to reenter. For almost 20 years one of the few ways Yewande could connect with her home country of Nigeria was through food.  

Listen to Rachael Bongiorno’s story of how Yewande recreated the flavors of home in her Brooklyn kitchen, and ultimately was able to return to Nigeria.

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