Sierra Leonean chef Fatmata Binta has won the 2022 Basque Culinary World Prize also known as the “Noble Prize of Gastronomy” for showcasing the sustainable nomadic culinary culture and exploring the diaspora of West African cuisine through her innovative “Dine on a Mat” pop-up initiative.
Chef Binta who has built a benchmark in Fulani, nomadic and modern cuisine, will receive the sum of €100,000 endowment for a program of her choice. She is using her work to spread the essence of the Fulani culture through her initiative “Dine on a Mat”, a nomadic restaurant that offers an immersive experience across three continents to showcase the ways of eating and interacting with the food of the Fulanis.
She considers her initiative a platform for community development, income creation, and education. Currently, over 300 families from 12 communities in four regions in Ghana are benefiting from the initiative.
“I want to thank Basque Culinary World Prize for this award. This is such an honor not just for me but for all of the women that will be empowered and inspired to reach their highest potential and this will also shed light on the challenges but most importantly bring about solutions for women,” said Chef Binta.
The Basque Culinary World Prize is an international achievement award that recognizes one chef of any nationality or culinary background who has made exceptional contributions to improving society through gastronomy.
In this year’s award, two other chefs were also recognized, Douglas McMaster of Silo restaurant in the UK was specially awarded for his dedication to the zero-waste movement in gastronomy, and Edson Leite for his educational work with the initiative “Gastronomia Periférica” in Brazil.