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Give your vegan food an African Twist - Western Mail article

Give your vegan food an African Twist - Western Mail article

Thank you to the Western Mail for featuring my new recipe book, 'African Twist' in this double-page spread! 

The interview reads:

Maggie Ogunbanwo's colourful new book features fabulous vegan recipes - with a Nigerian twist taking them to a new level. Maggie, whose roots are in Nigeria, lives in Gwynedd, surrounded by the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. She operates from the former Red Lion pub in the village of Penygroes - now Maggie's home.

Maggie describes herself as an instinctive cook and says that her influences flow from her mum and grandmother and are extended through her contact with food traditions in many areas, including India, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. 

"I first leant to cook in Nigeria, under the beady eye of my grandmother," she explains. "She instilled in me the practice of patience and following processes step by step to get great results each time. With all other cuisines I have since learnt how to cook, I have done so through the lens of my Cameroonian grandmother's teaching. In fact, on one occasion when I was working as a commis chef somewhere in the UK, the sos chef approached me, unhappily asking why all my food was peppery? I didn't fully get it - all I did was add a sprinkling of white pepper, doesn't everyone?"

On her journey to producing plant-based food, she adds: "Some years ago, my son Eretoda, or Toda for short, embarked on a plant-based diet for his own reasons, but shared his journey often with the family. This was the beginning of my interest in plant-based milks for reasons of health - I found that dairy products caused me to have a runny nose often, which is no longer the case. I also realised that plant-based options on menus at the time were limited and repetitive. I started to look more seriously at my idea that the basis of a lot of African cooking is plants."

African Twist is published by Graffeg, with photography by Huw Jones. It's out on 24th February, but you can pre-order your copy here.

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