There is a Senegalese proverb that says"An empty belly has no ears."
Chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, Pierre Thiam was raised in Dakar, Senegal, a bustling and culturally diverse metropolis on the west coast of Africa. Although he developed an interest in the culinary arts at an early age, he studied physics and chemistry from the city’s Cheikh Anta Diop University. Thiam moved to New York in the late 1980s where he began working in a number of restaurants. His bottom-level entry steadily led upward, and by 2001 he opened his first restaurant, Yolele, a visionary African bistro in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. His second outlet, Le Grand-Dakar Restaurant followed, opening in neighboring Clinton Hill three years later; it quickly became a culinary and cultural locus for Africans from the continent and the Diaspora. Currently he owns Pierre Thiam Catering, which introduces a diverse, savvy New York clientele to contemporary interpretations of ethnic flavors; he also serves as consulting chef for a number of restaurants in the City and beyond.