Chef Yeti Ezeanii
Here's more about our Founder
Yetunde “Yeti” Ezeanii was born in Houston, Texas and moved to Africa as a small child. She and her family lived in the West African country of Nigeria until Yeti returned to the United States to attend college. It is her ancestral heritage and years living in Africa that have fed Yeti’s passion for African cuisine – so much so that she wants to share the continent’s cuisine and culture with the world through her AfroFoodtv.com website and other planned media ventures.
Yeti’s earliest memories of African cuisine are from when she was about four or five years old. Her mother was a caterer and dietician in Nigeria, and Yeti spent countless hours in her mother’s kitchen – essentially her office – watching her cook and juggle the day-to-day responsibilities of a business and family. The lessons and traditions of African cooking are passed down from mothers to daughters. It is best described as an apprenticeship where mothers spend years in their kitchens teaching their daughters the skills, techniques and recipes that they learned from their mothers before them.“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Following her culinary apprenticeship in her mother’s kitchen, Yeti left Nigeria and returned to the United States to attend college. She earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from Long Island University followed by a MBA from Florida Metropolitan University. Currently, she and her husband own a pharmacy in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia. When not in her pharmacy dispensing medications to her customers, Yeti is home in her kitchen dispensing culinary knowledge to her three children and developing new ways to share her love of Africa and its cuisine with others.
In September 2006, Yeti launched AfroFoodtv.com to expose the continent’s cuisine to a population that knows very little, if anything, about African cuisine. She discovered the lack of information when one of her own daughters asked her to prepare African food. After a trip to the local bookstore, Yeti was disconcerted to find nearly every cuisine in the world represented, but there were no cookbooks on African cuisine. She later found that what was available in stores and on the Internet barely scratched the surface. This lack of representation fueled the birth of AfroFoodtv.com to fill this void and expose African traditions and cuisine to the world. Africa is a continent of more than 600 million people, and Yeti believes that if that many people enjoy a type of food, there must be something special about it.
Today, Yeti continues to spread the word about all things epicuriously African. She serves as chef and hostess on the Web site and continues to enhance the site by adding new video cooking demonstrations and recipes and by producing a quarterly newsletter “Afrofood bytes.” In January 2009, Yeti brought her love of African cuisine and culture to television. A Taste of Africa airs Sundays at 6 p.m. EST on Dish Network channel 751, on AIT Television and OHTV which airs the show in over 46 African Countries , United Kingdom and various European Countries. The first season of shows is now available on DVD. She also has published several articles on African cuisine in such publications as Nigeria World, an online newspaper, and Munalucci, an African bridal magazine.
In July 2009, Yeti launched AfroFood Spices spice mix that will be available for purchase on AfroFoodtv.com.
Yeti is proceeding with plans to publish a cookbook and continues to work as an apprentice with other chefs to develop new techniques and to learn new recipes. Despite her busy schedule as a wife, mother, pharmacist, chef/hostess, television personality and culinary educator, Yeti gets back to Africa to visit family at least once a year. She also loves to travel and often goes on culinary tours of her own to learn and enjoy new experiences.
Yeti’s favorite quote:
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
– Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825. French gourmet and lawyer (1755 – 1826)