The Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar is organising a preview evening of the Week of Italian Cuisine on 10 November. It will be the occasion to present “Yaye Senegal” (Mama Senegal), the docu-film born from the culinary exchange project between Italian and Senegalese chefs, promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute and produced by Upset Studios.
In September 2023, Italian-Brazilian chef Mauricio Zillo, accompanied by Cinefood videomakers and Senegalese chef Raoul Coly, travelled to Casamance, in southern Senegal, with the aim of coming into contact with local raw materials and cuisine, visiting markets, ports and rural communities. Mauricio Zillo, a Brazilian “with a Neapolitan soul”, as well as an Italian family and passport, arrived in Italy in 2011. He then travelled around the world’s kitchens before returning to Sicily, to the Gagini restaurant, in 2020, where he won a Michelin star. Raoul Coly, born and raised in Ziguinchor and now an established chef in Paris, is what he calls a “purist”. He loves things that have soul, elegance, meaning and taste. It is the same uniqueness that can be found in his restaurant Ô Petit Club Africain, based in Puteaux, and in Ouakam, Dakar. This restaurant offers revisited African cuisine in an elegant space, where Raoul also welcomes his guests with his wealth of rare vinyls.
The meeting of the two chefs resulted in a video documentary accompanied by the narration by gastronomic storyteller Paolo Vizzari and a small menu exploring the potential for dialogue between Senegalese products and the Italian culinary tradition. The documentary will be screened at the headquarters of the Italian Cultural Institute in the presence of the chefs and the videomakers, to share the story and suggestions of the journey, and to offer tastings of the original recipes born from this singular experience. The video will be available from 13 November and during the Week on all the Institute’s channels.