A taste of West Africa, a touch of social conscience

On Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m., William Dissen of The Market Place will team up with chef Nicholas Figel of Cyprus International Cuisine in Highlands to present a West African-inspired dinner in downtown Asheville.

You’re likely familiar with Dissen already; the young chef and owner of The Market Place not only has kept the Asheville institution current, he’s also been recognized by numerous groups for his achievement in conservation through cuisine. He’s a Seafood Watch Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has been selected three years in a row to cook for Outstanding in the Field in Asheville.

Figel has been the owner and executive chef of Cyprus International Cuisine in Highlands since 2003. At Cyprus, Figel showcases a creative penchant for ingredient-driven global dishes made with classic, labor-intensive preparations.

(Nicholas Figel)

The five-course dinner at The Market Place will showcase the chefs’ interpretation of traditional West African cuisine. Proceeds will benefit Asheville’s Adama Dembele, a 33rd generation Ivorian djembe player, in an effort to help secure his permanent green card for U.S. citizenship.

Dembele has lived in Asheville for five years, teaching drumming workshops in town and across the country and performing with local bands, including Afromotive and Toubab Krewe. He was a LEAF in Schools and Streets instructor in 2011 and offers drumming workshops at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind and various other local schools.

The five-course dinner at The Market Place will cost $65 (alcohol, tax and gratuity are additional). For reservations, call 252-4162.

The menu:

Cassava “fufu” fritters, palava sauce, green papaya slaw, benne seed vinaigrette.
Klouikloui, mango habenero chutney, crispy peanut tuille, scallion salad, clove dressing.
Banana leaf-red snapper, jollof rice, curried okra, piri-piri sauce.
Roasted goat maafe, peanut stew, ginger, banku dumplings, coriander.
Triple ginger-beer float, cinnamon-banana ice cream, coconut bread, hibiscus-African rum sauce.

The Market Place is located at 20 Wall St.


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