Pierre Thiam was robbed within days of arriving in New York City. It was 1989, and he had just traveled to the U.S. from Senegal to study chemistry and physics. This chance incident, however, set Pierre’s life on an entirely different course. Today, he’s a renowned chef, restaurant owner, cookbook author, and co-founder of Yolélé – a company working to introduce the world to an ancient West African grain called fonio.
This week on How I Built This Lab, Pierre talks with Guy about his company’s work to circulate this nutrient-dense and drought-resistant food source. Pierre also shares how he overcame cultural norms to embrace his cooking career, and his take on the connection between colonization and the vulnerability of our global food systems.