African Cuisines and Cultures

    Bachelor’s Degree Concentration

  • Cuisines and Cultures of Africa and its Diaspora in the Americas

    This semester-long concentration will immerse you in the cultures and cuisines of Africa and the African diaspora and their tremendous impact on the cuisines of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. You’ll learn how, for hundreds of years, enslaved Africans brought their foodways across the Atlantic, and explore how the ingredients and traditions they carried were integrated into—and formed a foundation for—the cuisines of the Americas, and how they continue do so today.

    Program Highlights:

    • Gain an understanding of the history and geography of Africa, along with the impact of the African diaspora in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S.
    • Create, taste, and experience the cuisines of Africa and its diaspora through advanced culinary courses that will acquaint you with the history of the African diaspora and its cultural underpinnings and introduce you to the ingredients, flavor profiles, techniques, and key dishes of various regions, enhancing your repertoire of culinary tools.
    • Expand your knowledge during faculty-led culinary and cultural tours of sites in the New York metropolitan area, including African and Caribbean markets, restaurants, and historical sites.
    • Design and execute your own final capstone project.

    The CIA spent several years researching and developing this concentration, which is vital to the deepening and diversifying of our curricular offerings. An advisory council of academics and experts on the African diaspora—led by renowned culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris, and including Dr. Scott Alves Barton, Dr. Maricel Presilla, and Chef Pierre Thiam—assisted in developing the curriculum.


    • Prior to taking the concentration, students must have completed one of three foundational culinary classes focused on regional world cuisines: Cultures and Cuisines of the Americas, Cultures and Cuisines of Asia, or Cuisines and Cultures of the Mediterranean.
    • Students will also have completed Introduction to Gastronomy, in which they are exposed to theoretical foundations of food cultures and culinary history.

    Only students in the Food Business Management degree or Applied Food Studies degree are eligible for this concentration.

  • Questions? CIA Student Ambassadors Can Help! Chat now.