As a child visiting Nigeria, Kwame Onwuachi desperately wanted to eat beef suya, the country’s ubiquitous grilled street snack seasoned with ground nuts and spices. Except his grandfather forbade it, disapproving of street food.
“It actually made it more appealing,” he says.
Years later, the “Top Chef” alumnus and former cook at New York’s Eleven Madison Park returned to Nigeria and immediately sought out the formerly forbidden delight, making friends with a baggage guy at the airport who took him to his favorite suya spot.
The street vendor scene reminded Onwuachi of Thailand: “A lot of darkness and then, out of nowhere, a pocket of lights with many stalls selling the same thing, but with their own twist.”
There was a man, a grill, a counter covered with newspaper. “One, please!”
Click here to read the rest of this story, published in Milk Street Magazine. (subscription required)