Fran Osseo-Asare, the founder and editor
of BETUMI. I'm also a member of the IACP (International
Association of Culinary Professionals) and a North
American sociologist and writer who has been married since
1972 to a man from Ghana (that's not Uganda, not Guyana,
nor Guinea!), West Africa. Our relationship began while we
both undergraduates at the University of California in Berkeley
and led, irrevocably and fortuitously, to a relationship
with African cuisine and culture. The public telling of our
story began in 1976 with the publication of A New Land
to Live In (InterVarsity Press) and continued in 1991
Attracts Chairs (Pelican Publishing Company).
BETUMI website grew out of three decades of experiences that
1970s. I was finally galvanized to action by
intense frustration over a general failure to take sub-Saharan
African culinary history and contributions seriously, by
the distorted popular media coverage and assumptions in North
and the biased "scholarly" information available
on (especially sub-Saharan) Africa's food-related history,
that information was pro or con. Always an activist (among
other things, I hold a master's degree from U.C. Berkeley
organization and social planning), my solution to the prevailing
indifference by mainstream society was to seek out some kindred
is unabashedly a labor of love. It exists, developed
and maintained by me, because it needs to be here.
you to come and keep me honest, help educate me, encourage
me, and continue the conversations that need to take place.
forward to our future.
also established and coordinates an endowment fund, administered
through the Mennonite
Foundation, which assists nonprofit
organizations seeking to provide help to hungry children
in Sub-Saharan Africa.