First Lady of Niger Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou

Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou (left), First Lady of Niger, receiving the Smart Food Ambassador plaque from Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT. Photo credit: ICRISAT.

Her Excellency, Dr. LALLA MALIKA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU Obtained a Medical Doctorate degree from the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey Dioffo and served as a Doctor at the Niamey National Hospital. is also involved and sponsors several Humanitarian and Health improvement projects and organizations in the Republic of Niger. She is a patron of more than 27 other Nigerien societies and organisationw largely related to health, women’s rights, children’s rights and education. Issoufou, via the Tattali Iyali Foundation aims to improve the conditions of women and children in Niger; to improve the nutrition of pregnant women and children under five (and so reduce infant and maternal mortality) and to fight the illegal sale and counterfeiting of medicines.

Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou, First Lady of Niger, was named as Smart Food Ambassador for her vision and leadership in nutrition and the promotion of traditional food crops such as millet. Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT, presented the plaque of recognition during the launch of the International Millet Festival (FESTIMIL) in Niamey, Niger, on 21 February. Read more

Chef Mick Elysee

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Chef Mick Élysée is a London-based chef specializing in Congolese-French and African food. His love for the culinary arts started when he was very young in his home country of Congo. Now, he is a reference in the field of gastronomy in UK. In 2018, Mick joined the Smart Food campaign and contributed two millet and sorghum-based recipes that he is now promoting through various channels. “The first time I heard about millet and sorghum was when a representative of ICRISAT contacted my team to ask if I could be the face of their new campaign, Smart Food. I had no idea about the huge benefits of millets and sorghum until then,” Chef Élysée says. Read More

Chef Anto Cocagne

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Originally from Gabon, Chef Anto Cocagne has become a star of gastronomy and television in France. In 2018, Chef Anto created and produced four recipes as part of the Smart Food campaign. These recipes were promoted at the festival ‘We eat Africa’ (the African cuisines festival), where Chef Anto is the President of the organizing committee, and in the magazine ‘Afro cooking’, where she is a consultant. As part of the Smart Food campaign, Chef Anto promoted the recipes during a highly popular radio program of Radio France International. Read

Culinary Blogger Aistou M’Baye

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In 2017, France-based Senegalese Chef, Aissatou M’Baye, launched five Smart Food recipes after becoming an ambassador for the campaign. Chef M’Baye set out on social media to demonstrate new ways of cooking millets and sorghum for a West African audience but her recipes found many takers in Europe as well. Chef M’Baye publishes her recipes on the blog Aistou Cuisine. Her recipes were a big hit when the first Smart Food social media campaign launched in October 2017. Read More

Culinary Blogger Dienaba Traore

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Dienaba Traore is the CEO of ‘Gabougouni’, a blog that promises to show new ways of using millets and sorghum. She joined the Smart Food campaign in October 2018 with four new recipes of millet and sorghum foods. On 13 October, she conducted the first Smart Food Masterclass in Mali, participants of which were the winners of a special Smart Food quiz organized online via Facebook and Instagram. She also conducted Smart Food Master Class to 25 students from “Institut International des Métiers de l’Aviation du Tourisme & l’Hotellerie.” Read More

Chef Anahita Dhondy

Photo Credits : Liam Wright, ICRISAT

Chef Anahita N. Dhondy pursued her culinary dream by enrolling into IHM-Aurangabad which she passed with honors in Culinary Arts. She trained at Taj properties, the BBC at JW Marriott and went on to acquire a Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu, London. She has won several awards, including the Young Chef India award and the Times Food Award. Chef Anahita N Dhondy was selected in the ‘Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019’ list for her contribution towards food sustainability and for popularizing the Parsi cuisine.

Anahita N. Dhondy—Chef Partner at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Cyber Hub Gurgaon in India—discovered the benefits of millets, she has been devoted to advocating for these traditional grains. Anahita was a guest judge at the finale of the Smart Food Culinary Challenge, a reality show students chefs cooked using millets and sorghum in innovative ways. Read

Chef Ranveer Brar

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Ranveer Brar is an Indian celebrity chef, food film producer, restaurateur, benefactor and a mentor at culinary institutions. He completed his hospitality education from the Institute of Hotel Management, Lucknow and began his career at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi. He has hosted various Indian cookery shows such as The Great Indian Rasoi, Breakfast Xpress, Station Masters Tiffin and so on.

He has received many accolades for his contributions in the culinary field, including recognition from James Beard Association, Indian of the year Award for Chef and TV Host of the year in 2017 and Food Entertainer of the Year, 2018 at the LFEGA awards.

He strongly upholds the belief that food is an extension of culture and that travel makes a good chef better. He also promoted a month dedicated to Indian grains on his social media channels and seeks to empower local and hyper-local food sources. Chef Ranveer has engaged with the Smart Food Initiative since 2018. Read More