African culture and cuisine on display at the Motherland tasting

On Sunday February 21, there was a private tasting at Tucker which had some unique twists! First, this invitation-only tasting showcased African cuisine from every region of the continent. Second, the master chef is a black man who owns a culinary school! Daryl Shular is the owner of the Shular Institute, Plated Cooking School, as well as Farmed Kitchen and Bar. He made sure that the 150 participants left satisfied, fulfilled and enriched.

“We had a vision to create the first black-owned culinary school in North America, and we are there today,” Shular said. “Thank you, this wouldn’t have happened without the genius of this gentleman here. I had the vision, he had to know how he was the one who put it together. But all the big pieces of the puzzle together. And what you’re all standing in here tonight is history.

The tasting included wings from Zimbabwe, soup from Nigeria, juices from South Sudan and spices from Morocco.

“We are going global, there are so many companies running this,” Shular said. “But we need each of you to be a part of this, pushing this thing forward. Because it’s a community center here. Okay, we can’t do it ourselves. We do it in the midst of a pandemic. But we’re walking on faith, and I think anybody here that knows knows what I’m talking about.

Shular says he plans to launch culinary schools in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, the three nations that are the cultural touchpoints in Africa.

Meanwhile, students at the Shular Institute are mostly driven and highly motivated people. Byron says she made sure both black and brown kids were represented in that class.

“I have students here who have 4.2 GPAs who are overlooked in their communities,” Byron said.

The Shular Institute actively seeks to integrate African culture into the dining experience.

“He was so passionate about it being authentic,” said Adeola Sokunbi, a self-proclaimed culinary entrepreneur describing Shular’s passion. “And what’s happening in our culture all the time, we see it, no matter what kind of cuisine they have. Don’t worry about authenticity. They’re doing it. They just throw it over there. And he was so adamant with all his experience. And when I was talking to my parents, they said, didn’t you tell me he was African? I said, ‘no, no, he, you know, I mean, he’s African.’

Chef Simone Byron is joined by Executive Chef David Shular and a friend at Motherland Tasting in Tucker, Georgia on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)
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