People who work up an appetite celebrating Black History Month in Pasadena on Saturday can assuage their hunger with a traditional African feast.
Habeebah Amir-Hameed and 10 students in her Authentic African Cooking Class are stewing, steaming and baking a variety of Nigerian dishes to serve at Jackie Robinson Park Saturday evening. The multicourse meal, which costs $5 per person, will conclude a day full of activities, including a parade, kiddie rides, gospel rap music, jazz entertainment and free body fat screenings.
Although much of Black History Month has been filled with events honoring the civil rights movement and dealing with contemporary political issues affecting the black community, "food is also something that can reacquaint African-American people with a portion of their culture," said Amir-Hameed, 51, of Altadena. "We lost a lot of our culture in this country."
Amir-Hameed, originally from Philadelphia, learned how to prepare African cuisine only two years ago. Her business took off from there. She began teaching five-week courses in Nigerian cooking, and soon opened up a catering service complete with entertainment, authentic costumes, African decor, and 12 chefs able to prepare courses from 17 regions of Africa.