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Expand the Menu cooking classes 2024: Event Recap

100+ People Cooked Up African & Diaspora Dishes To kick off Black History Month 2024!

Event photos by our event partner Hexclad

We hosted five of LA’s next generation of culinary trailblazers, showcasing their new school African and Black recipes from across the diaspora

Black History Month 2024 kicked off with a sizzle, and over 100 foodies joined our Expand the Menu cooking classes to celebrate the next generation of culinary trailblazers!

Hosted by HexClad Studios in the Arts District, Los Angeles, each of the five sold-out in-person classes spotlighted an LA chef at the forefront of new school African and diaspora cuisines.

But it wasn't just about the food (although, let's be real, the food was amazing!). Our focus at Jikoni Recipe Archive has always been accessibility; thanks to our awesome event partner HexClad, and with groceries supported by Thrive Market, our tickets were pay-what-you-can, making sure everyone could join the fun and learn about these incredible cuisines.

With over 100 people cooking new dishes, sharing stories, and celebrating African and Black culinary innovation, it was truly an event series not to be missed. Plus, all those delicious recipes are now online! Get ready to impress your friends and family with your newfound skills, and keep scrolling to check them out on HexClad’s site now!

a collage of 5 images show the 5 featured dishes from Expand the Menu's cooking classes, which were fundraiser African and Black cooking classes in LA at the start of Black History Month 2024. Dishes from the left to right include Kenyan lentil samosas, Caribbean paratha roti, gourmet mac and cheese, seafood Jambalaya made with a Jollof Stew base, and gnocchi made from fufu with efo sauce
Featured dishes from our cooking classes

Expand the Menu is our social campaign that hosts in-person food experiences, to introduce people to African and Black cuisines while sparking enthusiasm for the chefs bringing innovation to these vibrant flavors.


Kiano Moju, founder of Jikoni Recipe Archive, holds up her pantry-friendly Kenyan lentil samosa, ready to take bite

Kiano Moju’s Kenyan Samosas cooking class


Led by Jikoni Recipe Archive’s founder, Kiano Moju, this hands-on culinary experience unveiled Kiano’s pantry-friendly lentil samosa filling, for a delicious taste of tradition with a modern twist.


Then, participants got the chance to fold, fry, and feast on this iconic East African snack.  GET THE RECIPE


Kiano's Instagram     |     Kiano's Website

Chef Rashida Holmes’ Paratha Roti cooking class


Rashida Holmes, chef-owner of the famous Bridgetown Roti pop-up, shared her new school Caribbean recipe for the flakiest, softest paratha roti.


Class guests learned industry-insider tips and tricks, alongside the ideal roti fillings for a flatbread feast at any time of the day.  GET THE RECIPE Rashida's Instagram     |     Rashida's Website

Rashida Holmes, the owner of LA's Bridgetown Roti, garnishes her paratha roti with classic Caribbean fillings like curried potatoes and salad

Jeffery Smith Jr., the owner of LA's mac and cheese delivery service called Best Kept Secret Intl., gestures as he speaks to his cooking class attendees about the perfect creamy mac and cheese recipe

Chef Jeffery Smith Jr.’s Smoked Gouda Truffle Mac & Cheese cooking class


Class attendees indulged in an evening that dished up all the secrets from the mastermind behind LA's hottest mac & cheese delivery joint.


Run by Chef Jeffery Smith Jr., attendees learned the techniques required to elevate simple comfort classics into creamy and truffled masterpieces.  GET THE RECIPE


Jeffery's Instagram     |     Best Kept Secrets Intl.

Chef Tiana Gee’s Jambalaya cooking class


Chef Tiana Gee led her class with a traditionally un-traditional dish that reconnected Jambalaya, a descendant of Jollof, with its ancestor in a flavor explosion.


Incorporating Nigeria's Jollof stew base with the medley of flavors found in seafood Jambalaya, participants experienced a Soul Food innovation firsthand, guided by the expert chef of the LA favorite SoulPhil pop-up.  GET THE RECIPE Tiana's Instagram     |     Tiana's Website

Tiana Gee, the owner of the pop-up supper club SoulPhil, smiles as she squeezes a lemon wedge over the seafood Jambalaya that she just cooked in her cooking class using the stew base of Nigeria's Jollof rice

Tayo Ola, owner of the supper club series Dinner with Tayo, smiles as he garnishes his dish with parmesan, which is a gnocchi dish made from fufu flour and served with Nigerian efo sauce

Chef Tayo Ola’s Fufu Gnocchi cooking class


Naija Italia lovers delighted in this unique new school class by the culinary storyteller, Chef Tayo Ola, from the pop-up supper club Dinner With Tayo.


Guests were taught how to fuse West African pantry staples into everyday dinnertime favorites, and combined with his homemade smoky Efo sauce, they crafted a rich and vibrant meal made from simple global ingredients.  GET THE RECIPE Tayo's Instagram     |     Tayo's Website


Want to be part of the celebration next time? Keep an eye out for our next Expand the Menu event schedule, and spread the word! Together, we can keep these amazing flavors accessible to all ✨

Feel inspired? Get in contact with us at to host your own fundraiser or event, or keep an eye on our Events Schedule and subscribe to our newsletter below to get updates straight to your inbox.


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