Pour on the love with African-inspired dishes
This is the story of an international love affair. A tale of boundless love for high-quality, all-natural ingredients. A robust passion for genuine hospitality. An enduring affection for artisanal flavorings and delectable cuisine.
The story of Kilimanjaro Foods dates back to 1960. Susan Herlin was a student attending a Presbyterian college in her native Texas when she decided to take part in a summer program in West Africa. She worked with her counterparts in Togo and Ghana on building a school and other manual-labor projects. She immersed herself in the culture, met fascinating people, and savored exotic new foods. “It was a life-transforming experience,” she says. “I went to Africa and fell in love.”
Upon her return to the United States, Herlin obtained her PhD and by 1975 she was teaching African history at the University of Louisville. Another, longer trip to Ghana followed in the 1980s, further cementing Dr. Herlin’s bonds with the African diaspora. This time her Ghanaian host introduced her to a zesty orange-ginger beverage that she couldn’t wait to share with friends and family back home.
By 1992 Herlin had become a partner in Café Kilimanjaro, restaurant and nightclub serving up African and Caribbean food, drinks and entertainment to a cosmopolitan clientele in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. When her partners began going in different directions, Herlin decided to buy them out. She closed the café in 2007 but retained chef Doug Scott to focus on a new phase of African-inspired goodness: bottling some of the restaurant’s most beloved sauces, spices and syrups.
“My favorite things to cook are stews,” Scott says. “I really love to cook stews, and our sauces are really good for that. You can do so much with them. You can take ordinary, everyday American food, add our sauce, and it turns into something almost gourmet – instantly. Just open a jar and pour it on.”
Much of African cooking is rooted in the tropics, combining cool, sweet fruits and fresh vegetables well seasoned with pungent spices – with or without animal proteins such as fish, fowl, beef or other meat. We bring those tasty traditions to your table in the same spirit of delight and cordiality that Herlin enjoyed in her trips abroad.
Whether it’s our Ghanaian palava sauce, our Ethiopian wot sauce, or any of our other delicious sauces, seasonings or syrups, we think you’ll enjoy going on a culinary safari with us. Try any of our succulent recipes at www.kfoodsinc.com – or experiment a little and create your own authentic voice!
A portion of our profits will be donated to the Tamale Scholarship & Aid Fund in the city of Tamale, Ghana, to help children attend high school.