Africa for Foodies: X Marks the Spot


“The Funkiest Music Ever Made”

We start off our first show with groovy music recorded in 1970s Lagos—The Shrine Presents Afrobeat. This show features an interview with Tom Neuhaus, co-founder of Project Hope and Fairness as well as chocolatier and co-owner of Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates. We interviewed Tom in the chocolate warehouse for their San Luis Obispo-based chocolate shop and online store. He presented the three-part mission of Project Hope and Fairness and explained how he became so interested in Africa. In between the parts of this interview, we play more Afrobeat music. We briefly discuss Miriam Makeba—”Mama Africa”—and her love of cooking. Finally, we present some background on who we are as Central Coast foodies as well as provide some foodie recommendations.

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Project Hope and Fairness Mission: To support West African cocoa farmers

  • by introducing westerners to the realities of West African cocoa farming communities
  • by helping to build cocoa study centers in Africa to determine best practices for producing local chocolate in a sustainable manner
  • by fostering cottage industry that helps West African cocoa farmers earn more money from the beans they produce

PHF_logoThis non-profit organization seeks to decolonialize the production of chocolate for all the reasons highlighted in the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate by U. Roberto Romano. In an $18 billion a year industry, why must so many of the 2.5 million cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty? In Côte d’Ivoire, 200,000 children receive no education and, thus, have few options to escape the grinding slavery involved with the production of chocolate. [Note: I joined the board of Project Hope and Fairness in April 2014.]

Foodie Fundraising for Project Hope and Fairness


Tom Neuhaus and a village chief

If you missed the delicious April 2014 foodie fundraising event in Paso Robles—gourmet bites by Chef Thomas Drahos of Avant-Garde Experience perfectly paired with delicious wines from Pear Valley Vineyards—you can still support the truly fair trade efforts of Project Hope and Fairness by donating to them directly. At their Monterey Street store in San Luis Obispo, purchase Cocoa Study Center chocolate bars and other products that help this non-profit effectively help West African cocoa farmers. Project Hope and Fairness still needs to raise more funds to make this summer’s trip to Africa a reality. Thanks for your donation!


Tom Neuhaus and guest speaker Kelsey Timmerman address guests at the spring 2014 foodie fundraiser for Project Hope and Fairness

Mama Africa Loved to Cook

Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba

We also briefly discuss Miriam Makeba and her love of cooking that matched her love of connecting through music and language. The documentary Mama Africa (2011) explained how this towering figure in South African and Pan African music also loved to cook for her family and friends. Miriam Makeba—“Mama Africa”—fed those she loved with good food and powerful song.

Hello CCFoodie and Our Recommendations

Finally, we close out the hour with some information about who we are and why we’re passionate enough about sustainable food and drink that we want to present a 1-hour talk and music radio show every week on our new community radio station.

  • Suppertime with Pirates” explains our Treasure Island concept with the foodie treasure map and 0ur “X Marks the Spot” logo.
  • Meet the CCFoodies” explains the origin of my interest in sustainability from visiting the memorial to Martha the extinct passenger pigeon at the Cincinnati Zoo to my stint as an Outward Bound instructor.
  • Midwestern Foodie?” suggests that my mother was an average cook with a bland palate whose boring gastronomic reality I have successfully avoided.

X Marks the Spot Playlist for Show 1 — April 2, 2014

from The Shrine Presents Afrobeat which I first learned of from an NPR review. Here’s another review of this funky, groovy recording from AllMusic.

  • “Yegelle Tezeta” by Mulatu AstataqueAfrobeatCover
  • “Funky Hilife” by C.K. Mann & Carousel 7
  • “Yaba Funk” by Captain Yabaa
  • “Wakafrika” by Manu Dibango



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