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By Cinda Chavich | Photos by Belle White

Castro Boateng, named Chef of the Year at YAM’s 2019 Restaurant Awards, cooks up a traditional African feast for family and friends — and shares some coveted recipes.

“Akwaaba — Welcome to our home.”

These are the words that Chef Castro Boateng uses to greet diners at his Langford café and, as he gathers friends and family for a special dinner celebrating his African heritage, that warm welcome is palpable.

When Boateng was a kid growing up in Toronto, he was surrounded by a big Ghanaian community. He could walk down Jane Street or Wilson Avenue and duck into local African food shops filled with the aromas of spicy kebabs, okra and eggplant stew or jollof rice, the kind of hearty dishes his mother and aunts cooked for their big family dinners. Tonight he is channeling that memory, his long table draped in colourful kente cloth and laden with traditional foods.