A Taste of America at Dakar Academy
The Dakar Academy (DA) community welcomes Mawa’s Taste of America to campus, now serving favorites like buttermilk pancakes, chicken and waffles, bacon and eggs and breakfast biscuits.
Many foodies in Dakar are familiar with the restaurant’s current location near the Monument de la Renaissance. For American families at DA, Mawa’s represents a taste of comfort and home. For others, Mawa’s is just good eatin’.
After noticing the lack of options for a real American breakfast in Dakar, Mawa Hughes decided to take on the challenge of opening her own restaurant, without any particular chef training. Originally from Senegal, she moved to the United States in the 80’s to attend school.
“Cooking is a passion of mine and when you have raised four sons, you better know how to cook,” explains Mawa. “Being a professional woman in America, I was very busy all the time. I had the weekend to make it up to my family by making big meals and we always looked forward to those moments. It is my curiosity and passion that keeps me searching and trying out more recipes.”
Last year, after catering an event at Dakar Academy (DA), Mawa reached out to Jill Powell, DA event coordinator, about selling her food at the international school.
“She was amazed at [the Cantina],” says Powell. “A lot of DA people go to her restaurant and she likes the way they act when they are there.”
“Since the first day we started this venture, the guests from Dakar Academy have been loyal to us,” says Mawa. “Even with the distance and crazy traffic between Ouakam and Maristes, [DA] has always come to dine or order from our catering service during special events.”
Now, DA families will be able to enjoy Mawa’s Sunday brunch without driving to Ouakam. In addition, DA students will be able to order sandwiches at certain times during the week.
Aimee Burlingham, AP English language teacher, describes Mawa’s as a reminder of home, offering American comfort food.
“It’s so handy with little kids,” she says. “We only went twice last year because it was too far away. Now on Sundays [at DA] it’s a good time to fellowship and all the other parents with little kids are there.”
“It’s a really good idea and I don’t always have enough time to go across town,” adds Aurore I., senior. “During the week, it’s great before youth group for people who stay late. This way they have something to eat.”
Mawa would like to thank the DA community for giving her the opportunity to be in a place where she feels among family and friends. A suggestion box is going to be available during their regular serving times for comments on what to serve, change, or improve on.
Published by contributing student writer Kaley Logerstedt