Abena’s Hometaste restaurant has served the Ghanaian community for several years, so it was a sad time when it was announced that Abena Osusu, the owner operator was terminally ill and subsequently passed away. For some time, it was unclear that this community landmark will survive such a blow, but the entrance of Mrs. Gloria Adusei has allayed the fears of many who thought a void of good quality Ghanaian food was imminent.
Abena’s Hometaste located in College Park, Georgia, an Atlanta Suburb. The interior décor is wholly African with homely accents. The walls covered with Authentic African prints, comfy recliners and couches line the walls while the tables and chairs are arranged towards the back of the restaurant.
Afrofoodbytes sits with this culinary genius for an interview.
Yeti: How did you learn how to cook?
Rose: I learned how to cook at a very young age from my Mother and Aunties. At 12 years of age, I started to take on the responsibility of cooking for my entire family. I enjoyed cooking so much that I decided to pursue this professionally.
Yeti: Did you have any professional Culinary training and if so where?
Rose: Yes, I received my training at Mansel’s vocational school in Kumasi Ghana and graduated after 2 years in 1972.
Yeti: Where did you work after your training?
Rose: Initially, I worked as a seamstress but after a short time I got a job at the largest restaurant Eseweni Hometaste Restaurant in Kumasi. I worked there for over 22 years where I worked my way up to the Head cook. I became so popular that when I immigrated to the U.S in 2002, strangers would walk up to me at social gatherings and tell me they ate my food in Ghana
Yeti:: What advice would you give a home cook about African cuisine?
Rose: My main advice would have to be that proper cooking takes patience. Cooking most African food requires slow cooking over low to medium to achieve the proper taste and texture of the meal. Also when cooking Soups, don’t over check by removing the lid of the pot because this will dry the food out.
Yeti: What is your favorite culinary tool?
Rose: My wooden mixing spoon. You absolutely cannot cook without this.
Yeti: What is your signature dish?
Rose: I will have to say my Watche with stew is my best seller
Yeti: What in your opinion is the most important ingredient in cooking?
Rose: Without any doubt, dried shrimp in any form but preferably ground.
Abena’s Hometaste is located at 4841 Old National Highway, College Park, Georgia. (678)235-0379 Monday through Saturday 12pm to 8pm