Interviewing Papa Diagme

For our last interview, our teens returned to Brooklyn’s famous Joloff restaurant where we sat down with Papa Diagme to learn more about his life and career as Senegalese restaurant owner and chef. Papa Diagme and his wife have been in business since 1995. On our first trip to Joloff some of our teens experienced Senegalese cuisine for the very first time. They really enjoyed the traditional dishes we ordered last time so after our interview with Papa Diagme we treated them to some more delicious Senegalese food and beverages!

Papa Dieng

Photograph of Papa Diagme, owner of Joloff Restaruant.

Revisiting Fulton Street, Brooklyn

After revisiting Fulton Street, our teens were able to find more Senegalese influenced businesses in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Some of the places they found include a barber shop, a jewelery store, and a small cafe called Le Paris Dakar. While exploring the neighborhood they also spoke to several business owners as they photographed their experience.

Le Paris Dakar sidewalk food menu

Food menu found on the sidewalk in front of Le Paris Dakar.

Our Trip to Joloff Restaurant

On our second trip to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn where there is a large community of Senegalese migrants, our teens visited the popular Senegalese restaurant, Joloff, located on 1168 Bedford Avenue. Prior to our trip, our teens had only heard of traditional Senegalese food courtesy of our program manager who visited Dakar in December.

The food was good. It came came out really fast and the portions were big. Brittney E.

The food was very good and the service was awesome.  Sheba B.

At Joloff, we enjoyed traditional Senegalese and Senegalese-American hybrid cuisine courtesy of Papa K. Diagne. They were eager to try pasteles and bissap, which they raved about. Many of them made connections between bissap and sorrel as well as how the flavors in the food were reminiscent of Caribbean dishes.

Joloff Appetizers

Fish and vegetarian appetizers served at Joloff restaurant.

Papa K. Diagne (standing) and one of our NSBD teens (sitting).

Papa K. Diagne (standing) and one of our NSBD teens (sitting).

Interviewing Marie Basse-Wiles

Thanks to our recent partnership with Cumbe, our teens had the opportunity to interview and dance with the renowned Senegalese dancer, Marie Basse-Wiles. Marie Basse-Wiles was born in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa and is the granddaughter of Bambara singer and dancer Maimouna Keita. She began her professional career at the age of 9, and began teaching at the age of 12 as a member of the Ballet National of Senegal. Throughout her career, Mrs. Basse-Wiles won numerous awards for her commitment to the community and her accomplishments in dance. She has also created numerous ballets, including a piece for The Center For Traditional Music and Dance “Bedenya 97” Festival that is archived at the New York Public Library’s Performing Arts Library.

Dancing with Marie Basse-Wiles

NSBD teens dancing with Marie Basse-Wiles at Cumbe.

Interviewing Marie Basse-Wiles

NSBD teens interviewing Marie Basse-Wiles at Cumbe.