The Untold Truth Of Chef Eric Adjepong

When it comes to sibling rivalries, no one does it better than Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. According to Foodsided, the brothers have teamed up and squared off to present "Battle of the Brothers," a cooking competition where each brother leads a team of chefs to go head-to-head and whip up the very best menus. The show, which premieres on Discovery+, feels like a spiritual successor to "BBQ Brawl," a cooking competition in a similar format that sees Bobby Flay and Michael Symon lead teams of grillers and pitmasters against each other. While "BBQ Brawl" focuses on the grill and barbecue, the Voltaggio brothers want to challenge their teams to everything the food world can throw at them, including judgments from some of America's best chefs.

Expect to see Fabian von Hauske, Einat Admony, Jordan Andino, Esther Choi, Leah Cohen, Cliff Crooks, Sohla and Ham El-Waylly, Alex Guarnaschelli, Ilan Hall, James Kent, Judy Joo, Jeremiah Lawrence Stone, Christian Petroni, Erik Ramirez, and Eric Adjepong dish out critiques and end up deciding which contestants have to pack their bags each week. All of these judges have some serious chops, but no one knows good cooking like Eric Adjepong.

A cooking career built on solid credentials

If you love exploring the world of cooking competitions, you most likely have crossed paths with Adjepong in the past. According to Chef Adjepong's website, the cook made his name as a contestant on "Top Chef" and "Top Chef All-Stars." He won over judges and audience members alike as his cooking draws on bold, West African flavors that honor his Ghanian-American roots. This New York City native has always maintained a presence in the Big Apple, having worked in a variety of Michelin-ranked kitchens across the city and pays special attention to delicate, yet impactful platings.

Having lived on three different continents, Adjepong made it a point to challenge diners with cooking cultures that have summed up everywhere he has traveled, while also showing off West Africa's influence on the foods found throughout Central, South, and North America. As the first member of his family born outside of Ghana, Adjepong had his work cut out for him (via Washington Business Journal). He grew up in the Bronx and kindled his passion for cooking thanks to his parents' support. Adjepong never received formal training when it came to handling African recipes and ingredients, and made it a central mission in his work to not only explore and develop the culinary history of the continent, but to also share it and raise its prominence in the food world. By hosting virtual cooking classes and teaching community cooking lessons, Adjepong continues to make African cooking a standard part of the new wave of America's culinary scene.

Taking personalized parties to the next level

Eric Adjepong loves to show off his skills as a chef, but thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, he has taken individualized food experiences to new heights. According to Pinch and Plate, the chef teamed up with his wife to create a business that plans and produces full-scale dinner parties for any size of group. All the ingredients get locally sourced, the table design and space get professionally curated by Janell Adjepong, professional designer and Eric Adjepong's wife, and each menu comes with a theme to fit the occasion. The husband-wife duo thought up the concept for the business back in 2015 when they set up shop in New York City.

Nowadays, Pinch and Plate operates out of Washington D.C. and has made their mark in publications as diverse as People, Eater, Bravo, and much more. The business has earned their accolades in part thanks to Janell Adjepong, who has taken her background as a designer to create imaginative and inviting tablescapes that perfectly match the grace and poise embodied by Eric Adjepong's meals. If you find yourself in the greater D.C. area, you couldn't ask for a better meal experience.

Adjepong is trying his hand at premade meals

In addition to trailblazing new pathways in personalized dining, Eric Adjepong has teamed up with Territory, a service that delivers meals ready to eat to your home, to create two signature dishes based on his love of West African cuisine (via Territory). Adjepong, who previously worked with Territory as a quality assurance manager prior to his appearance on "Top Chef," helped develop the Beef Burger with Yassa Onion Jam and a Vegetarian Black Bean Burger with Yassa Onion Jam for the company. The flavors captured in the meals reflect some of his favorite dishes he served up on "Top Chef," like an African-inspired corn bisque and a foufou that won judges over. Fittingly, Adjepong even dreamed of serving some of these dishes and flavors up to the "Top Chef" judges back when he attended culinary school.

The latest ready-to-heat meals offer throwback flavors to these classic dishes Adjepong delivered to the judges. The yasa jam particularly stands out as one of the chef's favorite components, which pairs notes of ginger, lemon, and dijon mustard with a chutney-like onion spread perfect to incorporate onto whatever you can throw at it. Through this collaboration, Adjepong hopes to inspire more eaters to engage with West African cooking and discover the wealth of food that Africa calls its own.

Adjepong wants to highlight the West African diaspora through cookbooks

While Adjepong wants everyone to try flavors close to his heart firsthand, he hasn't stopped searching for avenues to get everyone excited to start cooking with African ingredients. In another major undertaking, the chef plans to release two books by the end of 2022 that showcase African cuisine both in the Americas and in Africa (via Food and Wine). The first of these two books carries the tentative title "Sankofa" and focuses on the impact that the slave trade made on the food of the Americas. Adjepong teamed up with Clarkson Potter and Korsha Wilson, the creator of "A Hungry Society."

Adjepong's second book can pull at the heartstrings of anyone looking for a more emotional read. Adjepong has dedicated his yet-to-be-titled second book to his young daughter and plans to write it as a children's book that explores the connection between food and identity. He hopes to use this creative outlet as a way to get more kids in touch with different food cultures and pursue cooking as a viable and respected career. Adjepong claims both books have a number of links between themselves and draw on each other for inspiration. While the best of us might call it a day after penning multiple books, Adjepong has one more venture up his sleeve.

Creating new culinary destinations

In the past few years, you had to hire Eric Adjepong to cook at your dinner party if you wanted to taste his cooking (via Eater). The chef now has plans to open his very first restaurant in D.C. The eatery, called On The Double, plans to sell roti flatbreads and doubles, popular snacks made from spiced chickpeas and fried bread popular throughout the Caribbean. These African-inspired snacks perfectly match Adjepong's culinary mission. "I think this is an awesome opportunity to show people another side of the cuisine, or a cuisine that they may not have heard of," Adjepong said. "This is why I'm essentially trying to showcase the African diaspora through this roti shop."

The shop should carry some very unique items, including signature doubles that feature a spicy cumin and turmeric fry bread topped with curried chana and aloo. These items also come with pancetta, Calypso sauce, and North African chermoula. Don't assume you can't get some heartier fare too. You can pick up a bowl with your fried doubles or baked roti, and each comes topped with lemony Senegalese chicken yassa, curry goat, coconut curry shrimp, and stewed beef. Make sure to top off your meal with drinks like tamarind lemonade or sobolo, a magenta-colored drink made from hibiscus.