A Homecoming to Remember

Maria with British Comissioner at book Launch

A Homecoming to Remember: Sweet Salone Cookbook Launch in Sierra Leone

I’m back!! Back from Freetown, Sierra Leone, back home in my studio in Kent, England. This is my happy place, a place where I can take time to myself. It’s important to take time to reflect.

Returning to My Roots

Travelling back home to officially launch my cookbook at the British High Commissioners Residence was a circular, 360 journey. Born in Lumley, I grew up not far from the High Commissioners Residence in Temgbeh Town and would play cook in a broken-down car in front of our house. This was my first restaurant and where I first practised food prep. I returned to Salone in 2022 to carry out the location photography shoot for what would be my debut cookbook. Returning home in 2023 to launch the final product was cathartic in many ways.

It was a chance to touch upon many of the themes mentioned in the book and see some of the amazing work undertaken by organisations such as @educaidsl @aurorafoundation_official and @tacugama. I enjoyed participating in a number of television shows and radio stations, and I met so many wonderful new people in the creative industry and the arts. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and, of course, family.

Gratitude and Celebration

I would like to say a huge thank you once again to my friend and travel companion @jewlsandtravels and to @cheslj @margaretrbkadi Claire @aurorafoundation_official Memuna at Cassava @royal_ifab @ishmaelhbeah, everyone who supported me while I was in Freetown, and a special thank you to those who bought Sweet Salone.

Looking Ahead to 2024

I have some events in the final months of 2023, and as this chapter closes, my mind is now shifting to the year ahead in 2024. A new chapter awaits.

Sweet Salone is now available for purchase at @aurorafoundation_official Lumley, opposite the police station in Freetown and via Amazon for those in the UK, USA, and Australia. You can also buy it from my online shop.