COTN Partners Create African Recipes You Can Cook in Your Home


Imagine creating a gourmet meal using only ingredients available in rural Sierra Leone. It might sound like a challenge, but the students at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando, Florida, were up for it. They partnered with Children of the Nations (COTN) to create a book of 50 recipes for COTN's hospitality staff in Africa and the Caribbean.

On the evening of March 25, guests were treated to an international feast as the students showcased their work at Rosen’s Dine Around event. And from now on, COTN Venture participants will get to enjoy a similar feast after a long day of service. 

All year long, COTN’s in-country staff feeds hundreds of Venture participants, short-term missionaries who travel to Sierra Leone, Uganda, Malawi, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to serve impoverished children. Thanks to these recipe books, COTN’s in-country staff will have an easier time providing affordable, nutritious, and delicious meals for them.
Guests enjoyed tasting each of the dishes. Many of them purchased the COTN Recipe Book that includes the recipes created by Rosen’s students as well as favorite recipes from COTN’s in-country staff.
“Having Rosen as a partner is phenomenal because they do this better than anyone else,” says Jenna Denard, COTN’s hospitality coordinator.
It was a semester-long project. Students were given a limited list of ingredients—items that are affordable and easily accessible to COTN’s in-country staff.
Sticking to the list wasn’t easy but the students enjoyed the challenge. “I liked the idea of the limited ingredients because it’s more realistic for the countries,” says Savannah Slawson, a student at Rosen. “I know it’s actually going to be used.”
This was a crowd favorite! The recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Balls was created using the ingredient list from Sierra Leone.
“For me it was eye opening,” says Professor Jonathan Judy. “Most people in the United States eat for pleasure, not survival. One of the things that impacted me about this project was the realization of how trying the situations are in some of these countries, how difficult it is for these children.”
“The students had a good experience with this project; they thought it was meaningful,” Jonathan adds.
COTN’s in-country staff is eager to start using the new recipes from Rosen. “The staff loves preparing meals for the teams,” says Jenna. “They want to serve teams food that they enjoy. They feel that they’re not just cooks but that they are part of the mission.”
This Mango Salsa was paired with grilled chicken. “The recipes provide balanced meal ideas and teach the staff a variety of ways to prepare it,” Jenna says.
The students created 50 recipes which Jenna turned into a collaborative recipe book that also includes some favorite recipes from COTN’s in-country staff. More than 100 of these recipes books were purchased during the Dine Around event. All the proceeds will help fund vocational school training for students in Sierra Leone.
This recipe book will have a big impact for many years to come. “All of our Venture participants go to serve the children and they need to have a balanced meal so they can go out in the heat day after day and serve,” says Denard. “This book is going to help our staff care for the people who have come to serve the children.”
Order a copy of the COTN Recipe Book here. All the proceeds will help students get vocational training in the countries COTN serves.