Chef bringing African cooking classes to Fairborn

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

After moving from Maryland to Ohio in 2018, Chef Gabi Odebode discovered the Dayton area lacked African restaurants and grocery stores with items to make African cuisine.

“I was in a community where it was basically African food everywhere, grocery stores everywhere,” Odebode said. “When I moved here, (I) barely found anything like that.”

In turn she was inspired to launch Afromeals LLC to share her culture and food through cooking classes.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“I was on a quest to educate people and bring light to our food and our culture,” Odebode said.

In 2021, Odebode explained she started offering cooking classes in a commercial kitchen at the Findlay Kitchen in Cincinnati. She previously wrote a recipe book, taught cooking classes at schools between the Dayton and Cincinnati area and collaborated with organizations to cater and host events.

After establishing her brand and having guests travel to Cincinnati from Dayton to take her cooking classes, Odebode said she wanted to bring that experience to the Gem City. Odebode is partnering with Spark Fairborn, a combination incubator kitchen and co-working space.

“Fairborn is a great place because it will serve my Springfield and Dayton people,” Odebode said. “We feel like there’s a lot we can offer.”

Odebode said she hopes to begin offering Fairborn cooking classes in mid-January. She said they typically last two hours and guests do not have to have experience in the kitchen.

According to Odebode, one of Afromeals’ most popular cooking classes is “A Tour of Africa.” She explained guests will get to enjoy food from different African regions. She also offers classes featuring Carribean and Italian dishes among others.

Odebode, a native of West Africa, came to the United States when she was nine.

She explained learning to cook at a young age is common in an African household. At 13, she and her sister began cooking for their family. Throughout college she cooked for her dorm.

Odebode said she was on track to become a medical doctor, but ultimately chose her love for cooking.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Odebode said her favorite part of teaching is seeing the expressions of her guests after they taste the food they have made.

“I love feeding people,” Odebode said. “I love making people happy by eating.”

For more information about Afromeals, visit or their Facebook page. Those who are interested in learning more about the Dayton cooking classes can sign up for updates here.

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