From a young age, Marie-Claude Mendy knew she was destined to work with food. She first became aware of her passion for food and cooking when she was only 5 years old. She grew up preparing dishes from scratch, solely with fresh and local ingredients. Marie-Claude’s well-developed palate can be attributed to the wide array of cuisines her mother exposed her to as she was growing up in Senegal. Her father was also very encouraging—as well as difficult to please, which taught her to strive for excellence with every dish.
Marie-Claude Mendy’s journey from Senegal to Boston was a winding one. Originally from Dakar, the capital of Senegal, Marie-Claude also spent some time in Paris. Upon graduating high school, Marie-Claude moved to London where she obtained her college degree, at which point she moved to Washington D.C., where she ran a small catering company. After living there for several years, Marie-Claude was ready for a change and decided to move somewhere with warmer weather. Her heart was set on Los Angeles, but one of her professors strongly encouraged her to give Boston a chance. Initially hesitant because of the frigid winters Boston is known for, Marie-Claude decided to visit before making any decisions. One trip to Boston was all it took for this chef-to-be to fall in love with the city which reminded her so much of London. She was hoping to recreate the wonderful life she had in London. She succeeded!
Once she moved to Boston, Marie-Claude decided to take her cooking a step further. At this point, she began to work on a business plan. Her original intention was to open a French patisserie, but owing to the lack of African restaurants in Boston at that time, she decided to challenge herself and open a Senegalese restaurant. Today, she is the proud owner of Teranga in Boston’s South End.
*****Visit Neighborhood Kitchens online to learn more about Teranga in Boston's South End.
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About Neighborhood KitchensBuilding on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.
Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44
About the Author
On the GoIn each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!
Watch: Full Episodes
Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits
»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
»Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer
»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi
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