From Ivory Coast, West Africa comes Morou Ouattara, chef and owner of Farrah Olivia Restaurant in Alexandria, Virgina. Initially influenced by his mother, he was born to a large family and grew up on the Ivory Coast. His mother liked combining African, French and Middle Eastern flavors, thus influencing Ouattara to create his own concoctions and innovative dishes. Such dishes include butter poached lobster with tapioca and banana air, the aromatic slow roasted American lamb with plantain loaf and red palm jus and the intuitively paired ahi tuna with jicama ceviche and papaya vinaigrette. A passionate artist, he enjoys blending his moods into his food, and creating pieces that are extraordinarily African-American.
Morou Ouattara became known as one of eight contestants to vie for the ultimate title of Iron Chef on the Food Network's culinary reality show, The Next Iron Chef.
(Photo courtesy of Food Network)