He additionally had a giant dream: to convey the meals of their dwelling nation to Detroit. He competed in an area entrepreneurship program in 2017, and the couple received the $50,000 prize to assist them get their restaurant began. They lastly opened the doorways to their ethereal restaurant, Baobab Fare, in early 2021 — within the throes of the pandemic.
The accolades have rolled in. In February, the couple have been named for the second time as semifinalists for finest chef within the James Beard awards, and in March, Mr. Mamba received an episode of “Chopped,” a cooking competitors on the Meals Community, and with it, $10,000. Now they’re donating that prize cash to Freedom Home Detroit, the nonprofit that helped Ms. Nijimbere, and different asylum seekers like her, escape persecution.
“Mamba is what you need the remainder of humanity to be like,” mentioned Elizabeth Orozco-Vasquez, the chief govt of Freedom Home Detroit.
Rising up in Burundi in East Africa, Mr. Mamba, 42, discovered to prepare dinner conventional regional flavors from his mom, who owned a restaurant. She taught him to prepare dinner along with his senses, not simply by recipes, which gave him a bonus on “Chopped” when he was confronted with proteins unfamiliar to him, like ostrich and scallops. However, he mentioned the culinary expertise that landed him on the present don’t examine to his spouse’s expertise.
“The most effective prepare dinner will not be even me, it’s Nadia,” he mentioned.
Ms. Nijimbere, 41, will not be one for the limelight, although, and didn’t need to go on nationwide tv. Mr. Mamba practically turned down the “Chopped” producers, however determined to compete himself as a result of he felt it was essential to share their meals and the story of how two refugees turned small-business homeowners.