Before it all started…
Mariama Bah, owner and creator of ExoGourmet, is a passionate cook from Africa (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea) and has been in Canada for 17 years. She started cooking at a very young age, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, her aunts and her father who all had different backgrounds.
Her real passion for authentic whole foods truly began when her best friend and father of her daughter was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Helpless, Mariama turned to healing foods and began a journey that changed her life and her relationship with food.
Mariama first went to the Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusetts, for a 2 week program, where she was introduced to the Microbiotic cuisine. Immediately hooked, Mariama decided to expand her knowledge on nutrition.
First off, Mariama enrolled in La Cité Collégiale’s Culinary Arts Program in Ottawa from January 2010 to May 2011.
In 2014, she attended the Regeneration Raw Institute in Macomb Township, Michigan, where she studied the art of raw cuisine.
In 2015, Mariama studied the Macrobiotic, Raw, Ayuryedic and plant-based cuisine from Susan Teton at UDEMY Online Classes in the Healing Foods field.
The same year, Mariama followed Dr. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies online program for her plant-based certification, where she grasped the basics of a plant-based diet. The same year, she followed Dr. Sears Wellness Institute’s online program from which she earned her Certified Health Coach Certificate.
In order to further her knowledge even more, Mariama moved to Paris, France, for 18 months, where she observed the traditional Amazonian healing cuisine from her good friend Joelma Leitao, owner of the “Sol Semilla” vegan superfood restaurant. This is when Mariama realized the amazing power of combining superfoods with day-to-day ingredients to obtain the maximal health benefits.
She also followed a 2-day course, “Food for Cancer”, in Michigan in the fall of 2015. It was led by Dr. Neal D. Barnard in his Food for Life Cooking Lessons.
Finally, she returned to Ottawa to share her knowledge and her love of nutrition, with the desire to help people build a healthy relationship with real, whole foods.
Mariama is a strong believer in the connection between the body, the mind and the spirit, as well as the role nutrition plays in someone’s well-being.
Mariama’s cuisine focuses on the person’s well-being. In her own words, well-being is “the feeling of harmony between the body and the mind which fulfills us with serenity. Well-being is important because without it, there is an imbalance within the mood, the body and the spirit.”
Mariama also hold dear to her heart the choice of using locally grown, fresh and organic products in order to support the local farmers and artisans and promote their businesses.
With ExoGourmet, Mariama’s goal is to deliver to the public authentic and tasty meals rich in nutrients and whole foods. She wants to show that African roots, vegetables, legumes and leafy greens are not as intimidating as they seem!