I Wrote a Cookbook!

And you get a sneak peek before anyone else!

Hello, darlings!

I am thrilled to share the most incredible news with you! My debut cookbook AFRICANA will be published on 29th September 2022. (Watch my exuberant announcement above!)


Treasured recipes and stories from across the continent.

Published by HQ Stories, HarperCollins

It’s been two years since I signed my first book deal. Since that time I have written almost 300 pages of recipes and stories that will take you on a delicious adventure across Africa, one dish at a time. AFRICANA is my love letter to Africa, with the most enchanting and very cookable recipes alongside stories for us to treasure, celebrate and share with the world. I have much more to tell you about this book!


I just dug into my emails between a close friend/mentor and realised that I had been working on the book draft since 2016. 6 years ago I officially started this journey which I had dreamt of for almost all my life. Tweaking and tightening the draft every year until the summer of 2020 when I was so sad and despondent during the lockdown. Having nothing to lose, I decided to give it one last sprinkle of what I hoped and prayed was magic dust and voila; I signed a book deal and the rest is history…in the making!

A sneak peek for you!

From AFRICANA book shoot: Wondrous spices & Ghanaian ‘Asanka’ cast iron mortar & wooden pestle

Props galore at the book shoot

How can you join me on this journey and how can we make AFRICANA a smashing success?

The first part of writing a successful and best-selling cookbook is, I suppose, writing a cookbook. And then the crucial part that comes afterwards is getting it into the hands, hearts, and kitchens of as many people as possible. I would love AFRICANA to become a smashing success, not just because she is my creation, my dream and I adore her, but because I truly believe she will inspire diversity in food media and the food we are exposed to and interested in as home cooks. As part of my community, you will experience a front seat view of this exciting journey. I will share everything from how I dreamt up this idea, the very lengthy process of writing it, behind the scenes of my book shoot and all the wonderful experiences involved in getting AFRICANA published and out into the world. Yes world, as not only will the book be published in the UK, but I have also even more news for you, reserved for a later date. 

Paid members will get a first look at the book in just a few days and you will be invited to a private virtual supper club where you will cook the book with me, even before the public gets their hands on it. Please do consider becoming a member to enjoy all the fun. 

Thank you so much for your support, being here with me, and with our community means the world to me. More exciting news to come and I hope you enjoy being on this journey with me. The more people read or hear about AFRICANA the better. So please spread the word by sharing this newsletter with the world.

Thank you for reading COOK WITH LERATO. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Let’s keep in touch

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Lerato Umah-Shaylor