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Mother’s Day Post: Self-Care Through Cooking with Mai Burnette

Mai Burnette


Hi bAwses, we know it’s been a minute since you read anything from us. We’ve been busy transitioning to a whole Network – check out what we’re talking about here.

In honour of #MothersDay we thought it would be great to introduce a lady who will be gracing our bAw Network screens soon. She’s a Mum and Cookbook Author amongst other things. Enjoy getting to know Mai and we wish you and yours a wonderful Mother’s Day this Sunday!


My name is Mai Burnette and I am a mother to 14-year old Aziza, a social entrepreneur, award-winning Global Business Strategist, women’s advocate, and inspirational speaker. Currently, I serve as the U.S. Ghana Chamber of Commerce Ambassador to Sierra Leone and International Adviser on The Woman Behind the Business (WBB) board.

Maryland has been my home since I left Sierra Leone and came to the U.S at the age of 9. I have built a lovely life for myself which is both rich in American and African cultural experiences. One of my favorite past times and forms of self-care is cooking.



Most of my memories of life in Sierra Leone revolve around food, and one of the few memories I have is the long lines of people who would line up outside my grandparent’s home to receive food items for their families. I also remember the huge cooking pots in the yard that were used to prepare food for community and family gatherings.

Growing up, I was always in the kitchen with my mother; I was like her sous chef. My favorite day was Saturday. That was the day my mother would spend the most time in the kitchen, cooking soups for what we call in Sierra Leone, “Satiday Fufu”. A favorite childhood cooking moment for me was the day I climbed on the counter to help my mother turn a big pot of fufu. Cooking is in my blood.



In 2019 I began working on my first book, Cooking with Mai: Easy to Prepare West African Food. In this book, I share some family traditional Sierra Leonean dishes including groundnut soup, bluefish stew, jollof rice and fish, which I grew up enjoying.

West African cuisine is spicy, flavorful, is comprised of lots of meats and fish, lots of veggies, lots of starch, and has a rich and complex history – European, American, and Mediterranean influences.

I look forward to sharing some tasty dishes with you next month on my new show via The bAw Network YouTube Channel.

Let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see me share or if you have any questions about West African food preparation.

See you soon,